Gratitude

Since 2021, ‘my’ team has taken a bit more shape. Last year around this time, the team consisted of one PhD and one technician, and a part-time student helper. I was pretty happy with it, obviously, but as there was only one PhD researcher, there was little room for fostering collaborations, and side projects. However, all team members got along well, and worked efficiently together. I thought it was a great start already. What else could I wish for.

This year, my team has expanded a little. Unfortunately my student helper (who was awesome and helped me out in three or four different experiments) moved to the other side of the country, to start her dream Masters program. At the same time, however, I was also joined by three new PhD researchers, so that I’m now supervising two that work on a barley model system, and two that work on a tansy model system. This is great, because that division means there’s room for collaborations. And we’ve seen some of the first collaborative work within the team already during summer in a huge barley experiment, but also more recently – over the past two months – in two tansy experiments. Watching this happen, more or less from the sideline, is an amazing thing. It seems that there’s good synergy going on within the team, and I really couldn’t wish for anything more than that.

As the end of the year is coming up, I wanted to thank my team for their hard work. To do so, I promised I would include a cake, made by me. I immediately regretted the promise, but I’m a man of my word. So this evening I have been trying my best to create something. I seriously couldn’t remember the last time I made a cake. I’m a good cook, but I really rarely bake. I’ll admit, this evening I shared the work equally with Heike, my wife. As young parents you have to grab every opportunity to do things together when kids are asleep. Tonight’s cake was just quality time for us. I hope it worked out. The individual components tasted good, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow, when I cut the assembled version…

Whatever happens with that cake, my dear friends, just know that I appreciate you! I’m grateful for having you around, and for being a small part of your life stories too! I hope we can continue this positive trend we have started in the next year.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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