The Second Quarter: Checking In

Me with my trusty wasp brain! Brain section within this photo credit to the O'Donnell lab and Drexel University.
Me with my trusty wasp brain! Brain section within this photo credit to the O’Donnell lab and Drexel University.

Wow have the past few months flown by – year two of your PhD is no joke! First, I’d like to recognize all the big things I achieved in this last quarter (in no particular order):

  1. Went to ESA EB and presented on wasp brains
  2. Organized a field season to Arizona
  3. Presented a poster and helped my undergraduates make two posters for a conference
  4. Applied for four grants
  5. Finished the termite retina project
  6. Had my first committee meeting #CandidacyBossBattlePart1
  7. Embedded and sliced all the bee/spider brains #BrainDraincomplete
  8. Earned my graduate minor in Undergraduate STEM Education
  9. Was on a podcast! My very first #SuperwomeninScience
  10. Hosted Biotweeps – and had a ton of fun
  11. Brought two new undergraduates into the lab, trained them on the first project, and developed materials for a new mentorship training program that I am implementing

There is a lot to be proud of on this list.

What things didn’t I get to? Well, the blog took a huge backseat (my last Bee Byte is two months ago!) and I did not finish the Pest Mess (one of my big goals in my last goal-setting post) – mostly because all my ants died, before giving them the pesticide… oops.

So what are my goals for quarter two – April through June?

  1. Candidacy Boss Battle, Part 2: Sometime between April and June it’s time for my full-on committee meeting and any revisions to my proposal that may come from this. Bring on the #nerves.
  2. The Pallid Bee: A successful first field season out in Arizona would be a big boon to my thesis. Luckily, I have a great crowd supporting me at University of Arizona – and back home.
  3. Pest Mess (attempt 2?): Shall we try again? Hopefully, in May I’ll have some time to grab fresh Tetramorium and give these last few experiments one more whirl.
  4. Carpenter Contemplation: If Pest Mess doesn’t happen you can bet it will be because of the Carpenter bee project I have sitting in my back pocket, which will require some trips up to NY in May.

Hopefully, I’ll have some time to update this space with exciting news about grants, my field season, and other upcoming trips – as well as more Bee Bytes – ASAP. I’ll be celebrating my plane ride to Arizona with a Bee Byte on my thesis species, Centris pallida, so stay tuned for that – coming April 4!

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