About the Author


Mini is a field scientist who was born in India but lives in the United States.  She writes to capture the stories of science from two perspectives: primary research, and field methods.  She is interested not just in new findings, but also in how scientific research is actualised, particularly in the wild.

She is fascinated by science, wildlife, and the wonderful characters that give up warm showers—and sometimes all showers—to research the two together.  These people are inseparable from their work, and very rarely do published results ever depict the enormity of the task they have themselves undertaken.  In this blog, she tries to make scientific research that is typically obscured behind paywalls and jargon accesible to a broader audience. (All science is communicable; you only have to ask the right people!)

We are a supremely narcissistic species; in return, most of this blog features species that are a) unstudied and b) rarely the subject of common conversation.  Here, the nudibranch—and not the human—is a star.  To those to whom this may seem incomprehensible, Mini echoes the words of Gerald Durrell in Two in the Bush, from 1966:

The attitude of the average person to the world they live in is completely selfish. When [Durrell] take[s] people round to see [his] animals, one of the first questions they ask (unless the animal is cute and appealing) is, “what use is it?” by which they mean, “what use is it to them?” To this one can reply “What use is the Acropolis?” Does a creature have to be of direct material use to mankind in order to exist? By and large, by asking the question “what use is it?” you are asking the animal to justify its existence without having justified your own.

In her “real” life, she, along with her (long-suffering) husband, run a research project to investigate the biology of callitrichids—miniature, cooperatively breeding, odiferous primates—in the Peruvian Amazon.  They (that is to say, the monkeys) have wild hairstyles and even wilder reproductive biology. Mini and her husband are not nearly as interesting.

Drop her a line if you have a study you’d like her to feature.  If you are the author, all the better.  If you have not published your findings yet, contact her anyway—she is as much interested in what you do, as she is in what you finally discover in your work.

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Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


3 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Mini, I admire what you are doing, and public exposure to interesting science is worthwhile. However, you should credit the sources of your photos. I found my photo of a human botfly larva on your botfly blog:
    While it’s flattering that you chose to use it, I also felt a little ripped off that you didn’t credit me with it. It almost looks like you are taking credit yourself, since you referenced other works but not the photos. You are not-for-profit, so using the photo is not a problem. But all photos that are not your own should be appropriately credited.


    1. Dear Ward, I do apologise for this! I am usually very careful to only use those images that are licensed for reuse (based on a google search) or else I contact the image owner for permission. This post was practically my first one, so I might have messed up, or the image’s permissions might be different now than they were before. Sorry about that – I will certainly credit you in the caption! It’s a terrific picture, mine have never grown large enough for one this good – didn’t mean to use this one without permission at all!


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