Dr. Ryan McMinds

rmcminds: biologist, data scientist, wheel inventor

I biologize, philosophize, and computize. I’ve always been drawn to the more theoretical aspects of evolutionary biology, which has led to some real rabbit-holes in statistics and modeling. From my point of view, I’m bad at math and hate being inside all the time, so I’m always looking for excuses to observe nature directly. And ultimately, that’s what I actually care about: experiencing and conserving the natural wonders of our world.

I’m a research assistant professor in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida. I’m affiliated with the Genomics Program Computational Core in the Center for Global Health and Inter-Disciplinary Research (GHIDR), and the Department of Integrative Biology in the College of Arts & Sciences. I received my Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Biology at the Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) at the University of Miami, and my PhD in Microbiology from Oregon State University under the supervision of Dr. Rebecca Vega Thurber.

I’ve created both this site and The Cnidae Gritty partly because I couldn’t decide which pun I preferred, and partly because they are intended to have different purposes. I plan to keep this site entirely to myself, while The Cnidae Gritty will hopefully have a lot of blog posts by other collaborators, such as students of mine. I also plan to focus more on personal projects here, like unfinished Shiny apps, and blogs with personal updates and personal opinions that are a bit less filtered than the educationally-focused pages and posts over at The Cnidae Gritty.

I’m not super experienced with web development, but have had some success ‘making things happen’, like the iNatle Shiny app over at The Cnidae Gritty, the Javascript for the little bit of fun with the site title (refresh a few times… :) ) and for some of the widgets on the homepage, and the Python and GitHub Actions workflow for updating my reading lists daily by scraping data from bookwyrm.social. You can check out their code at the GitHub repo, although some of it is a bit buried at the moment. Feel free to send me a message if you’re curious how to do something similar!

For a little more about this site’s title, check out the inaugural blog post.

And for more about my personal viewpoints, check out my Personal Philosophy blog category.