Escape the heat

My office was probably 35 degrees centigrade today. Damn, it was warm! Out of nowhere, we suddenly moved away from winter, skipped spring, and went straight into high summer. Our department corridors are basically the top floor of a glass roofed and poorly ventilated building. This means I work in a sauna – I likeContinue reading “Escape the heat”

The joys of summer

The weather has been amazing this week. Summer has arrived in Bavaria – finally, after nine months of dull grey fog. Because of this exceptional weather, a couple of colleagues suggested to go for dinner together in a local Biergarten. The last time I did something with a larger group of colleagues was in theContinue reading “The joys of summer”

What to do about the weirdos?

Yeah, yeah. I can hear you think: finally this weirdo is going to do something about it. Nope. Not today. Besides, I’m by far not weird enough. There are people much much worse. I’m talking more about those readers that come to read my posts, apparently enjoy them, then share them on some social mediaContinue reading “What to do about the weirdos?”

Learning how to juggle

I wasn’t ready. Not even close. When I applied for my current job as a research associate in ecology about three years ago now, I just sent letters to the four or five European positions that were available at the time, and were a good fit for my cv. Surprisingly to me at the time,Continue reading “Learning how to juggle”

When the green multiplies

Roughly eight months per year, I’m just waiting. It’s dark outside, so it’s even darker inside. I’m waiting for the first rays of spring sunlight, for the days to become longer, for my plants to enter beast mode. Spring is the time of growth, and those four precious months where something finally happens are amazing.Continue reading “When the green multiplies”

No more excuses

Writing a book is something that has always ranked pretty high on my lifetime achievement list. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I was so proud when I published my PhD dissertation. (Or maybe it was because it’s a great achievement on many other levels.) No matter how awesome it felt, (perhaps obviously)Continue reading “No more excuses”

Alarming insect declines

Over the course of the past five years, many scientific papers have been written about insect declines – some simply reporting patterns in observational data, while others have adopted rigorous monitoring combined with measurements of potential factors contributing to shifts in insect diversity and abundance. There are debates ongoing between entomologists and conservationists as toContinue reading “Alarming insect declines”

Plant talk

I just finished a 3.5 hour drive this evening, to the university town of Jena, where we are currently running a tansy chemodiversity field experiment alongside the bigger, older, boringly named, yet much better-known ‘Jena Experiment’. Briefly I considered spending the night in Lederhose, just so I could tell people I slept in Lederhose. AsContinue reading “Plant talk”