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

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

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The heartbeat of nature

It may not seem like much, but that strip of forest behind my childhood home made me a biologist, a lover of nature, a seeker of the unexpected. I thought about it as the airplane made a wide loop into … Continue reading

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The loneliness of Facebook

You may scarcely know your Friends that post most often. They have cooked something new, have cute puppies, or have children with prizes. They might have taken a quiz that reveals what trivia they know or what experiences they have … Continue reading

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Away with decorative pillows!

Sleep is one of life’s great pleasures. It helps us process complexity. It renews, refreshes, and makes us fit for companionship, human and otherwise. It is snuggly, even sexy. In the winter it is warm and cozy. In the summer … Continue reading

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