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Sirkelsvlei - Xenopus in the mix

10 May 2024

Sirkelsvlei - there's more than meets the eye

For many years, the MeaseyLab conducted monitoring of Xenopus gilli in Cape Point. We also conducted a lot of research during that period and, thanks to the excellent work of Andre de Villiers, learned a lot about the biology of this species.

Now, Sue Matthews, has written up some of this information in a feature article for the magazine Water Wheel.  In the article Sue tells the story of this special vlei that occurs in Cape Point. She also takes the opportunity to tell her readers a lot more about the story of Xenopus gilli  conservation. It's well worth a read!

Further Reading:

Matthews, S. (2024) Sirkelsvlei - Taking a stroll through Cape Point’s largest permanent waterbody. Water Wheel.  pdf

  Frogs  Lab  Xenopus

Navigating the student-advisor relationship

09 May 2024

A new chapter on the student-advisor relationship

A couple of weeks back, I read a review of "How to write a PhD in Biological Sciences: a guide for the uninitiated", where the author was critical of the book for not having any information on how to navigate the "tricky topic of the student-supervisor relationship". I had never really thought that this was part of the book, but on reflection, the book has advice on how to write emails, and the other book ("How to publish in Biological Sciences") has a chapter on bullying, so perhaps it is a good topic for a new chapter in Part 1 of "How to write a PhD in Biological Sciences: a guide for the uninitiated". 

It turns out that there is quite a lot of literature on this topic. 

Usually, I paste the entire new chapter into this Blog, but it turns out that this chapter is quite large, and of course all you have to do is click on the above image and you can read it in situ

Instead, here I will provide some highlights:

4.1 Expectations

4.1.1 Keep your expectations real

4.1.2 Student-advisor agreements

4.1.3 Other students and postdocs in the group

4.2 Power imbalance

4.2.1 Relationships between advisors and their students

4.2.2 Conflicts of interest

4.3 Communication

4.4 Meetings

4.5 Responsibilities

4.5.1 Time-management

4.6 Respect and Professionalism

4.6.1 Take advice

4.6.2 Personal problems

4.7 When things do go wrong

4.8 Having more than one advisor

4.9 Celebrations

4.9.1 Share the down times

As ever, if you spot that there is something missing or something wrong, please get in touch and let me know. 

There are other updates to other chapters too, including:

On reflection, it seems I've been quite busy with the book and that there is quite a lot of new content. Of course, this is the real advantage to bookdown and having the book as a living project. 

  Lab  Writing
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