I have decided to split up my blogging even further and decided to create a blog just to follow my academic pursuits. I have started a journey that will hopefully take me to a PhD. and beyond. And I will most likely be working with the same or a similar project that I am currently engaged in. As a warning this blog will not be for everyone. It will be very heavy on the science and theory. I am not doing this to teach anyone how to do this. I just want to share my academic trials and tribulations. If you want a watered down version just stick with my fluff blog.
But first let's rewind a little to see how I got to this point. In 1997, I finished a BSc. in Biology from the University of South Carolina Upstate, did a bunch of field work and haven't done anything with my degree since. As a matter of fact, I went about as far from biology as you can get. I have worked in the music business, published a magazine, managed an independent bookstore, was a freelance journalist, and did promotional field marketing for several large companies. Then I moved to Denmark and started a family. Jobs in my field of expertise are hard to come by if you don't speak Danish so I decided to go back to my roots. This past February (2009), I enrolled in the MSc. Biology program at Copenhagen University.
I didn't know what I wanted to do in biology and my class choices were limited to those that were offered in English. I thought that working in Biomedicine could be interesting so I took a physiology course. OMG that course kicked my ass and I barely passed. However, I didn't know what else I wanted to do, so I stuck with it and took an experimental physiology and cell biology course next. It was hard but fun and I learned so much. But at the end of the course I knew this was not the place for me. Over the summer I decided to cut my losses and go back to my roots. The Ecology and Evolution section looked really interesting and I thought, maybe this is where I belong.
I am just finishing a course called Evolutionary Ecology and it has been amazing. I know this is exactly the section of biology I should have been in all along. Now it was time to start looking for an adviser and a project to work on. The University had just hired a new professor in Conservation Biology from Cambridge. He had been working on some projects off and on with KU but now they have him for the next 5 years to build a conservation bio program. Weeeee! Now that is exactly what I have been looking for! I met with the professor, Neil Burgess, and we hit it off. He sent me a proposed project list to look over and see if there was anything there I wanted to do.
I was immediately drawn to a project about reptile mapping in Africa. I wasn't excited because of the reptiles but because I am really interested in species distribution and learning some GIS and mapping skills. One thing led to another and now it seems this will be a project I will be working on for the next few years.
Next post will outline my project and where I am with the research.