Congrats on finding the “About” page and actually taking the time to read it. I took the time to write it, why wouldn’t you take the time to read it, right? Right. This blog was originally called “A Study in Emerald,” in what I still maintain was an at least somewhat amusing reference to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock story. It was not, at the time, a reference to the Neil Gaiman short story actually titled “A Study in Emerald,” although I kind of wish it had been. I mean Sherlock Holmes and Cthulu in one place? How could that not be great? Ah well.
In any case, I’ve recently renamed the blog and have decided on a general restructuring and repurposing. The blog’s new title, “Of A Naturalist” is taken from an early Seamus Heaney poem, “Death of A Naturalist.” The poem itself doesn’t have such a keen take on being the profession though (hence the title), so I decided to take a bit of license with it. I liked the idea that whatever comes up on here will be, in some sense, “of a naturalist.” This won’t be a place only for science or only for stories. It will be for both. These will be stories about how we carry out research, from the field to the lab and yes even to the computer. I’ll give the work context as best as I can manage and try to keep from getting to bogged down in p-value talk and Bayesian modelling approaches. I make no promises though. The old posts will still be around, but I plan on letting future posts have a different shape and feel to them. What does that mean? I honestly don’t know. I mostly just liked how it sounded. But I guess we’ll see soon enough.
Some quick background on me: I earned my BA in Biology and English from Hanover College in Indiana back in 2013. I went on to get my Master’s from the University of Glasgow in Quantitative Methods in 2015, and at the moment I am working as a research assistant at the University of Oxford on a plant population genetics project. If you want to learn more about that, there will be some blog posts about it soon enough.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy what you find here.