Teaching ecology in China

As part of my teaching, I offer so-called ‘projects’ to students that are interested in the work I do. Projects are basically semester-long student projects that can be part of longer-term research, or can be something tailor-made for the students. The idea is that students get to think about a subject, formulate hypotheses or researchContinue reading “Teaching ecology in China”

Sign here

One important aspect of the scientific process is the assessment of the overall quality of manuscripts by fellow experts in the field, a procedure commonly known as peer review. Peer review can in many cases greatly improve the quality of the product. Reviewers can point out potential flaws in thinking, suggest potential analytical improvements, suggestContinue reading “Sign here”

I still get nervous about it

Remember the post I wrote about our little Tansy plants – the ones that I prepared for an upcoming field experiment that will be the core project of the new PhD candidate in our team, Lina. While she’s arranging practical matters for the field work, today I finalized the experimental design for that experiment. TheContinue reading “I still get nervous about it”

Do whatever you like

One of my supervisors during my PhD gave me a strong piece of advice at some point in my final year. It’s been a couple of years, so I’m paraphrasing here. “It doesn’t really matter what you do in a postdoc,” he said, pausing briefly, to then continue “If you really want to stay inContinue reading “Do whatever you like”


Academia is a weird world to be part of. We keep churning out Bachelor and Master students every year, and in every field there are countless that graduate every year. Speaking from my personal experience, my Bachelor and Masters degrees did not really prepare me for any job in particular. I’ve had plenty of workContinue reading “Academiapocalypse”

Finding balance

Yesterday my brain was mush. I couldn’t think straight. It felt as if my brain had no energy or oxygen to do what it was supposed to do. Luckily, today most of my sharpness has returned, which gave me a great sense of relief. It feels pretty scary not to be in control of yourContinue reading “Finding balance”

Why does it have to be difficult?

Increasingly I find myself thinking about some of the academic collaborations that cross my path. Are collaborations always good? I used to think so. When I did my PhD, I collaborated a lot, which established many good relationships and friendships that I know will last for a long time. I loved these collaborations, and asContinue reading “Why does it have to be difficult?”

She’s here!

In September and October me and my boss held interviews for a ‘plant-insect’ PhD position that was available in our group. This was already the second round of advertising and interviewing – I must add – as the first round of advertising earlier last year yielded no suitable candidates. On October 14th, after having hadContinue reading “She’s here!”

Intensity (only good stuff)

What an intense four days I’ve had. I’ve done so many things in the past couple of days, that I could (and perhaps should) sit back and take a holiday. I have worked only four days since my last. It’s about time for another. Too bad I planned a couple of student meetings tomorrow –Continue reading “Intensity (only good stuff)”

A (not so) fresh start

You would think that after ten days of holiday, you would be back at work with a fresh mind, completely revived. Well, think again. The past ten days have been filled with lots of fun and good stuff, and even more stuff to entertain the little one. Don’t get me wrong. I loved all ofContinue reading “A (not so) fresh start”