Invasion biology of Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana)

Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a highly problematic invasive tree in eastern North America. Understanding the ecology of Callery pear invasion has been a goal in the McEwan Lab for the past several years. Here we want to provide a synopsis of some of this work.

Here is an overview article we published on this species:

How to avoid Glitchy Computer Meltdowns when giving a professional presentation.

Dr. Ryan McEwan

Giving a presentation in front of a group of people is a normal part of professional life.  These presentations are nearly always accompanied by slides and projected on to a screen.  As you grow as a professional you want to make sure that you don’t have a computer glitch meltdown right before your talk is supposed to start.  “Uhhh sorry, the slides are messed up” is not something you want to be saying.  Strategizing against these fails is a part of professional development.  Here are some ideas on how to avoid this unfortunate situation.

Work from correct assumptions:

1. You cannot assume that the projector/podium computer will have a cable to connect to your own laptop.  “Every podium has an HDMI cable right?” – -> WRONG!  You must plan for the eventuality that you will need to transfer the talk from your computer onto the podium computer.

2. You cannot assume you will have access to a reliable network (eg, wifi).  You probably will, but it is not guaranteed.  It also means that you cannot rely on “emailing yourself the file” or pulling it off of a your drive over a network.  There might not be a network, or you might have one that is unreliable and start to meltdown if you try to pull in a large file. 

3. You must assume that the projector/podium computer is running Windows, and potentially an older version.   

Tips for resiliency against computer freakout:

1. Develop your talk on Powerpoint, or at least download it into Powerpoint after it is developed (for eg, on Google Slides).  Powerpoint is still the standard platform for presentations and does not require a network, or Chrome, to run properly.

2. Make your Powerpoint file as simple as possible.  I personally do not use animations (you can use “insert duplicate slides” to accomplish much the same thing and it’s a lot more stable), and I do not embed videos.  I also try to use “snips” instead of importing images in some cases to try and make the file size smaller.  If you really want videos and snazzy animations, you really need to focus on the following tips to make sure it is going to actually work on the computer you have to present from!   

3. Download the talk to the computer and run it from there.  I download from a network or a flash drive onto the podium computer desktop and have it saved there.  Then open it from the desktop and give the talk.  This is much more stable than if you run the talk from a network (eg, via Google Slides), or a flash drive.

4. Work with your host ahead of time to have the talk already loaded.  Send the talk to the host using a drive link or otherwise transfer it.  Ask them to please download it onto the computer desktop prior to the talk. If the talk is waiting there on the desktop of the computer you are presenting from, then you are safe.

5. Show up to the room/podium 30 minutes ahead of time and load the talk onto the desktop and then run through the slides projected on the screen to be sure that everything is “ok.”

6. Always have your talk on a “flash drive.”  Although old technology, flash drives are extremely reliable.  I actually bring my talk on 2 flash drives every time I give an invited talk, even if I have a good idea that I can use my laptop or access a network.

7. Consider a PDF format.  In Powerpoint or Google slides you can save (or print) your slides to PDF and then run the presentation from an Adobe platform using “full screen mode.”  This eliminates any slide formatting issues and creates an extremely robust version and practically all computers have at least Adobe reader.