Thursday, January 31, 2008

Culture of Ecology and Evolution

As an undergraduate, I spoke of ecology and evolution in the same breath. I thought of them as perfectly intertwined. It wasn't until I got to grad school that I started hearing people say in my program (students, profs) say things like, "Oh, I'm not really into that evolution stuff- I much prefer ecology," or vice versa. At first I was perplexed. What did I miss? How can you like ecology but not evolution? I talked to Mariya (my conversationalist for most things academic) about this and found that I wasn't alone in my pre-grad school conception of our discipline. It feels like there is a culture here of putting yourself in one camp or the other.

I'm very curious to hear what the experience has been of my readers. Are you "labeled" (self- or otherwise) as a researcher in this field? What were/are your perceptions as an undergraduate and where did/do you go to school? I think this is one of those interesting "cultural" issues within science. What's the culture where you are?

1 comment:

Paulina said...

I am not sure if this pertains, since I am not going to school nor am I an ecologist, but I would definitely consider myself an evolutionary biologist at the moment. That is what I do all day long - evolutionary biology. I guess I would have to define myself further as evolutionary geneticist rather than just a geneticist or someone who works more with physiology for example.