I'm attending a conference this week at the request of my boss, who is out of town doing fieldwork. It's on the ecology and evolution of infectious disease and so far it's been moderately interesting, but what it's really done is to get me excited about the next conference I'm going to in a couple of weeks, the Evolution meetings in MN.
What I mean is that I realized today how I missed that energy of being at a conference. How discussion (when it isn't an attack, as occasionally happens) occurs at the end of talks and people have ideas and share new ways of looking at data, it's one of the best parts about doing science, in my opinion.
I'm in the throes of making a poster to present at the conference. I chose a poster partly because I hadn't done one for a while, and also because it gave me more control over when I would present. I'm presenting my research on the genetic characterization of two subspecies of mosquito and their hybrids along a transect.
I like the Evolution meetings because I find their content most in line with my own research interests. Does that make me an evolutionary biologist? I suppose maybe. I'm interested in hybridization, adaptation and population dynamics, so it fits.
And I had the realization lately that these processes are what interest me, so I'm not going to get hung up on not being able to work with plants right now. The mosquitoes are a good model organism for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that no one cares if you put the extras in the -80 freezer when you're done.
So, I'll post my poster when I'm done with it. I like it so far, but, like my brother said, it always takes longer to make one than you think.