The Third Quarter: Checking In

Me, in the field having a successful bee-catching day.

If I thought the second quarter of this year went fast, quarter three has gone even faster. I’m writing this a tad early – I’m currently (as of this post) in Cuba, so I had to write this post in advance since my internet access is spotty depending on my day’s activities.

The big thing I want to emphasize about this last quarter: I passed my candidacy! Indeed, I am now a PhD candidate – and coming off the back of a pretty successful field season, this feels especially good. I am excited to get the chance to settle down and work on my own thesis specimen this fall.

I met 3 of 4 goals (as expected!) for last quarter – Candidacy Boss Battle, Part 2; The Pallid Bee; and at least started Carpenter Contemplation (an ongoing meditation on America’s hardest-working bees). What’s on the docket for July-September?

  1. Carpenter Contemplation, part 2 – Returning to New York to see how my nest boxes are doing and potentially gather some genetic and cognitive data!
  2. Colliding Conferences – Conferences here, conferences there, oh my! I’m currently organizing two conferences – the Evolution in Philadelphia Conference and also, hopefully, the NE regions Social Insect conference.
  3. Termite Trials – To increase the sample size of one of our soon-to-be-papers, we need to run a few more termites through our histology mill. Sit tight…
  4. Pest Mess (please!) – This is the one I just can’t seem knock off my to-do list – third time’s the charm? Hopefully, the Tetramorium will be plentiful outside upon my return from Cuba and ripe for experimental tests!

I’ll admit that my to-do list has really gotten to be extensive – I am hoping after my field season is over I might have the chance to calm down a bit. Here’s to a happy, and productive, summer!

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