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Inventory [academic projects]

Current writing project statuses:

1. Leafcutter ant Manuscript of Doom: From the most recent reviews (rejected), Reviewer 1 noted that our premise was about simultaneously testing two frameworks used to study nutrient limitation in living systems, but that we fell short of what we'd promised because x, y, and z. This is because I'd felt that it was too much to put in both the nutrient analyses AND the feeding/growth experiments, and in any case I still need to chew over how to present the nutrient analyses. In the meantime, last year, a synthesis paper got published that examines how these two nutrition frameworks intersect. Reviewer 2 recommended we incorporate the paper, and reviewer 2 is right. So my new to-do list: evaluate how to add back in the existing nutrient analyses, do a few more biochemical analyses (cellulose content - aka "fiber"), come up with a new target journal, revise the Introduction and Discussion, and resubmit. Piece of cake, right?

2. Texas project on cricket nutrition/lifespan/reproduction: manuscript is mostly written. I had an intellectual breakthrough several weeks ago, but have mostly been working on other, more time-sensitive stuff in the meantime, so I haven't gotten back to actively working on this one.

3. Nebraska cricket projects: Going back over my notes, I'm supposed to be responsible for writing at least 2 out of 4 manuscripts. I just sent a message to my coauthors to let them know the current status of those manuscripts, which are mostly still stuck in the data analysis phase. I suspect the other 2 have also stagnated because they include some data that are currently in my possession. Hard to write results if you don't have the data.

4. California cricket projects: I need to run a few more statistical analyses for Circadian Project 1, at which point my postdoc mentor is supposed to be doing the majority of the writing. In theory. I need to run a bunch more statistical analyses for Circadian Project 2, now that follow-up data collection is finally finished.

5. Seed-harvester ants: Cleaning up other peoples' data makes me grumpy. However, at least I now finally have ALL the data. This manuscript is supposed to be a sort of synthesis paper, which should be very intellectually satisfying, once it's finished. It's going to be a painful headache to get done, though, because it relies on multiple years of ragged datasets collected by a whole host of people.

6. Non-first author projects: Two seed-harvester papers and a cricket nutrition paper (California). Maybe also another leafcutter paper. The seed-harvester papers have been taking up a lot of time recently.

Yeah, that's a lot of balls to be keeping in the air. I know.

My plan when I get to the new job is to stick to small-scale things initially - low-hanging fruit. The bottleneck for me is still data analysis and writing, so I'm thinking I might see about training undergraduates to work on very specific/discrete pieces of the writing projects (e.g. literature review on a specific topic; maybe development of critique skills?). We shall see.

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