Bamfield finds

In the summer, we were out at Bamfield Marine Science Centre while Jake was teaching a course there. I spent my time there prepping for my thesis defence, which was a surprisingly time consuming endeavour.

How do you make a lot of data slides more interesting? Overlay an animated gif like this one from

I expected to prep my slide deck in a day, because I had given a short version of my talk at the Canadian Society for Ecology & Evolution 2017 conference. I mean, how hard is it to add in a couple more slides and update the info?

Apparently it took me a solid 2.5 weeks to do this. It was partly because I was also working remotely, keeping an eye on the kids, and trying to find a way to present my findings clearly and in an interesting way. This last one was definitely, and surprisingly, challenging.

But Bamfield is also a pretty place, and it allowed lots of opportunity for distraction.

First of all, don’t end up in the ditch – like this this truck – when you take in the stunning view along the drive in.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_77ba

Secondly, make sure the kids are bear smart, and know how to use the bear spray without nailing themselves in the face.

Try not to goof around in the lab too much. There are lots of fabulous specimens to distract you.

Don’t spend any time looking outside your window. Visiting wildlife might just distract you, and someone’s car might also catch on fire.

Don’t go for a walk around town either. There’s just too much character here, and you might just have some fun. Or get into a fun conversation with the locals.

Of course it’s impossible to concentrate when you go for a trip to the beach.

And it’s equally impossible to concentrate if you take a walk in the woods.

You can try to be brave and pick up that Cyanide-producing Millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana) you find. Why would you want to do that? To smell it and see if it indeed does smell like almonds. Spoiler alert, it does.

But I still find it’s movement creepy as sin.

Which might just chase you back inside to actually finish prepping for your defence.

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