My name is Yonatan Munk, and I’m a PhD student at Berkeley studying the biomechanics of gliding in wingless neotropical worker ants. I started this blog in order to communicate with grade school students interested in learning about scientific field work, but I’m awfully prone to digression and distraction so I imagine it’ll probably spiral into other areas eventually. If you have questions about ants, or rainforests, or gliding, or just my top five favorite colors, please feel free to contact me and I’ll try and see if I can’t answer them here.

I’m currently (ca. 2010) working down in Panama on Barro Colorado Island, which is an island in the middle of the man-made Lake Gatun, set aside specifically for scientific research. Isla Barro Colorado was once a mountain top, but when what is now Lake Gatun was flooded in order to create the Panama Canal, it became an island. It officially became a nature preserve in 1923, and in 1946 it came under the administration of the Smithsonian Institute, who perform that role to this day. You can see satellite images of the island on Google Maps, which just kind of looks like a bunch of trees with a few buildings in the northwest corner:

This map shows the trails and contours of the island:

About the title of this blog

What? It’s totally plausible.