Thursday, November 24, 2011
Congratulations to Tina for obtaining postdoctoral grant from The Swedish Research Council
Former PhD-student from our lab Kristina Karlsson-Green have just found out that she has been awarded a postdoctoral grant from "The Swedish Research Council" (VR), so that she can go to University of Helsinkki (Finland) for two years and work with Junior Project Leader Dr. Anna-Liisa Laine, who is part of the famous "Metapopulation Ecology Research"-group lead by Professor Ilkka Hanski, who visited Lund and Sweden earlier this year when his research as a recipient of prestiguous "Crafoord Prize".
In Finland, Tina will work on a project with butterflies on the interface between sexual selection, parasites, host-pathogen interactions and trophic interactions. The study species will be the famous butterfly The Glanville Fritillary (Melitaea cinxia,; see picture above), who among its host plants also have Plantago lanceolata, which is infected by a fungal pathogen, which in turn has cascading effects at higher trophic interactions, such as those between the butterflies and parasitoids. This seems like an extremely exciting cutting-edge scientific project with links to community ecology, behavioural ecology and coevolutionary processes, and it will be very interesting to hear about the results from the planned studies.
Tina's success in obtaining one of these highly competitive postdoctoral research grant is mainly her own accomplishment, and shows her quality as an independent young scientist. Still, as former advisor, I feel very proud of her, as well as for my first PhD-student Jessica Abbott, who was able to obtain a "Junior Project Grant" earlier this month from VR.
Students and postdocs from this research lab are doing remarkably well in the stiff competition for grants and scholarships. Why this is so is up to others to analyze, and it is probably some kind of interaction effect between personalities in our group, as well as with other colleagues in our department. Whatever the reason(-s), I am very confident that these grants are not the last and that this positive trend in grant success will continue in the future. The best thing we can do, and a good investment for the future, is to keep up with our regular lab-meetings and interesting scientific discussions about papers and science, encourage and stimulate each other, communicate our findings and joy on this blog and maintain a good spirit and positive attitude towards our work. In the end, I am convinced that these things are far more important than large grants. Well done Tina!