Blind Spot, NSERC, Liquorice Fern, ESBC meeting, and Evolution Simulation

It’s been a while, and a lot has happened in the last month! I’ll just put in the highlights.

Mike and Matt Nayman‘s short film Blind Spot made it into three festivals! The Toronto After Dark Festival, Austin Film Festival, and Leeds International Film Festival!! It’s been written up a couple of times too! I’m very proud. The film looks great, and they’re getting the attention they deserve. Rock on guys!! Check out Mike’s blog for more details, and to see his new demo reel that has a breakdown of Blind Spot in it.

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(Still from the film Blind Spot)

For my part, the last month has been pretty hectic. I got my NSERC proposal in which means I had to get my thesis proposal worked out too; I plan to study invasion biology using the Spotted Winged Drosophila, which showed up in North America ~3 years ago. It’s a really cool opportunity (for me anyway – not so much for cherry farmers or other people growing host plants =| ) because it’s both introduced, and a Drosophila, which means I can manipulate it easily, and really zero-in on questions that would be impossible with more complicated systems.

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(Male Spotted Winged Drosophila)

Earlier this month Dr. Andy Sih came to visit SFU, and he, Bernie, Mike and I went for a hike at Lynn Canyon.
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(Photo credit to Bernie Roitberg)

The week before I had done the forest walk lab with my BISC102 students and taught them about Liquorice Fern. Theoretically it’s supposed to taste like liquorice (hence the name). Turns out it’s the ROOT that’s supposed to taste like liquorice. Oops.

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(Photo credit Mike Boers)

Last weekend I presented work from my first honours thesis at the Entomological Society of BC annual meeting, and won a best presentation award!! I must remember to update my CV.

Earlier this month I was sent this fantastic resource that is far too much fun. You choose a starting creature and the program takes the individuals who did best (by travelling the farthest), makes slight changes, and builds the next generation.

I’m having trouble finding the time to give this blog the amount of attention I’d like to. I think what I’ll do is change the format; brief stories about things I find interesting, instead of full and complete stories the way I have been so far. Otherwise the work required to pass the barrier to posting is too high, and I end up going weeks without posting anything. We’ll see how well this ends up working.