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

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

Posted in Art and Music, Fiction, Literature | Leave a comment

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

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

Posted in Environment, Natural areas | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Social life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in bed and breakfast, Travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

No, I won’t eat an egg-white omelet

One of the recommendations from the Wash U Record, endorsed eating egg whites and cheese to reduce stress. Really? Throw out the best part of the egg, the richest, most delicious, most nutritious aromatic yolk meant to be all the … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Recipes

You should write a blog

Three years ago today I began my first blog, Goodbye Houston. I had a colleague from the library get me started. I used a program to get the blog entries uploaded called Ecto or something. It is no longer supported, … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Houston | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is this what happens to pie at your house?

We always do three pies, pecan, apple, and pumpkin. OK, sometimes we skip the pumpkin.  We made the pumpkin pie out of one of the butternut squashes from our garden, so it was delicious. The apples for the apple pie … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Holidays, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Have you started roasting your own coffee yet?

A few years ago I stopped in at a colleague’s office after visiting another friend across the hall. It was still morning, so I accepted the offer of a cup of coffee. Oleg made it with some ceremony in a … Continue reading

Posted in Recipes, Rice University | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rank and status

Many think about it all the time, feel worried or aggrieved when we should just be out hiking in this glorious fall weather. Maybe for Halloween we just need to be up front and all wear costumes of the correct … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, University | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment