Transmission recommences

Frantic typing.

[Crickets chirp in blog-land]

More typing.



[The un-climatic click of a thesis being submitted electronically]

Much driving for brief, wonderful holiday

[birds singing in flooded river, orcas tail-whacking as they cruise seal rocks, crunching noises of a bandicoot devouring carrot scraps]

Commencement of post-doc. Enlightenment about the commuter lifestyle.

[modulated voice-over from the metro train lady, apologising for any inconvenience caused]

Minor revisions of thesis approved within 30 minutes – did I really need to spend several months preparing them??

[thwunk as I drop two boxes of bound theses, narrowly missing my toe]

Futile scurrying around university trying to find someone (anyone??) who will accept my final hardbound thesis.

Joyous email, entitled ‘Completion Letter’

[Crickets fade as blog transmission recommences]

Ian Lunt reckons you should never blog in your PJs. He’s totally right.

But how about in your fox onesie?


They wouldn’t all fit in the photo, but besides the onesie and the mug, this PhD has led to me being the proud owner of two pairs of fox earrings, one pair of cat earrings, two beautiful paintings of foxes, and one set of fox notepaper. Mum really wanted to buy me a fox statue last birthday too, but I talked her out of it. Lucky I don’t work on slugs!

Is anyone else the recipient of this study-animal-themed present phenomenon?  What’s your best gift so far?

A shrub by any other name

What do you think about emotive language in science?

Are foxes invasive feral vermin, or simply introduced? When shrub cover increases, should we describe the process as shrub encroachment, invasion, expansion or woody thickening? Does it make a difference if the shrub species is indigenous?

In a paper now available in Austral Ecology early view, we looked at associations between native mammal occurrence and Yarra Burgan (Kunzea leptospermoides) canopy cover in a eucalypt forest. Yarra Burgan is native to the Yarra Valley, but has spread rapidly within Coranderrk Bushland Reserve over the past 20 years. Burgan grows to more than 10 m tall, shades out understorey plants and doesn’t appear to be eaten by anything much.

Kunzea leptospermoides

Areas ‘encroached’ by Burgan had a sparse, mossy understory and many fallen trees

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