What I did this week: sub one

Hopefully this is the first installment in a series of not too long posts describing what I do.

I’ve started this with week sub one. This may seem odd but the plan is that my new position should start at Landcare Research on the first of October. So the end of September has been spent mostly doing all the things that I imagine everyone does on their first week no matter where or what the job.

Induction. Finding out where everything is. Who everyone is. Signing things. Getting keys. Packing/Unpacking/rearranging books, furniture and in my case a surprising number of pens and notebooks (this will not be surprising to anyone who has seen my office or shared an office with me in the past). I reckon I might have found about a third of my books so far – the rest are still in moving boxes in the spare room. As an aside every time we have moved the movers have complained about the volume and weight of books. In my defense I have very few rusty cars and a limited selection of clothes.

Luckily for me this was achieved in a very efficient and friendly manner. I must say so far I’m loving being at Landcare – everyone is very friendly and helpful and the tearoom discussions are lively and a nice mix of America’s cup (OMG if they choke now it’s going to be the worst choke in history)* and science (a mixture of Science and policy). There’s coffee (two pots at 10.15) and a nice picnic garden if the weather seems fine. Also amazingly I actually managed to get a bit of actual work done last week.

Monday I was back on as Associate Editor for my favorite journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE). I’ve been traveling for most of the last month so the very nice folk there gave me a bit of a holiday. But thanks to twitter they knew I was back. Luckily I had a really nice manuscript to deal with – by which I mean nothing about the paper itself except that it was one of the those papers where you take one look at it and immediately know who would be a great set of reviewers for that particular paper. So Monday morning saw three invites to three reviewers sent out. Number One agreed almost immediately (YEAHHH). Number two never got back to me and I realized on Saturday I’d sent it to a different person with the same name but a different email address; I rectified this first thing this morning (Monday) and they’ve agreed to review. Number three hasn’t got back to me. I’ll give it another couple of days.

I also somewhat rashly agreed to review two other papers – one for a sibling “Journal of Applied Ecology” and one for the competition “Biological Conservation“. I’m never really sure what the appropriate number of reviews that one should do a year is. Except I feel strongly Cory Prof. Corey Bradshaw (over at Conservation Bytes) should definitely be doing more for why see here. I also know I’m going to busy with visitors and field work over summer and I won’t feel so bad saying no if I’ve got a few under my belt in the mean time. Hopefully I can fit them in on Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday was put aside for discussion and sorting out the ins and outs of how my contract would work  here at Landcare – this was surprisingly uneventful. Everything was agreed in a very efficient, friendly (one might almost say collegial), and professional manner which left some time to discuss the science to come.

Wish me luck everyone…

*note I started writing this blog post before they did in fact choke

Edit (14.03.2014): Corrected Cory to Prof. Corey Bradshaw.

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About Tinkerbel405

I am an Ecologist based at Landcare Research, Dunedin (in Otago, New Zealand). I mainly work on species responses to environmental change. In 2012 I was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship from the Royal Society of New Zealand. This fellowship has allowed me to return to New Zealand where I am embarking on an exciting new research program: Battlegrounds and safe havens: disentangling the roles of ecology and evolution in the response of biological communities to climate change.
This entry was posted in Rutherford Discovery Fellowship, Science, Science I Do and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What I did this week: sub one

  1. CJAB says:

    If your intention is to be provocative, you have achieved your goal. How could you possibly know, or even guess, my workload with respect to editing and reviewing? You know absolutely nothing, so your off-the-cuff remark is both offensive and entirely incorrect. How do you justify such arrogant and outlandish statements? I’d also expect – for a ‘scientist’ – to at least do the basic research and spell my name correctly.

    • Tinkerbel405 says:

      I see from rereading my post that it could be interpreted to mean I don’t think you do “enough work”. Apologies this was not my intention at all. As you quite rightly point out I have no way of knowing what your work load is with respect to reviewing editing or anything else. In fact I suspect that it is rather higher than the average across Science.

      My comment was directed at a previous blog post of yours, which I link to in the post. In this blog post you advocate a strategy whereby authors should seek to be rejected more often, while there are good reasons for this strategy (as your post points out). This is also a strategy that will increase the number of reviews any single article receives before being published. This will increase the general reviewing workload of the community. A community which to me already seems very stressed for time. In this case it seems only fair that in theory someone following, or advocating, this strategy does more reviewing. Again more is relative – I have no way of knowing how you manage/balance your workload or what that workload may be. You may in fact, already agree with me and do more than your fair share of reviewing – whatever that share may be.

      I definitely wasn’t meaning to be outlandish, arrogant or really provocative.

      Apologies for spelling your name wrong (spelling isn’t my best subject) I’ve corrected it. I perhaps should have used Prof. Bradshaw.

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