Saturday, 2 June 2012

PhD week 13: Dunedin

Mosgiels and the Taieri Plains
View overlooking Mosgiel and the Taieri Plains, Dunedin, New Zealand.

I spent the first few days of this week in Dunedin where I looked at specimens of Irenimus in the collection of my supervisor, Dr Barbara Barratt. She's worked on the group for many years, researching their ecology in Central Otago improved pasture, particularly focussing on the impact of parasitoid wasps introduced to control the pest weevils Argentine stem weevil and clover root weevil. As can be imagined, she's needed to know what shes' been looking at over the years, and to this end has amassed a collection of Irenimus which have been reliably identified by herself and others. It was important that I see this collection so that I can get an idea of what some of these species look like, and start building a framework of what things I think might be related to each other. The other purpose for my trip down there was to obtain specimens for DNA sequencing. Barbara and her team have done a lot of collecting throughout Central Otago, and have kept the results in ethanol. It's a whole lot easier for me to get specimens by looking through their collections, than going to each of the locations myself.

The trip down to Dunedin also nicely coincided with some tango workshops and milongas (social dance events) held by Dunedin Tango, making the entire trip successful from both academic and social perspectives.

   Cadge W. 2012. Possibilities and limits of medical science: Debates over double-blind clinical trials of intercessory prayer. Zygon 47(1): 43–64
   McCulloch D. 2010. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years London: Penguin
   Leviticus 1–6, Psalms 63–64,

SeaView alignment program
The Daily Mash—Clarkson slammed for "owlist" rant

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