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29 April 2011 @ 05:58 pm
For Research Topics in Ecology, lecturers came to us and talked about their recent research projects. We have to revise three of them for the exam (exam questions are literally 'write an essay about topic A or topic B') so that if two we happened to revise come up in the same question, we can answer another question (as it will be the 'a' or 'b' in another). There were only 8.

I have chosen 'speciation as an active force in evolution' because I am fascinated by scientific constructs and their limitations (i.e., the definition of a 'species', which is not as clear-cut as non-scientists might think). I have also chosen 'predation habits of the domestic cat' (and its effect on conservation) with Phil Baker because the subject interests me and because I know he likes my writing style. He got a laugh out of my second-year exam essay in which we had to pick a mammal species to remove from earth and I chose human. I also got to write about unicorns in the second exam essay with him, which put my panic to rest. For that, I'm going with Phil - he obviously has a sense of humour. (:

And now for the question, which I am putting to all of you:

Do I go with:
  • 'Body size and scaling effects on life histories of mammals and other organisms' with Richard Sibly, who is a reasonably harsh marker and appreciates gnitty-gritty details. (10 papers to read) or
  • 'Symbiosis and coevolution of figs and fig wasps' with Derek Dunn, who is a bit more mysterious. I've heard his lecture on fig wasps three times, once every year I believe. Can't judge the marking style by the teacher, though... (13 papers to read).

What do you think? I'm thinking perhaps fig wasps, provided I can get through the papers without snoring.

In other news, if you have some extra room in your heart and/or mind, could you please sneak my friend C in there? She's in lost-and-scared place right now, and the best thing I've ever seen for situations like that is having lots of threads of love/white light to keep a person in sight or feeling of home.


"No longer forward nor behind I look in hope and fear; but grateful take the good I find, the best of now and here."
[John G. Whittier]
Current Mood: infuriatedInfuriated.
minervas_eule: MHiU: hugminervas_eule on April 29th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
How good to hear from you!!
Yes, I'd go with the coevolution, that sounds very managable as a topic, risk the "unknown marker" *gg*

All the best *hugs* ♥
albalarkalbalark on April 29th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
Another vote for co-evolution. I find it a fascinating subject, and it was one of Darwin's first clues about the process of natural selection.
Hopelessly Prosaicncp on April 29th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
I'd go with symbiosis and co-evolution, but that's just me. I find co-evolution fascinating, and wish I had more room/scope to teach it in my lessons. But bored 14-year-olds who have trouble understanding "natural selection" aren't the best audience.

Also, the first topic (not knowing any of the research) sounds like it boils down to "big mammals are big, small ones are small." Really, Darwin?
therealsnape: Hooch Watchfultherealsnape on April 29th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
You're lucky to have so many scientists on your flist. Can the humanist just wish you best of luck and offer a hug?

lash_laruelash_larue on April 29th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
I shall send massive amounts of love to your friend. Having spent a fair bit of life in that place and emerged, I have some to spare.

I vote fig wasps. We have a very nice overachieving fig tree. The wasps appear to be garden variety 'paper wasps' and yellowjackets though.

Also, anyone who accepts a paper on Unicorns is a bit of all right.
Leilevelcro_panda on April 30th, 2011 03:12 am (UTC)
We've spent a large chunk of time in my physiology class and lab talking about body scaling and all diversity that goes with it. It's the most boring thing we've covered all semester in my opinion haha. The body size one might be easier to write but I think the researching it would just enrage/bore me. Sooooo coevolution gets my vote :D