Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Joe I think it would be fair to describe me as a person who is, on the whole, rather fond of winter. I like wearing wool sweaters. I like cold, snowy days. I like being warm and cozy inside on dark, stormy evenings. I even like watching curling matches on the tellie.

But it's April now, and I WANT THE SUN TO COME BACK!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Glad Påsk!

JoeToday is Annandag Påsk, a national holiday here in oh-so-secular Sweden, and for once at least it's a holiday we're spending in exactly the way it is intended: a day to recover from the excitement of Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Jennifer You might remember that last year I had some students in the month of March; my project was once again volunteered for the same class year, but this year I ended up splitting the teaching duties with the Austrian postdoc E. who is in the lake project. He wanted the teaching experience, but would be out of town for the second half of the project; meanwhile, I was unemployed for the time leading up to it, but was rehired just in time to take the over for the second half. His good idea was to take the students out to nearby Lake Ekoln and get a new sample, since all our samples are from the summer and we are interested in finding out how the bacterioplankton is different in the winter. I do enjoy a bit of fieldwork— haven't done any for ages now— so I was more than happy to tag along with the group for the trip to take the sample. Back on 1 March, E. drove us and a trunk-ful of equipment down to the northern tip of Lake Mäleran, a basin called Lake Ekoln. This is the lake which runs all the way to Stockholm, and is what they skate on when they do the Uppsala to Stockholm skate race. On March 1, winter was showing no signs of giving up yet— new snow, a strong wind, thick ice. It took about half an hour for us to drill a hole all the way through the ice (here's me taking my turn). Then the two students got out the water bottles, took their samples, and we went back to the lab where the went through the rest of the procedure for filtering the bacteria out. They were very proud and possessive of their samples, as they should have been, since they suffered wet feet in a blizzard in order to obtain them; the Chinese student, who has never experienced anything like this, was quite pleased with the whole experience.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jag jobbar jobbigt

JenniferSo here's my job situation. Late last year, my boss, in collaboration with a couple other professors here, wrote a grant application to the European Research Council. One of the purposes of the grant was to continue funding for my current project; the application included funding for a couple of students and a post-doc, with the understanding that I would be the post-doc. The grant was well-reviewed by the ERC, and at the beginning of December or so I was more-or-less assured of a one-year extension. But the way these grants work is that the actual funding is left up to the research councils of member states. And when Vetenskaprådet (the Swedish equivalent of NSF) received our application, they declined to fund it. ERC proposes, VR disposes.