Wednesday, October 22, 2008
2008 Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Sunday afternoon I victoriously returned from the 2008 meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. On saturday I delivered my first ever oral presentation, on the enigmatic/bizarre fossil baleen whale Herpetocetus bramblei.
The presentation was largely a success; the only negative feedback I received was on my "rather unfortunate [if not tragic] choice of font color". Which is a damn good thing, once you really think about it; much of the world's entire discipline of cetacean paleontologists were all there watching my talk, save one american, two italians, and a frenchman. In any event, I only received good feedback on the scientific content of my presentation... which is awesome. Oh, and ya, Michael Novacek was in the front row (!!!). I only cussed once during my presentation, which is a bit of a milestone for me.
Other than the success of my talk, I realized that I had racked up a total of 10 hours of sleep for the entire conference (4 nights); that averages about 2.5 hours of sleep a night. Too many friends were present, that and our broken thermostat in our hotel room that ensured a constant frigid 50 degrees. So when I did return at 4am, I was kept awake by my own shivering.
Besides the lack of sleep, I was rather surpised this year by the amount of time I spent talking 1 on 1 with my "colleagues" (can I actually say that now?) instead of going to other posters or talks. I must have only gone to a couple of dozen talks the whole week, and I averaged 30-40 minutes at a single poster, so I probably only saw a dozen of those. In any event... I am returning from SVP fully energized about research, with new projects (gulp) in hand with new colleagues.