No, I haven’t been hospitalized with Hep C, or died from piercing-induced septicaemia— although either of those would make for a good excuse as well as an amusing obit. I’ve just been rather busy with my thesis, so writing for pleasure has been non-existant these last few weeks. And yet, before I launch into my main topic for this post, I just want to mention a recent study led by my supervisor and including the work of several of my fisheries colleagues at UBC. The methodology they used was pretty much the same as described in my Sherlock Holmes post, and the ultimate findings of their research suggest that China under-reports its foreign catch by over 90%. If you would like to read a bit more about the real-world implications of these inaccuracies, and how the theoretical concept of catch reconstructing actually translates into applicable knowledge, give this article a go. (Hopefully I will be able to share my own published catch reconstruction in a couple of months, but that’ll all depend on the review process and whether or not it gets accepted right away.)
Anyway, now to the topic that I’ve been meaning to write for about a month…
The following came about largely as a result of me trying to organize my ideas for an application to attend a marine policy course offered through Stanford. As per the typical scholarship/ conference/ grant application format, they wanted a lot of detail about my thesis and how participating in this program will be beneficial to my research. But they’re not the only ones who are curious about my work. My friends and family also often ask me what I study. And even though I think in many cases they’re just being nice/ trying to make conversation/ genetically obligated to care/ &c., sometimes I feel like there’s a genuine level of interest. Or, at the very least, mild curiosity. And, while I approach the marine realm largely from a physiological perspective and background, unfortunately my current research doesn’t involve any live specimens or experiments. So naturally I feel like a huge disappointment when people quickly realize that I don’t swim with dolphins or dive with sharks on a regular basis. Nonetheless, I still try to explain the type of work I do, and why I feel like my current branch of marine biology is equally (if not more) important.