About this blog: Curious Logic is the work of Jason Maxfield. The purpose of this blog is to examine ideas that interest me and to advocate for good, evidence-based public policy. Some of the topics I enjoy thinking and arguing about include science, philosophy, politics and basketball. I am by no means an expert on everything I write about, but I do my best to get it right. Please call me out if you notice any errors, omissions or if you simply disagree. I really enjoy passionate debate and I am more than happy to ‘get into it’ with folks who disagree with me, but let’s all try to be sincere and respectful, ok?
About me: I’m a Senior Research Assistant in plant physiology in the Rosenstiel Lab, Department of Biology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. I have an MS in biology from PSU and a BA in philosophy and American studies from the College of William & Mary. My current research explores the physiological responses of trees to drought stress, and how those responses impact vulnerability to insect pests. My role in this project is primarily data analysis; I’m working to integrate many data sets, including morphological, biochemical, environmental and spectral data into a statistically sound picture of how these trees are performing. My work is supported by the US Forest Service, Western Wildlands Environmental Threat Assessment Center (WWETAC). My past research has focused on the air quality impacts of volatile emissions (primarily isoprene) from biofuel crops and how these emissions can be reduced, both through agricultural management and genetic modification. I live in NE Portland with my wife, our daughter, two cats and a tortoise. In addition to my research and writing this blog, I am an avid gardener and an enthusiastic amateur musician.