The new year: new research, new things to learn, new things to do

New. Lots of “new” going on at the moment. It’s fantastic.

I’ve recently started my new Comparative Animal Locomotion module at the RVC, and it’s been really interesting so far. A lot of what has been covered so far is old hat, but it’s reinforcing to re-cover and re-learn things I haven’t thought about for a while. We’re just about getting into new things, for instance, scaling finally clicked! Felt like a bit of a eureka moment, and is incredibly simple once the mental approach is sorted out. Did you know that cat bone diameter scales isometrically?

I also started my new lab project for the year: felids, gait transitions and kinematics for now. New challenges (more new things!) present themselves with this project. Due to the nature of studying big cats, there’s some obvious claw and tooth shaped dangers presented. As such, calculating true measurements from the data I have will be different to the way I’ve done it previously, but certainly achievable accurately. It appears tigers don’t trust force plates, and will try to avoid walking on them at all costs – scaredy cats! More on this to come in a future post, hopefully with a few gifs showing the true nature of these oversized moggies.

Finally, PhD application season is here, and I suppose this is the crux of this post, ad something else new to me. I’m currently working on my CV, which is so different to any CV I’ve made in the past. Academic CVs need so much more content in them than the last one I put together, which was for a coffee shop job! I owe a huge thanks to Michelle Reeve and Chris Basu of the Structure and Motion Lab for helping me redraft and refine my CV. Check them out on various social media by clicking their names.

I’ve got my sights set on the PhD I want, now I just have to apply (successfully) and interview (successfully). Things feel very real at the moment, with a lot to juggle between coursework, research, lectures and applications. More PhDs will be advertised soon, so there’s only going to be more to look at. When I look back to two years ago, where I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my degree/career, it’s daunting to see how far I’ve come.

So here’s to more productivity, more learning and some success. Until next time, when I hopefully something else new to talk about.