The story before the book

Two days ago I defended my thesis. My viva was one of the most rewarding and inspiring experiences of this entire journey. It is so beautiful to finally share this work (with, let\’s face it, the only three people that will ever endure the task that is to read a book on squishing bears out of flies). It was so humbling to hear such kind and encouraging words from people I admire so much. I am so grateful and so happy.

Everything sounds wiser in Latin. Here: \”nanos gigantium humeris insidentes”.

Accompanying illustrations could do with a bit of work..

Dwarfs standing on the shoulder of giants. 

A grounding metaphor to remind us that all that comes has to stem from the work of significant individuals that have advanced our field before us. It is important to acknowledge the giants whose work formed the building blocks of ours, and those that came before them, for allowing us to stand on their shoulders for a brief moment. It is a way to thank them for their hard work, dedication and passion, that allowed us to walk on the edge of a path they carved, so that someone can walk a little further along after us. I am so thankful for the huge scientific well of knowledge I was able to access during my research. Thank you, bear, fly and habitat modelling giants for inviting me to bring my toys in your playground.

But advancing your field in science takes more than that. There are other giants involved who need to be acknowledged for their help and contributions in not just making this work possible, but in being a part of the story that meant that this work could be a possibility in the first place. For a PhD student who is struggling (which is all of us, all of the time), every ally is a treasure and every act of kindness is remembered.

So, for those of you that have been a part of this journey in whichever way, I wanted to express my deepest gratitude and joy, and share my favourite part of this book.

Here are my acknowledgments.

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