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Welcome to The Contemplative Mammoth! If you’re looking for highlights, this is a great place to start. I’ve included both popular and personal favortes, as well as some guest pieces I published elsewhere.


Academia doesn’t have a PhD problem, it has an attitude problem — This post on the need to embrace “alternative” careers in academia is The Contemplative Mammoth’s most popular post of all time.

How to argue with a scientist: A guide — From climate change to vaccines, if you want to win an argument with a scientist, look no further.

So, you want to go to grad school? Nail the inquiry email — I get a lot of email inquiries from prospective graduate students. Most aren’t very good.

How I cured my imposter syndrome — This post has gotten a steady stream of traffic, almost all from search engine inquiries for “imposter syndrome.” You’re not alone!

How can scientists actively engage with the media? — Don’t be reactive when it comes to media engagement. Put in the work now to have positive experiences later.


Pollen and the science of failed plant sex — Allergy season may be a pain, but it’s a boon for paleoecological research!

How fast can trees migrate? — Conservationists would kinda like to know. Can paleoecology help?

The many scales of climate change, Part 1: Tectonic timescales — The first of a series on what controls climate change at different timescales.

The Mammoth Contemplating Elsewhere

Cloning Woolly Mammoths: It’s the Ecology, Stupid! — A guest post at Scientific American

Dominants, alphas, and queens: Happy Mother’s Day! — I wrote this for DoubleXScience in honor of matriarchal animals everywhere.

Forgotten fruits: Or, megafaunal dispersal syndrome and the case of the missing herbivores — A guest post at Scientopia

Where the buffalo roam, wallows will follow — A guest post at Scientopia

Fossils of insect-damaged leaves reveal clues about how plants may respond to future global change — A guest post at Scientopia

The problem with the phrase “Social Darwinism” — A guest post for

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