What have I been up to over the past few weeks?

  • The manuscript is still the main focus of my workdays. I got to the fun part of re-writing Introduction, the point where all the “meat” is already there and it’s time to add some juicy nuance to it. The Methods and Results are pretty much there too and I’ve also done a fair bit of the “tedious” work - adding and checking references, re-capping cited papers, tweaking figures and tables. This will now be handed over to my supervisor for comments while I move onto writing the discussion.

  • I wrote a tutorial on linear mixed models and ran it as a workshop.

  • I gave a talk to the Wild Evolution Group. I decided than instead of giving a “proper talk” I’d try to get some feedback on my figures and tables for the manuscript. I don’t have a lab group of my own, so it’s nice to be able to show some of the work in progress to others and chat about the ideas. They seemed to think that the figures were fine too, so fingers crossed reviewers agree once it’s submitted!

  • I also attended a symposium organised by the EdEN group, which brings together ecologists from different departments, institutes and universities in Edinburgh. It was great! I was asked to give a talk, but had to turn the invitation down as I was supposed to be on a stats course that week (which then fell through).

  • I have done more demonstrating on the Behavioural Ecology course. The last sessions focused on scientific writing. We are having students move away from certain things they might have been taught before, such as stating null and directional hypotheses (the null hypothesis is that A does not affect B… the directional hypothesis is that A affects B…) or focusing on their stats too much (the t-test shows A is statistically significantly different from B with p-value smaller than 0.05). We also had them assess and re-write poorly written paragraphs, develop essay plans and work on stepping back and figuring out how to put questions in context. Hopefully it will come in handy in their exam essays!

The last few weeks have been rather intense and I ended up catching a bug that has been going around, fever included. That wasn’t much fun, but I think I’m on the mend now. Onwards and upwards!