Introduction to Finality

I am now in the final year of my PhD. That means I am accelerating uncontrollably towards the end of my PhD, a point which once seemed like a vague area of looming dread on the horizon. That point is now somewhat more tangible.

This means I actually need to:

a) Finish things

b) Write those things down.

c) ???

d) Profit

Therefore I actually have to start process of turning all the things I’m excited about looking into, to actual science writings. Chapters! In a thesis!

So far I feel like I have a few potential data chapters, mainly the individual tracking data, the rafting data and collective behaviour data.

I haven’t talked about the collective behaviour stuff much yet. I’ll probably devote a blog post to it when it comes together more (at the moment it exists as some ideas in my brain, and some particular video footage on a hard drive). I’ve been inspired by a few really good talks I’ve seen at ASAB meetings from both Dr Christos Ioannou and Professor Ian Couzin who both do very cool stuff in the field of collective behaviour. Collective behaviour, put simply, looks into the dynamics that control movement and behaviour within large groups of animals. Which seems perfect for analysing my foraging rafts!

As I said though, this exists mainly as ideas at the moment. Actually doing this kind of stuff requires some serious programming and mathematical work. Dr Christos threw some useful papers my way after this years easter ASAB, which helped when it came to data collection, so those will probably inform the methods I use.

Aside from data chapters I have my modelling chapter and a lit review. These feel in many ways like they have been dragging on since the first year (because they have!) so I need to make a concentrated effort to actually finish those over the next few months.

Of course, I also need to analyse and write up all the data chapters too. As well as bring the collective behaviour chapter into being.

This has been a wordy post, full of plans and hand-wringing. Here is a nice picture.

sunset2

Representing the sunset of my PhD aaaarg.

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