The awkward ‘first blogpost’ blogpost

Hi, I’m Dave, an MRes ecology student researching Pyrosome bioluminescence (I’ll describe what the heck they actually are another time).

I’ve been telling myself for a while now that when I start a PhD I’d start writing a blog. Scientists have gained a serious reputation for being piss-poor communicators, and that’s definitely not a trap I’d like to fall into, and so regularly writing for the public seems a good way to try and practise communicating research. Plus by the nature of the PhD you develop a kind of academic tunnel-vision, spending three years looking into a single issue; forcing yourself to synthesise new research in other areas sounds like a great idea.

Anyways, long story short I keep having quite a bit of downtime whilst running PCR (genetics magic), so decided I’d start early, whilst on my Masters Degree. So here it is!

I’m aiming to post every week or so; occasionally about my own research, otherwise about something ecological/biological/environmental/conservation based, depending on whats new and interesting.

Hopefully this will all go well and we’ll all learn a thing or two. Or it’ll be yet another person’s failed resolution. Whatever.


Tally ho!


About hammerheadbat

A conservation biology PhD, I spend my days studying tropical deforestation, bats, and wider ecological questions.
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2 Responses to The awkward ‘first blogpost’ blogpost

  1. dinoverm says:

    These are pretty much the exact reasons why I started blogging, too.

    I’m actually finding it really useful to blog summaries of papers that I’ve read. First, it lets me bridge the transition between “work time” and “free time,” which let’s me eek out a bit more productivity each day. I know I should be reading, but its hard to make myself do it if I’ve already worked 8 or more hours on my research. But when I tell myself its for the blog, I’m suddenly ready to dive into a review of GLMMs at 8:00pm. MAGIC.

    I’ve heard people say that you don’t really know something until you can teach it. As someone who has tutored for years and recently TA-ed, that has always resonated with me. But still, blogging about papers is surprisingly helpful! I’m finding that if I just read a paper, I feel like I have a decent understanding of what it was about. Then I go to write about it, and I realize that I’ve missed some details, or I’ve already forgotten things that I read. Blogging is helping to glue the paper into my brain. It’s more time consuming to spend the time summarizing the paper, but hey, its just using up my “free time,” right? 🙂

    Looking forward to see what you blog about in the future!

    • goldenmole says:

      Its something I miss quite a bit from being an undergrad-having to look critically at a paper and understand it well enough to truly describe it, so I’m hoping that this will help to get me doing that again. It’s slightly nerve-racking actually thinking that my writing will be online for everyone to see though! Admittedly that’s true of any published scientific papers, but that somehow feels a lot more sheltered in comparison. Hopefully this will become pleasantly mundane in that sense.
      That and it also means I can discover things through other writers such as yourself, which can only be a good thing 🙂 here’s looking forward to some feedback!

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