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BB95 – It Takes A Manor to Raise a Meerkat with Dr. Kirsty MacLeod

Dr. Kirsty MacLeod is a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge (and soon to be at Penn State), and shares why her research is largely possible because a colony of meerkats developed an addiction to boiled eggs, and why a threatened New Zealand bird is getting a free lunch.

Follow Kirsty online:

Website/Blog – https://kjmacleod.wordpress.com/
Twitter – @kirstyjean – https://twitter.com/kirstyjean

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BB94 – Rallying for Rails with Auriel Fournier

Auriel Fournier is a PhD candidate at the University of Arkansas studying rail ecology & migration. She tells us why she loves rails, how she learned to fix a flooded out ATV, and why unpaid internships in biology are harming our future.

Show notes:
“At least they don’t seal the fire exits” Or why unpaid internships are BS by Auriel Fournier
Why volunteer field techs are a bad idea by Dr. Alex Bond
Crap Wildlife “Jobs” tumblr

Follow Auriel online:
Twitter – @RallidaeRule – https://twitter.com/RallidaeRule
Blog/Website – https://aurielfournier.github.io/

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Breaking Bio Bonus! #AltActober Round Up

October has come to an end, and with it our little #AltActober experiment for this year. Looking back, I think it’s fair to say our month-long exploration of careers outside the academy was not only a success, but also a lot of fun, and gave us an easy excuse to talk to some really fabulous scientists doing a broad range of cool things. I know that I learned a lot by speaking with them, and I hope that you found it useful and entertaining to listen to as well.

One of the things that we tried to do across the month was get specific advice from each guest for anyone who is currently sitting at their desk right now and contemplating whether they want to keep going in academia, or maybe whether it’s time to start looking elsewhere for a successful and fulfilling career. Seeing how there are probably more than a few listeners out there right now contemplating such a move, I thought I’d compile all the given advice in one handy, easy-to-share place so people can refer back to it when they need to.

Ariel Zych, Education Manager (Public Radio) (Ep 89)

  • Network: “Have a coffee with anyone you can who has a job even remotely similar to what you want.”
  • Moonlight: “Try out some of the skills, behaviours, or activities that might be associated with the career that you want to jump to.”

Dr. Nate Dappen & Dr. Neil Losin, Wildlife Filmmakers (Ep 90)

  • Have a Buddy or Support System: “Do it with a buddy if you can; it makes such a difference in keeping your motivation up, in just making the logistics of doing something different even possible in some cases.”
  • Experiment: “Start doing it while you’re a grad student, and start trying to do it well and at a professional level while you’re a grad student.”
  • Start small: “Great way to get practice, to get connected with other filmmakers, and to get some credibility when you move into the field.”
  • Take some chances: “Big festivals help you get connected to other young filmmakers who are trying to find connections and build a community.”

Dr. Kelley Remole, University Administration & Outreach Professional (Ep 91)

  • Figure out what you’re interested in and go after it: “I think that people figure out what they’re going to do for a PhD asking themselves that exact question, and they shouldn’t think that’s the last time they’re going to ask themselves that question.”
  • Reassess your situation regularly: “Am I doing what I’m really good at and what I get a lot of fulfillment from?”

Dr. Stephanie Kadison, High School Educator (Ep 92)

  • Network & volunteer with established organizations: “I recommend doing after-school mentorship programs if you have the time and your PI allows you to leave the bench for that many hours a week.”
  • Keep an open mind: “You never know which opportunities will come your way!”

Dr. Sheba Agarwal-Jans, Journal Publisher (Ep 93)

  • Self-reflection: “I think it’s very important to sit back and really, really look at yourself and see what it is that you enjoy to do.”
  • Work on your CV: “The academic CV is not going to work in industry!”
  • Network: “Go to job fairs, look at the different companies that you think are interesting, and attend industry seminars.”
  • Make yourself memorable: “What you want to do is make an impression on somebody.”
  • Practice Interviews: “I think interviews in industry are very, very different than they are in academia.”

So there you have it, the advice from all of our #AltActober guests on how to prepare for a world outside academia!

If you found this series or any of the advice from our guests helpful, please let us know in the comments or on Twitter (@BreakingBio), and be sure to use the #AltActober hashtag! And if you’re considering taking a jump of your own out of academia, good luck, and maybe one day you can come back and tell us all about your own journey on a future episode of Breaking Bio.

– Morgan

Episode 87 – Frogs, Fellowships, and Family with Dr. Lauren O’Connell

Dr. Lauren O’Connell, Bauer Fellow at Harvard University, joins us to talk about her work on poison dart frog ecology, being an early career woman scientist with kids, and how she’s helping school kids learn about the world around them by raising frogs.

Show Notes:

Bauer Fellowship program at Harvard University (watch for a new call for applicants soon!)
L’Oreal Women in Science Fellowship
Little Froggers School Project

Follow Dr. O’Connell Online:
Lab Website
Twitter – @frogmaven
Facebook

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Episode 85 – Brain Food with Dr. Joe Schumacher

Dr. Joe Schumacher, Post-doc at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience joins us to talk about treeshrews and how complicated the brain truly is!

Show Notes:
Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
Treeshrews
GCaMP video (not by Joe)

Follow Joe online:
Twitter – @JWScience – https://twitter.com/JWScience
Lab Website – http://www.maxplanckflorida.org/our-science/our-scientists/joe-schumacher/

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Twitter – @BreakingBio – https://www.twitter.com/BreakingBio
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Episode 83 – Catching up with the Crew

Things have been happening in the lives & work of our faithful crew, but this episode will catch you up on what everyone’s been up to. How do 4 early career biologists feel about academia at this point? Find out!

Show notes:

Science Careers “Advice” column – http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6244/206
Episode 36 with Christy Wilcox & social media – http://breakingbio.com/2013/07/10/episode-36-christie-wilcox/

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Breaking Bio Special! Miss Possible & Role Models for Girls

We’re on hiatus for the summer, but filmed a special episode to highlight a crowd-funding project that we think deserves a voice and hopefully some funding.

We talk to Janna Eaves, CTO and Co-Founder of Miss Possible, a start-up company looking to empower girls to follow their dreams by creating a line of children’s dolls showcasing female role models from STEM fields. Miss Possible is currently running a crowd-funding campaign in order to start production on their first doll (Marie Curie). Janna tells us all about what Miss Possible is and hopes to do, as well as how a couple of entreprenuerial women started their own line of dolls while finishing their undergraduate degrees in engineering.

Miss Possible Website

Miss Possible Indiegogo Crowd-funding Campaign

Miss Possible on Facebook & Twitter

Episode 54: It’s goo time with Upulie Divisekera!

 

In episode 54 we chat with the talented Upulie Divisekera, molecular biology PhD student at Monash University.  It’s a free-wheeling interview covering everything from nanotech for cancer to science communication to Cordyceps fruiting bodies erupting out of human heads! Come on, you know you want to hear about the grey goo. All the cool kids are doing it.

 

We’ll be right back…

We recorded a great episode with Justin Gregg last week, but unfortunately, Google decided to lose the video on us.  There’s a non-zero chance that we’ll get it back, but Google being Google, they’re taking their sweet time about it.  So, never fear:  we’re working on it!  In the mean time, we’re looking forward to this week when we record with Phil Torres, and on July 3rd we’ll be chatting with Christie Wilcox of Science Sushi!