Blogmas Day 15 – Handing in My Dissertation – All the Thoughts I’ve had

I’ve written a few times about my disseration. When I first started trying to post about it weekly, it seemed like ages away that I’d be handing it in. But here we are; Christmas is fast approaching, and I’ve handed in a draft. I have a set of results, a lot of reading to do, and a lot of graphs to make. So as I gulp in anticipation of only having one term of uni left (I’m both terrified and SO DAMN READY!), I’m using today to reflect on everything a dissertation throws at you.

Why I Chose to Move 600 Miles from Home for University

One thing I see come up most often when people describe why they chose their university is proximity to home. So what happens when you meet someone that moved so far from home they can’t just pop back every weekend with a bag of dirty laundry, enjoy a Sunday roast and then grab a late train back on Sunday morning?

I am that person. Whilst Aberdeen University does have an amazing biology department and is one of the world leaders in marine biology research, one of my defining factors for choosing it out of my other options was that it was a 600 mile journey away from my home town.

The Dissertation – Where I’m At

We’re slugging into November and I’m so far off course it hurts. I thought I’d have my stats done by now and be into writing the thesis. As it stands, one seal does over 250 dives a day and R is very complex to use! After 3 weeks of crying because I couldn’t figure out how to make R do what I wanted to do, I had a little chat with my supervisor and a discussion about what I had so far. I can’t go into the technicalities without boring you so much you’ll block my URL. So I’ll just say I was told to state a few assumptions and go from there.

The Dissertation Blog – Week 2

How in 1200 words (which I initially thought was 2200, cue one hell of a word cut-down!) can you explain an entire research proposal, including background, hypothesis and actual plan of action?! I can’t help but feel I sound like a five year old reeling off seal facts. And hey, why doesn’t anyone just publish fun animal facts? I need to reference basic seal biology but can I find it anywhere in a peer reviewed journal unless you want to get crazy technical? No, no I can’t. Thank you IUCN for being the one website I can still use as a credible source!

The Dissertation Blog – Week One

The 11th September marked one very obvious, sombre occasion and another, slightly less obvious one – the first day of term for Aberdeen University students. And for those of us 4th year students in the School of Biological Sciences, that means the dreaded dissertation, honours project, thesis, whatever you want to call it, officially began! The next four months will be filled up by a range of experiences for everyone! Lab work, field work, risk assessments, desk based analysis, shouting at statistical analysis software, or maybe being sat out in the cold and rain for hours on end. We’re all here, all powering through.

July Roundup – What I Did!

I’ll be honest here, I’m not writing this for anyone in particular, but more for myself. This blog is currently my diary until my dissertation starts and I have some genuine content to bring you guys! But for now, documenting my months is a great way for me to look back at my achievements and be able to easily reference anything that comes up!

So, you want to be a Marine Biologist?

Conjure up the words “Marine Biologist” and the image of a tanned young woman leaping from a yacht into a vibrant coral reef, where she immediately begins a happy dance with a friendly dolphin comes to mind. Sadly, that is not marine biology and trust me, if I could get paid to do that, I would! Marine Biology is a huge, diverse subject covering a range of environments, animals, plants and ecological systems. It is not just cuddling dolphins in warm climates. If that’s what you want to do, save your money. Don’t go to uni. Get on a plane and head to the States and get a job at Seaworld (and don’t update me on your progress because I hate Seaworld! #EmptyTheTanks!).