Wednesday, August 28, 2013

sometimes like Bilbo Baggin's “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Phew.  Sometimes things can be a bit hectic.   
The academic life is not always a slow or stationary one.

This has been the year of travel.  After a cross country (re- CA to MA) move my postdoc started with getting stranded due to a storm for an extra week at the 2012 bat meeting which was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico- and I am not sure if I've fully 'settled in since then.

It has been in many regards amazing - lots of great field adventures and meetings - such as the 2013 bat meetings in San Jose, Costa Rica earlier this month *the best attended bat meetings yet.* Very cool.  However, with a trip to yet another very exciting meeting hanging over my head it's been hard to settle back in.  Home for two weeks and some quick histology work, talk preparation and grocery shopping does not bode well for fully settling in.  So just as a paper of mine was recently published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology I find myself keeping up with travel-delayed tasks and hopeful that a transatlantic flight will allow me to get those next few papers off!  The skills to travel well -and by that I mean in a manner that bodes well for being productive- I am hoping to improve! 

Perhaps for these reasons today's post is not really about much at all.  In fact today- no bats, no science just a quote or two, some ramblings and a song that I find incredibly pretty. 

Here's to a pending fall, trips near or far and to savoring both the wandering boot heels of the vagabonding postdoc life as well as accepting one's inner hobbit.  

As Bilbo Baggins said it best;
 “...I have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, and uncomfortable things.” 
“I wish I was at home in my nice hole by the fire, with the kettle just beginning to sing!” 
(J.R.R. Tolkien)

Enjoy this pretty song from Tegan and Sara the amazing songstress sisters from northern North America- Calgary, Canada. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bat meeting 2013

There are many scientific conferences but I have to say that the International Bat Research Conference just might be the most stimulating, fun, and collaborative one I've had the pleasure to attend.  This year the meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica was absolutely amazing including researchers from near and far.  The next time this group gathers it will be in South Africa which is quite exciting!

Highlights from this year's IBRC meeting:
>a symposium dedicated to Elisabeth Kalko and Bjorn Siemers,
>a Behavioral Ecology symposium with fascinating work by people like Gerald Carter who studies food sharing in vampire bats (LOTS of other great talks that I hope to write about later),
>a wonderful symposium on the evolution of bats
>amazing plenary talks every day by people such as Rodrigo Medellin, Gary McCracken, and Dan Jansen
>posters from all over the world
>local food and coffee

>and even finishing with salsa dancing

I have lots of great ideas about things to share here on this blog- so stay tuned!