Author Archives: Joan E. Strassmann

About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis

Battling snakes on the Ghost River

    I back-stroked my cheap orange kayak up to the bridge and away from the beached kayakers, including my own family. A quick scan of the bridge under surface revealed cliff swallow nests, vines, and a few lovely wasp … Continue reading

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Leaving Memphis

  A mockingbird sang an eight-part song with no repeats, ceasing only at the insistent squeal of a fledgling. Now they are silent. Besides the basil and rosemary in the garden, my daughter has a fig tree and a crape … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Music, Fiction, Moving to a new city | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Anything you say will be held against you

Anything you say will be held against you. No, you are not among friends. We do not like you. Anything you say will be held against you. What part of that do you not understand? No, you do not fit … Continue reading

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The bird sounds of Houston

Open your Houston windows to the soft, hot humidity early in the morning and listen. You may hear tires on asphalt of the West Loop, but you will also hear the birds. Just five species fill much of the sound … Continue reading

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Best place to stay in San Antonio

Across the street from our colorful casita a lonesome voice sang a corrido, strumming a slow guitar accompaniment. I could not tell if the song came from the balcony or the porch, obscured by bushes. The next night the sad … Continue reading

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Famous biologist Rich Kessin writes a novel with the best feminist twist I’ve read

Rich Kessin could almost be called a Houstonian since he loves the city and spends several periods a year with us. When he isn’t being a famous Columbia professor and mentor to the entire social amoeba community, it turns out … Continue reading

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Don’t kill the ants in the lounge!

Leave some sugar out and there will be ants. Sugar ants, tramp ants, crazy ants, fire ants, you name it, we do not live in sterile environments and ants find food. If you bring in a plant, you may well … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Insects, Rice University | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment