8 long months after the excitement of handing in my thesis I am finally allowed to call myself Dr Martin! You see, what they don't tell you about a PhD is that after all the hype and excitement from handing in dies down, and you've finished partying/celebrating, there's a long wait until you can call yourself Dr. Everything and nothing changes in that time too. You're no longer a student (Opal literally cancelled my student card the day the paperwork for my thesis submission was put through), but unless you were super prepared (also known as smart/prepared) you're not a professional yet either. I personally threw myself into preparing for a Marine Environment summer course I was going to be teaching (I might write a separate blog post about that because it was a very fun/educational/inspiring experience), and writing up my second paper for publication in a journal.
And now exciting things are happening because my husband (that happened post-thesis submission :D ) and I are going to be moving overseas to try our hand at living and working in Europe. We're kicking it off with a 3 month cycling trip from Nantes in France to Budapest! Wish us luck. At the conclusion of that trip we will be settling in Toulouse in France for a year to do some casual work and continue travelling. So if you know anyone who is looking for a volunteer or intern in the animal behaviour/research field after August in the Toulouse area let me know.
(A subsample of my amazing lab-mates)
And now the actual reason for this post: I've seen that it's become a trend to post your acknowledgments from your thesis on twitter/facebook because we all know no-one is going to read it in your actual thesis, so I thought I'd post mine here (because everyone is going to see it here, right?) So here goes:
First of all, I would like to thank my supervisor Tracey for all her help and guidance throughout my thesis journey. You believed in my dream project, and taught me how to embrace the change when it didn’t go exactly as planned; and turned into something even better. I have you to thank for so many of the amazing opportunities I experienced throughout my candidature. To my co-supervisor Lisa, thank you for stepping in in my times of need and offering words of encouragement and advice.
I owe massive thanks to the members of the Mammal Lab both past and present for providing feedback on draft manuscripts and presentations, for all our lunch dates and the occasional lab field trip. Marlee, Alicia, Naysa, Ricardo, Gary, Cat, Dani, Sarah, Kate, Nahal, Adelaide and Annie, thank you.
Even though a lot of the data never made it into the thesis, I was lucky to work with some amazing people at zoos and aquariums, bush care groups and national parks; Rob, Wendy, Vanessa, Ryan, Tony, Greg, Nat and Jennifer from Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo; Marissa and Justin from Zoos Victoria and Wild Seas Zoos Victoria; Aaron and Mariana from Dolphin Marine Magic; Mark from Underwater World Mooloolaba; the Captive Research and Advisory Group (CRAG) and Save the Tasmanian Devil Program; Jodie, Sam and David from DPIPWE Tasmania; Channing from Carnivore Conservancy; and last but by no means least, Lesley and the lovely residents from the Rocky Point Bush Care Group. I would also like to thank my wonderful volunteers Cat, Sarah and Dani for their help in the field.
The biggest thanks of all goes to my amazing family, for keeping me accountable and pushing me toward the finish line; to Sam for talking me out of more than one meltdown, and attempting to teach me not to sweat the small stuff; and to my mum for being my biggest cheerleader and critic, celebrating my achievements with the greatest enthusiasm, and always believing I could achieve great things no matter what anyone says.