Archive for September, 2014


Click on the image to view the clip; you know the drill!

Another thing I’ve been told never to do is mixing personal life and professional blog. That’s another thing I’m not going to listen to, because I don’t like to follow rules, and because it’s difficult for me to disentangle personal and professional life. As a science researcher, my research is my life, my colleagues are my friends, and the values and qualities that I seek in my work, I use them to progress in running. Tenacity, strength of will, pugnacity, focus, patience, endurance, mental toughness, resilience, hard work, ambition, …

So I’ve started running 6 months ago. It took me like a urge to pee, and hasn’t quit me since. This week-end, I’ve completed my fourth semi-marathon and registered for my first marathon. I run several times a week, a minimum of 10 km each time, whether it’s hot, it’s raining, I’m tired or I’m in pain. My family and friends have been surprised, and it’s been difficult to explain, when they see me aching, or panting, or simply too exhausted to talk or move after a race.
So I’ve made this short clip, from bits found on the Internet, hoping some images will convey part of the message. Feel free to comment and share. And to try running. You’ll see, it feels good!

As you have noted with bordering despair anguish, I have not posted anything here over August. This is simply because everyone told me not to ever stop posting, even for summer, in order to build an audience, and I generally don’t like being told what to do. Plus, I had nothing to say and was too busy seeping cocktails in the spa of my new residence.


But I am not that cruel, and will now put an end to your misery with new, regular, posts. Yeah! So, let’s start by some news on the changes in our beloved Biodiversity Dynamics lab over the summer.

Several people have left our group. James and Ben, both invited professors are now back in their lab, trying to recover from their French experience. They looked sane enough when they left, so if something goes wrong after, it’s not us! Alok and Noelia finished their postdoc and are now, Noelia in Bordeaux, and Alok a bit further, in India. Carmen has not left (although she has left the group web page): having hired an Assistant Prof and an Engineer, and having a PhD student (Amélie) and a postdoc (Fernando) and several interns, she is now setting her own research group. Good luck for this new stage! Cleo has finished her PhD Thesis and is currently doing a postdoc in Australia. Céline has finished her PhD Thesis too and is due for a postdoc in London, but remains in the lab until that postdoc starts. Boris has found an Assistant Professor position in Paris (at the MNHN) and Camille has been selected for a civil service to the sub-Antarctic island research stations: huge congratulations to all four for these major achievements!

We’ll miss them all!

Now, the lab won’t remain empty and new comers are joining the surviving crew to keep it as we like it: strong and warm, like coffee, and vibrant like… well, something that vibrates. After a Master in our group, Pauline and Irene are starting a PhD Thesis here, both with Elsa, while we welcome Olivier as a new postdoc with us.

I’ll miss them all too!

Yes, because I forgot to mention, I have deserted the lab for one year, starting a sabbatical year at the University of California Los Angeles. But I’ll stay connected, and visit them regularly, hopefully, when I miss too much camembert and strikes.

Last bit of news: I got lucky and received two major grants. Meaning that we are going to hire several postdocs quite soon. So stay tuned!