category: blog

3D printing a better lab

The 3D printer is already proving useful after just one week in the lab. It’s now so easy to make custom objects I am seeing lots of opportunities to use the printer in the lab instead of cobbling together random odds and ends. In the last few days I have been designing labware …

Access window trapped on disconnected screen

If you use a laptop computer in dual-screen mode with Windows, you might experience the problem of losing access to a window on the external monitor when you leave the office and restore your session without the extra screen.Most programs seem to cope with screen disconnection OK but many do …

I added my first segment on Strava

I am aware that my own attempts are not very impressive but I think it’s a nice route that others will enjoy. Starts in the field near Whitehough Head Lane and ends at the top of Eccles Pike somewhere near the topograph, hard to tell exactly. To be sure go …

Fake plastic fees

Am I the only one who uses carrier bags to line the kitchen bin and bag other waste before putting it out?Governments all over the world are falling over themselves to introduce disincentives for using plastic bags to take your shopping home, supposedly for environmental reasons. I am highly skeptical …

GPS mapping and fitness tracking

GPS mapping makes exploring new routes really easy and has certainly helped me get out more due to ease of finding routes. I also recently started using Strava to track my performance when running and cycling, providing additional motivation to get out. This post is about how I use Viewranger for mapping …

3D printing for research

We have just received funding from MMU to allow us to buy a 3D printer for research. I am exploring the use of this disruptive technology in my own environmental microbiology research, and am collaborating with other researchers who are interested in applying it in other projects including bryophyte photosynthesis …

Networks of Power and Influence

This week I am attending the 33rd New Phytologist symposium (Networks of Power and Influence) with Robin Sen and Francis Brearley from MMU. I will present a poster of work supported by MMU and Moors for the Future.The poster shows a preliminary network analysis of bacterial and fungal microbial communities …

Reproducible research

The statistical analyses for our recent paper on the bacterial communities of biological soil crusts in the Kalahari can be fully examined and reproduced via code and data I have deposited on GitHub.The analysis relies heavily on the phyloseq package for R. The phyloseq paper and associated documentation were really an inspiration, and provided …