So clearly this blog thing didn't really take. But no time like the present to try again? I'm off tomorrow for Portland for the Evolution Meeting. The last time I was at the Evolution meeting was when it was the super meeting in Ottawa in 2012. That was a crazy time for me, I defended my PhD thesis about 10 days afterwards! It was also the meeting where I presented the culmination of five years of really hard PhD work and was (co-)awarded the Hamilton award for best student talk.
As a postdoc I have been focused really heavily on learning as much cellular, molecular and fungal biology as possible, and so have purposefully attended meetings where I could advance that knowledge. Last fall I was feeling pretty down and isolated and decided that I wanted to go back to Evolution to 'come home'. The Evolution Meetings played a huge role in my graduate experience. The Evolution meeting in Fort Collins Colorado (in 2004!) was my first real science meeting. I completely remember how awed I was that so many people studied evolution. I've volunteered to serve as a peer mentor to two undergraduate students and I'm really looking forward to reliving that experience through them.
I'm also really excited about my talk (Sunday morning, 9am in the Convergent/Parallel Evolution session in the Oregon Ballroom). I'm going to be presenting on work that I started in my first year of graduate school and have been slowly working on ever since. It's also what I presented at the Evolution Meeting in Alaska in 2005, my first meeting talk! And for the first time in awhile, my talk is finished before I get on the airplane. Win!