Onwards and upwards! SVP, PhD and more…

The last month and a half have been a whirlwind for me, hence the lack of blog posts. Here’s a bit about what I’ve been up to, and what’s next for me.

After submitting my thesis in July, I immediately started working on my talk for SVP, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting, which was Aug. 23-26 in Calgary. I was fortunate enough to be giving a talk in the Romer Prize session, a session that is difficult to get into and features student (or recently finished) research. This was my first SVP talk, so I was extremely nervous to say the least. In the end, I think my talk went down well, and I’m really happy with how it went. I didn’t win, but we had a great Canadian showing, with 4 Canadians (including an adopted Canadian), and my friend Aaron won, which is great. I’m so proud of all of us! The rest of the conference was a bit of a blur, but it was good. I had a lot of fun being back in my homeland, and catching up with everyone. I doubt I’ll be at SVP next year, but we’ll see!

The Canadian Romer representatives from left to right enjoying a celebratory glass of wine (we’re so classy…) – Aaron Leblanc (winner), Tiago Simões, Liz Martin-Silverstone (me), and Derek Larson!

After getting back from SVP, I had no time to relax as I was preparing for my PhD viva (or defence if you’re North American), which was August 31. I was extremely nervous about it, but am happy to say I came out of it as Dr. Martin-Silverstone! I have some corrections to do, but nothing too major (I think, although I’m still waiting on the reports). I have 3 months to do them, but they shouldn’t take me that long. I’m so glad that it’s over, and it’s a huge weight off my shoulders. I’ve enjoyed the last few days of relaxation, without stressing about talks or exams… Thanks to everyone who has helped me get here and has helped me along the way, encouraging and keeping me sane!

So now what?

Just before heading to SVP, I received an email about a potential short term position (kind of a post-doc) here in Bristol, doing some work that is very different from what I’ve done before, but related to biomechanics. It’s not all official yet, but I’m hoping to have that all finalised this week and will hopefully be able to give a few more details about it then. This should give me something like 6 months of work, which I will be doing part time so that I can work on my corrections and papers as well. In 10 days I’ll be off to Birmingham for SVPCA, one of my favourite conferences. I’m giving a talk, very similar to what I did at SVP, but now that my viva is done and since it’s a smaller crowd, I’m looking forward to it a lot more.

In the mean time, I’ve got a few papers I need to finish up from my PhD, and a few other little side projects to write up. I should be able to write up anywhere from 2 to 4 more papers from my PhD, depending on if I can get some extra material to make it a bit better for publication. I had aspirations to have 10 papers published (or at least accepted) by the end of 2017, but that seems unlikely. Who knows…

The next thing I need to do is focus on funding applications for post docs. I have a few ideas and a few things on the go, but no successful applications yet. Fingers crossed!

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