Bonus Becoming A Master – Things I wish I’d Known

Hindsight is always 20/20 so I wanted to share some of the things I wish I had known before I started my masters degree. If you’re new to my blog I have just completed my masters degree in Conservation from UCL and I recorded my journey with a series called becoming a master. Nevertheless here are five things I wish I had known before I started.

1 – Always start your assignments early. – You hear this piece of advice a lot at university, but when it comes to masters degree assignments they need more research than at undergraduate level which needs way more time. If you think you only need two weeks for an assignment double that for the amount of reading you need to do to go alongside!

2 – Go to careers events! – They might seem like a drag but your masters is normally only a year long and that year goes fast. Often these career events will allow you to see where you can go after your degree and what you need to do to get there.

3 – Talk to your lecturers – I was awful at doing this during my masters degree up until my dissertation, so learn from my mistakes! The best way to do well in assignments is to go and talk to the person whos marking it about what they’re really after. My masters assignments were often like the technical challenge in the great british bake off with very little information in the instructions. However, if you go and chat to your lecturers they will help! Also remember that your lecturers will often be your referees for job applications so it’s always good to make a great impression.

4 – Get Organised! – I spoke about organisation a lot during my weekly updates but honestly I think it’s the main thing that carried me through the masters process. Knowing exactly when you’re working, when deadlines are, and most importantly when you’re taking breaks is so important for keeping you as stress free as possible!

5 – Try and get some volunteer work in whilst not overloading yourself – I know it’s an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum to work out the right balance.  But! Volunteering and getting work experience is so important for after your degree and landing a great job. Volunteering will allow you to find out whether a certain type of work will be right for you and it looks great on your CV. However, it’s important to note that a masters degree has a full time job time commitment so try and get the balance right!

I hope these pieces of advice will help you on your masters degree journey. I might write another post soon about choosing the right masters degree to begin with soon so if you’d find that helpful let me know!

More Becoming A Master

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Advertisements

Post Masters: 1 Month Update

Hello!

It’s already been 1 month since I finished my masters degree in Conservation from University College London! This past month has flown by but I am very pleased to tell you it’s because I jumped straight from my masters degree in to a brand new job!

My current position I am very proud to announce is an Editorial Assistant for Nature! I’m working on three new journals produced by Nature which are Communications Biology, Chemistry and Physics. It’s been really interesting learning a lot about academic publishing and how it all works but as I’m still only a few weeks into the job I have a lot more to learn! As for my masters degree, I’m still waiting for my final results to come in but when they do I can finally call my self a master of science!

And finally blog wise, there has been plenty to see with my work on The Woodland Trust blog which you can see HERE! And there is a brand new section on my blog with all the new photos I’ve been taking, I love putting my biological themed photos on my instagram but I often take a lot so I’ve created a gallery for you to go and have a look at my work.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little update!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

The Future of ThatBiologist

Hello and welcome to this ominous sounding blog!

I have been writing here for just over two years! I love every second of it and everyone’s support particularly on twitter has been phenomenal. Now before you think anything too wild I am not leaving or stopping in anyway! I actually want to grow my blog and take thatbiologist to new platforms. I’ve been working on a podcast series that I really want to develop as well as keeping up with new content here!

To do all this I need some funds. I’d love to own my domain here and become thatbiologist.com as well as keep everything free for the masses! So if you do enjoy my content and would like to support it you can donate to my new patreon page. By doing so not only will you be helping me here but you’ll also get sneak behind the scenes access to what I’m up to.

Thank you for your continued support! Happy Biologying everyone!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Becoming A Master – A Day In The Life

Week 17

Hello and welcome to another update on how my masters degree in conservation is going. If you are new here you can always catch up with my updates here. This week I thought I’d do something a little different and give you just a day in my life. This term I have way more structure than last term so this is a fairly typical Monday for me and it will be right up until the end of this term.

8am – I arrived in at uni bright and early this morning, lots to do this week so I’m starting as I mean to go on! Then it was straight into my favourite computer room to check on emails, write my to do lists and drink my coffee. There’s no drink or food allowed in the lab I work in but this girl needs her caffeine fix!

9am – Time to get started with the microscope work. This shot might look tidy but if I’m honest I always stretch my belongings out across half the lab when I have it to myself as I did this morning!

img_0928

10am – Still in the lab and well into my work. This morning I was counting ostracods, which kind of look like little jelly beans!

img_0930

11am – Finished looking at the ostracods so then I spent some time catching up on admin for the two lab books I have. These account for 50% each of there respective modules so I like to keep them looking smart and all up to date as much as I can.

12pm – I had a meeting with one of my lecturers to discuss my essay and practicals that I have to do. One of the things that I love about my degree is its really easy to go and find lecturers to have a chat with and they are really helpful.

1pm – Lecture time on foraminifera! Which are calcareous heterotrophs which we can use as an indicator for environmental changes. They’re a little strange looking but very unique!

2pm – Finally a little break to eat my lunch as packed by my fantastic other half so thank you to him!

3pm – A little blogging break! I’m still working on a very exciting project coming in April, so I was busy working away on that.

4pm – Back in the lab, this time working on the foraminifera from my lecture. Microscope work is really so much fun but it can be tiring so I was close to falling asleep on my microscope by this point.

download

5pm – Still going in the lab! I wanted to take another picture but time flew away and by the time I looked up from my microscope it was almost time to go home.

6pm – Home Time! At last its time for me to go home and this is where I’ll leave you, my evenings are fairly boring and this particular evening involved cooking for the week and netflix!

img_0934

Hope you’ve all had a great week!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

2017 Plans

Hello! Hope you all had a wonderful christmas break! Today I want to talk to you about all my exciting goals for this year.

This year I will *fingers crossed* be finishing my masters degree, obviously I’ll be writing all about it over on the BAM series. I want to make a real effort of documenting particularly the process of my dissertation. Dissertation are hard work that require pretty much all that you’ve got so I want to write all about that work and the results I get.

Other series like my mini wikis and fairyology will still be here! I want to create a really great collection for both of these series. However the Monthly Scientist has now finished and is being replaced by the Monthly Species. With this series I want to try and find some really weird and wonderful species to tell you about! There will be some brand new series coming out. My main goal for this year is to introduce you to some of the wonderful work in conservation because there is so much going on to make this world better!

The other goal I have for this year is to make a few more videos. They won’t be as regular as my blogs but it would be great to express my love for Biology in a different format. If you have any suggestions for things youd like to see or hear from me the best way is to drop me a tweet @thatbiologist!

Here’s to a great year of documenting biology!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

The 2016 Business Meeting

Around this time last year I reflected back on 2015 on ThatBiologist, to be honest it seems like I was only writing that blog last week! Nevertheless here we are again. This year has seen a huge amount of growth for my little spot on the internet and also for me as a scicommer (science communicator). This year I’ve written way more blog posts than ever before and for that I am incredibly proud. I’ve written some really great series (well in my opinion). Such as the monthly scientist, the shark tank and I started Becoming A Master. So like last year I thought I would tell you my three most popular blogs from this year and then my three favourites.

Three Most Popular

I’m very happy to announce my most popular blog of this year (in terms of specific views) was Sleeping Beauty and The Pin Prick Coma. Fairyology was a silly idea I had and I’m so glad its been so well recieved.

In second place its another Fairyology. This one is Snow White: Could An Apple Kill? That blog post was fantastic to write because I got to go back to an old assignment and bring it to life again. I’m happy to let you know that there will be plenty more fairyologys coming!

In third place is an episode of BAM. The Little Things blog post was a great one to write mostly because I spent time researching peoples opinions and talking to different people. It was also inspired by an evening that made me incredibly grateful to be able to do what I do!

My Three Favourites

My favourites are in no particular order because they were so hard to pick in the first place. Nevertheless my first favourite is An Offer You Can’t RefuseThis platform does give me a great position to be able to say what I want to an audience that cares. So this piece about vaccination was important to me and I always like combining popular media with science.

In second place it is none other than Meeting Pickle. It was such a special day being able to get so close to penguins. Pickle was also such a charmer and I loved writing about how special he is.

In third place its my blog post for ThatBiologist does Halloween. I missed writing more about my favourite holiday of the year but this piece about how to make a zombie was pretty cool. I think next year I might just have to do another week of them!

In total I’ve written 99 blog posts this year which is crazy! I’ve doubled my views from that of last year and there’s only more good stuff to come. Next year I have lots more to give and I will tell you all about that in January. I’m so excited to keep on writing and sharing the world of Biology with you. If you’ve read any of my blogs or if this is your first one, thank you. This blog has given me lots of opportunites and I can only thank you for reading! I’m now going to go and have my annual christmas break but I will be back in 2017 with lots more to give.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Plans for the Future

Hello everyone!

So lots changing this weekend for me and naturally as ThatBiologist is a big part of my life things are changing here too. Tomorrow I’m moving to London to start my masters degree at UCL. I’ve got no illusion that this year will be a lot of hard work but I really don’t want to let this disappear, so I’ve come up with a cunning plan!

To start with I’m changing up the blogging schedule here. Wednesdays will be my day to post all the series and blogs that you have been seeing here on a Friday. But what will replace my 6 in 60 series I hear you ask? Well I want to document my masters degree and all the new science I’ll be taking part in. I think it’s going to be interesting to see what I get up to and this fingers crossed will be interesting for you too. So I’m introducing today, BAM! (Yes exactly in the way you say Wham!). It stands for becoming a master, as I will be! It’ll effectively be a weekly diary of everything I get up to when undertaking my masters degree. Hopefully it’ll be full of the brand new things that I learn and will make me review my notes! The plan is for this to appear every Sunday.

I will be taking next week off to get settled into my new surroundings (finding the nearest tesco, how does the tube work and other stuff like that). Then I’ll be back to let you know how my first week as a grad student went! Wish me luck!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

Twitter

Facebook

I’m Back!

Hello!

So you may have noticed that I have somewhat disappeared for the last two weeks. I was in the glorious land of Yorkshire, then to London then back home! It has been a lovely few weeks but I have to say I missed it here!

So what are we looking at for the rest of the month well, so far, I have planned the following:

  • In 6 in 60 we will be looking at 3 marine habitats!
  • I’ll be looking at the weird and wonderful bamboo!
  • I’m planning on another fairyology this one looking at ageing
  • Of course Miss June will also be appearing at the end of the month.

I’m excited to be back writing and so excited with what’s going to be happening here in the next few months!

Just keep watching this space and Happy Biologying

Laura

20160603_203657

Happy 2016!

Hello everyone!

A very happy new year to all of you biologists! So we had the business meeting at the end of year and now its time just to have a quick update in terms of what’s going on this year.

2015-12-15-1450164883-1061198-2016yay

I’ll be writing three blog’s a week as per usual but on slightly different days. They’ll appear on Tuesday’s, Friday’s and Sundays! Tuesday will remain the day for all your 6 in 60 needs and Friday’s and Sunday’s will play host to all the other series here.

Current Series Include:

The Farmers Daughter – A look at the combination between conservation and agriculture.

Mini Wikis – Taking complex biological points and then breaking them down to make them as simple as possible.

Fairyology – Considering the fairy tales and the biology behind them.

As well as all the extra bits that I write!

You can always keep up with everything I write by following/liking the links below!

Happy Biologying

Laura!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

Twitter

Facebook

The 2015 Business Meeting

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2015 business meeting. Hope you all brought pens and paper and tea, coffee and cake will be at the end. Okay I’m only kidding but before I leave on my Christmas break I wanted to reflect on ThatBiologist this year!

I technically started this blog in December 2014 with my post Welcomes and Introductions. And although I did start my 6 in 60 series in January, my studies and third year research really did take over for the bulk of this year but I graduated with a 2:1 in Biology in July and a first in my dissertation piece. So things really picked up here in September with a regular schedule. It does make me really happy writing about topics that I love to write about two/ three times a week.

So down to the numbers. Although they don’t mean all that much to me it is nice to know that someone reads my blog posts. So far I’ve had 190 visitors to my place on the internet with 478 views this year! Thats crazy when I think about how much of the internet takes our attention away *cough cough* social media. But then speaking of social media, this year I started a facebook page and a twitter for ThatBiologist.

So on to the favourites! I got the most views this year on my post “A short history of Poison Hemlock” which sparked off the rest of a very fun series The Poisons Collection. But in terms of my favourites well here are my top 3.

My top spot goes to Harry Potter and the Kingdom of Plants – considering this was the second favourite in terms of views this year I’m glad you all liked it too! I loved writing my presentation at university and I’m so glad I got to include it here!

Picture2

My second favourite is a piece that didn’t really get much attention views wise but like I said the numbers don’t mean that much to me, just as long as I’m writing content that makes me happy and thats the Fish With A Lung. I thought it’s such an interesting creature and I’m really happy with the way this blog came out.

1

My third favourite was from the poisons collection series. It was about the plant lily of the valley and was entitled The Poisons Collection: What do Breaking Bad, Christianity and Wills n Kate have in common?. I love writing about popular culture when it collides with the scientific world and this one was such a fun piece to write.

Picture1

My hopes for the future are just to build up a following for my writing and build the community of That Biologist. I’d like to run some competitions next year and get some guest writers on here. As well as producing new series for me to write.

Thank you for hearing me ramble on about my blog. I hope you all have a lovely holiday.

Thanks

Laura