CURM Ninth Meeting, 10/28/2008

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  • First of all, good work last time: from Jon:
 "I enjoyed the meeting yesterday, and was impressed with the students' work."
  • A different kind of Problem of the Week. The questions are:
    • Which package is the best deal?
    • What is the value of each component of the packages?
  • We have enough on our plate for the moment, so that I'm not issuing a new Problem of the Week.
  • Discussion of
Peter Grant's article

One criticism that my colleague, Chuck Holliday, and I have had of the paper concerns the same problem that we have had with our Florida work--sampling cicadas. Grant's cicada sample sizes are small, and we think his "environmental samples" are biased for the following reason: some (he doesn't say how many) of the cicadas in the environmental sample were collected on the ground near the wasp nesting aggregation. It is our experience that female wasps drop a certain percentage of prey as they are flying with them to their nests. It is reasonable to assume that cicadas found on the ground near the wasp colony had been captured and paralyzed by wasps, and, therefore, should not be included in a sample of prey available in the environment.

  • Let's hear some stories!;)
  • The story I want to work out is between the prey-desirability function, time, and the populations that give rise to the two plots
  • Action items:
    • Grayson will do some analysis on the males and females (especially cicadas) to see what distinguishes each from the other (mass, wing length, etc.)
    • Katie will redo her histogram, trying some different bin widths (seeing if she can smooth out the late dip in cicada weights).