It is easy to get into a funk when you are a field biologist. Our livelihood depends upon maintaining momentum. We must keep our work funded, which entails fighting with colleagues in our sub-discipline for the dwindling funds that remain at the National Science Foundation (or some other source). We must attract bright, motivated students willing to work with us and help us push our research forward. And we must publish our work in good journals, or else the entire process grinds to a halt.
Maybe I have grown fragile lately, but my most recent setback with the terminal investment paper was a substantial blow to my momentum. Thus, it was especially sweet to hear last week that a second paper — this one concerning the negative impacts of black flies on loons — was well-received by The Auk: Ornithological Advances and appears close to acceptance there. (I have mentioned certain elements of the black fly story in earlier blogs.)
Sometimes in science, as in life, a fortunate event rescues you from an unrelated unfortunate one — and gives you confidence to forge ahead. Perhaps this bit of luck with the black fly paper can help me shake off some bad news, surge forward towards a new research grant, and move towards a productive new avenue of investigation (ecological traps).