Time is growing closer and closer to heading off to Australia. I will leave on June 13! And there is still much to do before heading out to the Land Down Under.
I have been purchasing gear for the past week for this trip. Much of it has been photo gear because, as I've said before, I want to be able to document this trip, not just for my adoring fans, but also because scientists generally have a difficult time conveying their work to the general public. By having a variety of different camera equipment as well as the constant documentation, I can show all of you what it is like to be on the ground floor of conducting scientific research including all of the triumphs and headaches.
I have had the pleasant fortune to meet an Australian researcher who is doing some clay model work on Pseudophryne. Originally, this worried me because I didn't know if she was doing all that I proposed or what. But after talking with her a bit, it looks like we're going to collaborate on working with Pseudophryne which is a huge relief. Sometimes researchers can be territorial about their research subjects, but I am pleased that this researcher is not like that. That is how it should be! Science for science's sake, not for ego.
With this new researcher willing to help me out, it relieves some of the pressure I was having to work get all of my ducks in a row before heading to Oz. And that is fantastic because I am trying to figure out some experiments here in Mississippi before I go to Australia. I am going to be presenting at a Behavior conference in Cairns, Australia in August which will be my clay model experiments on Dendrobates tinctorius as well as some chicken experiments that I am hoping to complete before I leave for Australia. I did these experiments a few months ago and got some interesting preliminary results, but I wanted to try them again so that I'm confident in my interpretations of the behavior. Essentially, I'm looking at how chickens learn colors of frogs. Really neat results on that from the first go, but I don't want to spoil the surprise just yet!