Hi, I’m Matt! I’m a graduate student in the Osburn Isotope Geobiology Lab within the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University. I study the microbial ecology of caves through the use of bioinformatics, stable isotope geochemistry, and organic geochemistry.
I have always been a HUGE map nerd. One of the best, geekiest Christmas gifts I was given as a kid was the latest Collegiate Atlas of the World from National Geographic, which I still have sitting on my bookshelf and occasionally flip through.
Today I describe how to color the terminal ends of a dendrogram based on some metadata variable you want to define. If you would just like to see the code, click here.
What do caves, microbes, and bat poop have in common? Guns. I promise this isn’t the setup to a bad “So a microbe walks into a cave…” joke. Not only is Mammoth Cave the largest cave system on Earth, it has also long been a productive source of saltpeter, a major component of gunpowder.