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The definitive host: Looking Back

The definitive host

de·fin·i·tive host (duh-fin'eh-tiv) n. 1) An organism where a parasite undergoes the adult and sexual stages of its reproductive cycle 2) Someone you go to for interesting stories and/or facts, and puts on one hell of a dinner party 3) This blog, devoted to science and other geeky subjects

Friday, April 22, 2011

Looking Back

Sorry for the lack of blogs popping up here recently, but I have not forgotten. I’ve been very busy the past few weeks with stuff popping up that needed to be done rather quickly, as well as being sick twice!

For those of you that missed it last week, I had a new Scientific American Guest Blog post entitled, “Regeneration: The axolotl story,” on the unique amphibian known as the axolotl. It is a fascinating animal, and I hope that you all will give it a read. It was a lot of fun to write!

Other than that, I’ve been working on a number of things recently that should be popping up in various online publications and in print soon, as well as working on a seminar and workshop I’m planning at a university to increase communication between scientists and the media. Suffice to say, it should be an exciting few weeks.

But, that is not what I want to talk about.

A year ago today (April 22, 2010), I finally arrived home after completing my Masters of Journalism degree at a university in Ottawa. The month of April was primarily spent working on my Masters Research Project or MRP on the status of the endangered black-footed ferret. I had officially handed it in a day earlier, packed a large duffel bag and left the city until graduation.

It’s been one hell of an interesting year!

I’ve loved and lost, made countless friends over Twitter (and I do consider them friends), and lost other friends for a variety of reasons (some sensible, some not). I applied to jobs by the bucket load, but initially made little headway. I did a few freelancing pieces here and there, before I got a job writing press releases for a science journal in the United States, where I learned a lot.

I expanded my online presence by being one of the first bloggers to join up with LabSpaces, which I still love to do. When my position at the journal ended, I received other freelance job offers through Twitter, some of which I accepted, others not.

And then, in the New Year, I wrote my first post for Scientific American about my experience in South Dakota pursuing the black-footed ferret for MRP. There was such a good response to that piece, that I have since written other posts for them about ugly animals that deserve love on Valentine’s Day, the biology of snake venom, what it is like growing up as a twin, and more!

Many things have changed in the past year, and I had plenty of ups and downs along the way. It is not easy breaking into the journalism industry, especially as a science journalist. It has been tough at times, but I want to say thank you to all my friends in real life, my family and my Twitter friends. You all have been so supportive of me, and of that I am most thankful.

Hopefully, some day soon, I can pay you all back in kind.

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At April 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM , Blogger Reptile Apartment said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At April 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM , Blogger Reptile Apartment said...

David, I found you through your post on Venom and we have done some work together and hope to again and I must say it here because 140 characters is just not enough. You my friend if I may call you that have continually impressed me with your accessibility and overall demeanour towards anyone that I have seen you have contact with. From a journalistic perspective you take science and bring it home to the regular people on a level where we don't feel like we are being talked down to. Instead we share in your stories nodding in agreement and comprehending what you're writing about. The 'public' at large needs and appreciates what you're doing. You are a fantastic journalist and I can't wait to see what's coming in the future!


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