Times of change (Part 1): next steps in a career

As my last post mentioned, I have defended my thesis successfully and my PhD supervisor, Mark Forbes, has hooded me (Fig. 1) so I can officially be called a Doctor.

My supervisor, Mark Forbes, hooding me, making my PhD official.

My supervisor, Mark Forbes, hooding me, making my PhD official.

It’s a nice feeling, but at the same time it brings a time of uncertainty. During my thesis work, I was been safe at my desk in a lab or in the field for the last 4 years where I carved out my little niche. I felt safe after I got used to my system. I did my thing; looked at parasites of damselflies and figured out what’s what and why.

I guess it happens at every degree or every period of your life, there is uncertainty and not knowing what’s going to happen. [At the dog park in Ottawa I was talking with another dog owner who is about to retire, we had the same insecurities; what are we going to do with ourselves? Are we going to like it?…]. One thing that is clear it is necessary to be prepared; I tried very hard to have something lined up after I finished my doctoral thesis. I talked with potential post-doc supervisors and applied for funding. Luckily, I got funding. So now I’ve moved to a new place, (Fredericton, New Brunswick) a new lab (the Heard lab) and a new project (leafminers of Asteraeceae). It’s a strange feeling leaving behind the comfort of the known and moving into the unknown. But the welcome has been awesome. After 2 days in the lab I feel right at home. People are very nice, and even my dog, Maya, is making new buddies to wrestle with. There’s so much new to see and experience and learn. It’s going to be good!

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