Thursday, April 17, 2014

An interesting infographic on the fate of Biology PhD students. I suppose I am in for ? number of years in a post doc and very little chance of a faculty job.  Lots to look forward to!  Well, actually, as long as I get a job, I'll be happy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ocean Heroine

(No, the title of this blog is not a reference to a new found opiate from the seas, in case you were confused.)

I know I have been neglecting my blog these days, a fact made more tragic because I haven't informed the world that I MET SILVIA EARLE! She is a personal hero, an ocean advocate, an adventuress and a scholar.  Dr. Earle was here in Hawaii to participate as a judge at our annual Tester Symposium where students can present their current research.  I was privileged to have dinner with her and fellow grad students on the first night of the symposium. She gave an excellent talk encouraging everyone to remember to harness our childlike curiosity about the world.  It's true that was why I originally got into science.  I remember being excited to learn about strange esoteric creatures and the journey of their evolution or the mechanisms that make the digestion of pitcher plants work or how discus fish feed their babies with the mucus on their skin.  All aspects of science and the planet and the universe are fascinating, but sometimes I forget that when I am bogged down in one particular vein of my research.  Dr. Earle is certainly inspirational and I am so grateful to have met her.

If that weren't enough of a treat, I also presented at the symposium and won an award! I talked to everyone about octopus mating behavior, showed a couple of kinky videos, and presented some results (albeit statistically boring results). Silvia Earle even asked me a question! I was pretty thrilled.  You may notice a small pink box in my hand. This was a "special" award they gave only to me of pink fuzzy handcuffs! Glad to know my research brings out a sense of humor in our group of scientists. All in all it was a lovely experience and a nice break from writing. Things have been rough these days in the dissertation write up.  I realized however that the PhD process seems more an exercise in perseverance than intelligence. And I will persevere-- I do have Finnish blood in me, after all--SISU!