Calculus – I completed the suite of calculus courses available at Minnesota State University, Mankato as an undergraduate. I frequently use differential equations in my day to day work.
Course development – At LSU, I spent time as a teaching assistant for a handful of classes, including introductory biology lab for majors, principals of ecology lab, course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE), independent research, and marine communities lab. In ecology lab, I worked closely with the course coordinator (Barry Aronhime) to develop new labs. As a TA in the CURE program, it was my job to develop rubrics for new assignments and work in social media for the traditional writing assignments. In the independent research course I taught, I developed the course from just an idea and taught students the scientific method with a focus on science communication. See my blog post here about the experience and check out the students’ posters.
Experimental Design – As a Ph.D. recipient in quantitative ecology, and a current postdoctoral scholar with the USDA, I have years of experimental design experience. I have designed completely randomized, randomized block design, and repeated measures experiments. I have also assisted researchers over the last decade plan and set-up experiments, as well as collect data.
Exploratory Statistics – I have taken four semesters of statistics during my undergraduate and graduate studies. I studied exploratory methods specifically in my multi-variate statistics course at LSU. At the USDA, I use exploratory statistics when given a new dataset to understand how the variables correlate and determine which major trends may be important to further develop.
Grant Writing – I have written several grant proposals over the last ten years. As a graduate student, I received three grants from the BioGrads organization at LSU. I also won two awards from the Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife to fund my research of crop pests. More recently, I have collaborated on grant proposals for large grants from the NSF and USDA.
LaTeX – Throughout my Ph.D., I wrote my manuscripts using LaTeX with citations coming from an independent BibTex file. While this is my preferred method for putting together a publication quality manuscript, I tend to do most of my writing in Word using other reference management as some journals still do not work with LaTeX files.
Linear Algebra – I took two courses in linear algebra as an undergraduate. In my graduate program, I used linear algebra to create population matrix models to describe how the class distribution (e.g., eggs, larvae, pupa, adults) of a population of monarch butterflies changes over time. Similarly, I use matrix population models to describe feral alfalfa populations for the USDA.
Microsoft Office – I use the suite of Microsoft products for everything I do in research. I use Microsoft Word to write manuscripts and edit result output from R. I use PowerPoint for presentations. I use Outlook for email and Calendar to keep up with my daily schedule.
R programming – I use R programming for data analysis and results presentation. I am proficient in statistics from t-tests and regressions to model fitting. I work frequently with p-values, AIC scores, and bootstrapped confidence intervals. In my first scientific manuscript (found here), I used R to demonstrate ways to showcase insect diversity for educational purposes.
Regression – I use linear regression on a weekly basis for the USDA. I look for correlations between suites of variables related to alfalfa evolution driven by bees, correlations between selfing rate (how often a plant fertilizes itself) and farming traits, and the distance a bee travels to the number of seeds a plant can produce. Additionally, to understand the role of bees on alfalfa evolution, I use both non-linear regression and multiple regressions techniques. It’s important to keep in mind the distribution of the variables (e.g., normal, Poisson, etc.) when conducting any type of regression.
SAS – At LSU, my statistics courses were taught in R. While I use SAS only occasionally, I am confident I can do any statistical analyses in SAS that I can do in R.
Science Communication – I am versed in a multitude of science communication platforms. I maintain this site with infrequent updates for those following along. I maintain the Brunet Lab Twitter account, which is active just about daily. I have published (as first and other author) several manuscripts. I have also written grant proposals and reports to funding agencies. I taught students to present their results as both a TA at LSU and as a postdoctoral scholar with the USDA.
Social Media – I taught students how to use social media for science as a TA at LSU and as a postdoctoral researcher with the USDA. I find Twitter particularly useful for discussions of scientific methods and keeping up to date on all the most important subject-specific news. I maintain the Brunet Lab Twitter account, which can be found here.
Spanish – In primary school, I spent two weeks in Mexico learning about Mayan culture and living with a host family. As an undergraduate, I completed nine courses in Latin and Spanish conversation, literature, and culture. During this time, I lived with a host family while studying abroad for two months in Cuenca, Ecuador. In graduate school, I participated in a tropical ecology course in Costa Rica.
SQL – Over the last year, I have completed several courses through LinkedIn Learning to improve my skills and understanding of SQL. While I have not yet professionally used SQL, I have a solid background that I am ready to apply when needed.
Structural Equation Modeling – At the USDA, I use SEM to determine how management techniques farmers are using affect alfalfa crops. We look at the effects of things like pesticides on pests, pests on selfing rate, and selfing rate on yield. These models can get pretty big when you try to include every variable that was measured!
Tableau – In 2020, I spent two months tracking the COVID-19 outbreak and making figures in Tableau. I used data available from the CNN website, which were collected from each state’s department of public health. At the time, there were no state by state graphs of COVID-19 cases over time. Therefore, I created and maintained these graphs for about two months. The most recent version (4/27/2020) can be found here.
Umbraco – I used Umbraco to develop the official Brunet Lab website (here).
WordPress – I have maintained a handful of websites over the years in WordPress. The site you are currently viewing was created in WordPress.