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Sophia N. Wassermann


PhD Candidate in Marine Science & Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar. Interested in computational approaches to issues at the intersection of fisheries and climate change. Currently modelling mackerel collective behaviour.


  1. Research Cruisin': My First Trip with the Irish Marine Institute

    “Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds” …


  2. Sometimes Science is Boring.

    Starting a new year is always slow. For me, after the rush of the holidays, January feels particularly dull. The cold and the dark start to bother me in a way they didn’t before the new year. These days, my looming PhD clock also does nothing to mollify my existential wintertide dread. Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but, as I feel like I’ve been saying all year, it’s a tough time of year. …


  3. Deck the Halls with Shoals of Mackerel: I Presented a Poster!

    To start my festive season, right around the start of Hanukkah in fact, I attended Ecology Across Borders 2017, hosted by the British Ecological Society (BES), with The Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ), Nederlands-Vlaamse vereniging voor ecologie (NecoV), and the European Ecological Federation (EEF) in snowy Ghent, Belgium. …


  4. If you Wannabe their PhD Student: Re-framing Cold Emails

    In her article for FemSTEM, Melissa C. Márquez makes the excellent point that cold emails are an essential part of networking. If you’re not familiar with the term, emails are ‘cold’ when you are contacting someone whom you haven’t met or communicated with previously. They can be scary to send, but they’re how I ended up doing research in Iceland and how I got my PhD project. Cold emails are particularly nerve-wracking when you’re contacting someone you greatly respect. However, in this post, I want to break down the difference between respecting someone and fearing them. I think viewing your worth as equal to those further along in their careers can help combat “imposter syndrome” and improve your self-confidence. I’ll also give you my tried and tested cold email format. …


  5. Highland Statistics or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Stats

    In this post, I’m going to discuss the statistics course I recently attended and my personal history with statistics and mathematics, as I think this is an area where many junior scientists, especially women, feel insecure. The course was with Highland Statistics: Introduction to mixed modelling and GLMM (frequentist & Bayesian approaches). It just so happened to be in Trondheim Norway. A week of statistics and gorgeous scenery, what could be better? …


  6. So You've Started a PhD in a Computational Science: Useful Tools & Resources

    To celebrate starting the second year of my PhD (holy #%@!), I’ve created list of resources and tools I’ve been using for Python, version control, managing literature, this website, etc. I hope it’s useful for anyone starting a computational science project and if you’re embarking on a PhD, best of luck; it’s a cake walk. …


  7. Tools for Learning Python: End of the Summer of Data Science 2017 and Back to School

    Ahh back to school. The time when I used to fawn over Lisa Frank school supplies. Now, I watch as undergrads, so hopeful, with so few gray hairs, once again clomp through my building. …


  8. Aldulting 101: I Made Buisness Cards!

    Please let me interrupt your regularly-scheduled science programming to talk for a moment about business cards. …


  9. You Can Observe a Lot by Just Watching: Agent-Based Modelling and Yogi Berra

    Ahh modelling, providing the computational power to solve real-world problems. Agent-based modelling in particular, is useful for untangling the ephemeral, contradictory, unexplainable phenomena in the physical and social world. The only limit is your imagination. And programming skill, but that’s another matter. …


  10. Summer of Data Science June Update: A Greek Tragedy

    In my last blog post, I discussed my goals for the Summer of Data Science (#SoDS17). I had grand plans to start investigating machine learning because I’m hoping to build a model from scratch using video of fish behavior this winter. Unfortunately, instead of emerging as a deep learning prodigy, I now know your pain, Icarus. …