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”

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”

Five academic behaviors I try to unlearn

This week I have been quite busy in the academic writing landscape, having worked on a series of collaborations in various stages of writing. One was an old collaboration that is now pretty much ready to submit (final polishing editing). Another one was a last-author manuscript that was led by a PhD student that IContinue reading “Five academic behaviors I try to unlearn”

Great!

The most important thing about work is – of course – the fact that you can take holiday. There, I said it. You can’t enjoy the highs without the lows. You get the analogy. It’s not that I don’t like my job. I love what I do. It’s just that I also really love holiday.Continue reading “Great!”

The stars aligned

The first day after an extended leave always is going to be a tough day. Ideally you catch up with all of the team members, and talk through everyone’s individual projects and what happened during the absence. Although all members of my team know their stuff, and know it well, the PhDs I currently superviseContinue reading “The stars aligned”

Up next: holiday

After a good month of seeing beautiful places, and spending time with the family, you’d think I’d be all relaxed. Quite the contrary. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few weeks, it’s that raising and entertaining two kids all day, every day, is bloody exhausting. You’d hope to come back rested, butContinue reading “Up next: holiday”

It would make great television

Tomorrow morning I will pick up a colleague, and together we’ll drive to Leipzig to attend the annual meeting of the German DFG chemodiversity consortium. I’m really looking forward to it. In fact, I was looking forward to this meeting so much that I shifted my parental leave plans to two weeks later than originallyContinue reading “It would make great television”

Story. Story. Story?

When you’re writing a scientific paper, what’s on your mind? What are you thinking of? What are the aims? I find myself in a shift of attitude when it comes to writing. When I wrote my first paper(s), I had no clue what I was doing. I was summarizing everything I did, and not necessarilyContinue reading “Story. Story. Story?”

Hard work

It was a long day today. We made great progress on the harvest of our light pollution experiment. All aboveground biomass is now harvested, and scans of leaves were made for specific leaf area measurements. We got about two-thirds through the root washing for the belowground harvest. It was a tough day, but all inContinue reading “Hard work”