- I submitted a paper! It hasn't been rejected yet! Stay tuned :)
- I'm working on heaps of other papers. Maybe not heaps, only four. That's enough for me at the moment.
- I lied about being done in the lab- I've actually been taking squillions - er, 1200 and counting - of charming invertebrate photographs. If you don't like spiders, or even worse, are creeped out by invertebrates generally, you've been warned not to look at the photos below!
- The centenary conference of the Ecological Society of America in Baltimore in August went swimmingly. I met a lot of really cool people, and was quite excited to be part of something so big. Did I mention the BronyCon that overlapped the first day...? No? That was pretty amazing, too.
- The School of BEES Postgraduate Research Forum just happened last week. It's a 3-day long conference-style event where all the postgrad students give talks about their research. I won the best ecology talk this year, after being runner-up two years in a row! I also won the bake-off for the third year in a row (it's nice to have a back-up plan, right?).
- The Ecological Society of Australia conference in Adelaide is coming up! I'm excited- it's a good time in my degree to start rubbing elbows with people, and I have so much more confidence than when I was in the massive ESA Baltimore conference. Bonus- I've never been to Adelaide before, so it will be nice to explore someplace new to me!
- I was interviewed for a TV program called The Feed! It was about someone teaching people how to forage for food and medicinal plants in urban settings. My role was to tell people about plants like Ricinus communis (castor oil trees, bearers of the extremely lethal compound ricin of Breaking Bad / Bulgarian informant umbrella assassination fame) that will kill you if you mess around with them without a solid idea of plant ID. That was fun, but speaking for television is pretty nerve-wracking! You can watch it here.
- I took part in the UNSW & Australian Museum project, 'Wild Researchers'. A famous photographer, Tamara Dean, worked with a handful of scientists from UNSW to capture us doing our thing 'in the wild'. I appear to be being consumed by a plant, which is an entirely accurate representation of my PhD thus far. You can check it out here! I was even interviewed at the opening. A few of my more eloquent statements can be found here.
- I worked with my supervisor for the L'Oreal Girls in Science day here at UNSW. It was nice, but intense- we interacted with about 120 female high school students. Our display was testing plants for the presence of hydrogen cyanide gas (yes, the highly toxic cyanide) in their tissues. I think a lot of the young ladies were impressed that things like clover, almonds, and passionfruit have been sitting there looking quite innocent, but in actual fact are quite nasty!
- I'm speaking to some high school students at Matraville High School this Friday. I have the private goal of convincing at least 5 students that plants are awesome.
I hope people out there read this... and I hope that it's a little bit of sneak peak of the life and times of a PhD student!
Until next time!