Phrases from scientific papers that would make excellent band names

Authors: Brianna and Kelsey

Every once in awhile, a phrase comes up in conversation that just rolls off the tongue. “That would make a great band name,” someone says, sarcastically or not. Well, we sometimes do this in other situations – like when reading scientific papers. Because sharing is caring, we bring you phrases from papers that really ought to be band names, divided by category and of course with citations.

Iguana iguana album cover
The first release from our fictional (but totally awesome) punk band Iguana iguana. Image by Kelsey T. Stilson.


Extant Galliform
Hutchinson, J.R. and M. Garcia. Tyrannosaurus was not a fast runner. Letters to Nature 2002.


Spatially Explicit Hypothesis
Waltari, E., Hijmans, R.J., Peterson, A.T., Nyári, Á.S., Perkins, S.L., et al. Locating Pleistocene refugia: comparing phylogeographic and ecological niche model predictions. PLoS ONE 2007.

Volcanoes, Rocks, Footprints, Fossils, Stars
Cleland, C. Historical science, experimental science, and the scientific method. Geology 2001.

Resampling the Dead
Miller, J. Size-biased modern bone accumulations can accurately record whole-community paleoecology. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting 2013.

Kotarba, M.J (Ed.) Polish and Ukrainian Geological studies (2004-2005) at Starunia- The area of discoveries of the woolly rhinoceroses. Państwowy Instytut Geologiczny 2005.


An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles
Possibly apocryphal quote from J.B.S. Haldane, in: G.E. Hutchinson. Homage to Santa Rosalia, or, why are there so many kinds of animals? The American Naturalist 1959.

The Osseous Labyrinth
– or –
Palpebral Conjunctiva
T.M. Oelrich. The anatomy of the head of Ctenosaura pectinata (Iguanidae). Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 1956.

Hybrid Swarm
O. Seehausen. Hybridization and adaptive radiation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 2004.

Bonus category: fieldwork-isms that might also make good band names

Goat Mocha: what you get when you pour chocolate goat’s milk in with your morning field coffee. (Did I mention my undergrad advisor is the best for letting us get chocolate goat’s milk as part of our field rations?)

Cheese Lemmings: what the graduate student thought you said after a really, really long day. You said something about the constellations, but really, who’s counting?

But The Cake Was Delicious: follow-up to any situation that may or may not have led to death. Inspired by our thoughts on almost getting crushed by a garbage truck while driving out to the field to deliver said advisor a birthday cake.

Got your own scientific band name suggestions? Leave them in the comments.

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