Show me the data!


May 26th, 2011 | Posted by rmounce in Conferences | phdchat | Travel - (Comments Off on #RoadWarrior)

I’ve been travelling rather a LOT in the last 6 weeks or so; Rhossili Bay, London, Edinburgh, Leicester, Barcelona, Cambridge. It’s so nice to be back in Bath for a bit again.

While the memories are still fresh I thought I’d write a short summary of what I’ve been doing -> so much to update on my CV!


April 16 – 21 in Rhossili Bay helping my supervisor (Matthew Wills) teach undergrads about ecology, experimental design and real fieldwork. The weather was absolutely “lush” as they say in Wales. The students were well-behaved and did some excellent projects while they were there – staying up til past 3am in some instances on the last night to finish off their presentations!

The only downside was the lack of mobile phone signal. It’s stressful to be without internet for so long!


The very next week (April 26 – 28) I flew up to Edinburgh for a PaleoDB short course. Congratulations are sincerely owed to the organisers, especially Al McGowan, for taking the time to arrange such a beneficial event. PaleoDB is an *excellent* free-to-use resource but I do wish it was more Open. I made no hesitation in pointing this out during discussions. I have since applied to become a contributing member of the database (application pending).


After Edinburgh, there was the small matter of a conference to attend
Progressive Palaeontology 2011 was ably hosted at Leicester University. I gave a well-received talk on my research, sneaking-in some data sharing advocacy at the end:

Best of all, one of my labmates Anne O’Connor won the Best Poster prize – w00t!


Next-up: a well deserved holiday in Barcelona sunshine. Beautiful beaches, bountiful cerveza, and amazing architecture. Lovely!

Inside the Sagrada Família

Inside the Sagrada Família


No rest for the wicked… on the 19th and 20th I attended a short course at EBI-Hinxton entitled ‘Linking Open Data in Biology using Ontologies and Literature Mining‘. Had a superlative 3 course dinner in St Catherine’s college (Cambridge University) on the Thursday night, and a further meal in The Eagle the next night.

You might reasonably ask – why is a palaeontologist interested in ontologies and text mining? Well, it’s simple really – this field is crying-out for these techniques to be applied, and I hope I’ll be one of the one’s there first to utilize these powerful techniques on palaeontological data. The pickings could be rich, if only we had Open linked knowledge infrastructure in place… I shall no doubt blog more in future on this topic.


Finally, tomorrow today I’ll be going to a London BioGeeks event. Really looking forward to finally meeting Mark Hahnel face to face for the first time. I really think his FigShare initiative is an excellent idea. I’ve supported it myself by adding a few bits of test data. Will no doubt add more in the future…

    Future Travel

Needless to say, all this travelling has completely wiped-out my £200 BBSRC Travel Grant. Have applied for more grants to fund my trips to Belfast, Berlin, Brazil and Las Vegas later-on this year!

*fingers crossed* – for richer or poorer, it’s going to be an exciting year!

What is Palaeophylophenomics?

May 23rd, 2011 | Posted by rmounce in Phylogenetics - (Comments Off on What is Palaeophylophenomics?)

[Back when this blog was first started, it was hosted on (now defunct), and it was called Palaeophylophenomics]

1.) It’s a formerly was a Googlewhackblatt

2.) It’s a Portmantaeu word combining my principle research interests, namely: Palaeontology (UK spelling!), Phylogenetics, and Phenomics sensu O’Leary and Kaufman (2011).

3.) Basically a convenient, informative unique identifier for this new blog.

Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments…

O’Leary, M. A. & Kaufman, S. MorphoBank: phylophenomics in the ”cloud”. Cladistics (2011). URL

First Post

May 23rd, 2011 | Posted by rmounce in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

I need a space to layout my thoughts in a longer form than Twitter or Facebook.

So I thought: “hey, why not start a blog?” -> TA-DA!

*Posts will be infrequent and sporadic both in tempo and topic ;)

Many thanks to for the quick hands-on WordPress tutorial, and Mark Hahnel for suggesting I blog here.