I enjoyed looking through the talks on the JRNLclub website, even though their biomedical focus means that there is not much scientific overlap between their posted talks and my physics research. It’s fun to learn about research happening in other disciplines! For this post, I chose to focus on Michael Gomez’s talk, “Supply chain diversity buffers cities against food shocks.” Dr. Gomez is a postdoctoral research scholar at Penn State, in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The title succinctly sums up the results of his paper, but I did not at first have the background to understand. He made his talk accessible to a wider audience by parsing the title. For a city’s supply chain to be diverse, goods must come in from a variety of different sources. A food shock is when a city experiences a sudden decrease in the incoming food supply. This is more likely to occur if all of the food is coming from the same source. In that case, all it takes for a food shock is a delay at one place in the supply chain. Studying data from annual food inflow observations from all metropolitan areas in the USA during the years 2012 to 2015, Dr. Gomez concludes that diverse supply chains guard against food shocks. While his analysis is quite different from my antihydrogen research this summer, it was fun to see commonalities between our data presentation- we both made histograms!