I can’t do fieldwork :(

Sometimes, no matter how organised you may be, things just don’t go to plan. This year started off well for me, and I was happy that my PhD plan for this year would go well. Until I fractured my ankle, that is…

My PhD project is primarily fieldwork based, with the main bulk of data collection happening during the spring season (April-June), where we monitor birds breeding and rearing their young in our nest boxes. I have been looking forward to this year’s field season since the last one ended, so when my supervisor told me that it wouldn’t make sense for me to attempt any fieldwork this year, I almost cried. OK, so maybe this outcome was obvious given my injury, but as I’m due to get my cast off at the end of this month I was clinging onto the vague hope I would be alright come May. But to play it safe, my supervisor (and begrudgingly, I) decided that I should stay out of the field.

However, the show (my PhD project) must go on! This new situation will bring the fun challenge of co-ordinating a group of lovely people to carry out my nest box manipulations and collect field data for me. This will mean a lot of Google Doc spreadsheet organisation, protocol writing and potentially chasing up via email…! I am very lucky that despite my injury, I will be able to collect the samples and data I need for my project thanks to my brilliant supervisor and the rest of the bird team.

barbara
My supervisor’s artistic representation of “Early bird gets the worm” on my cast!

Sadly, my plans for fieldwork vlogging are out of the window, at least for this year. However, I am planning alternative PhD videos that will hopefully make up for this…and perhaps I can get a sneak peak at what’s happening out in the field once I can walk again. 😉

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