What’s all this then?

This, is my blog. Or at least I hope it will be. I used to write a blog, also called The Palaeobabbler, where I covered a wider range of topics until it fell out of use, and I have decided to have a fresh start. Whereas the old blog used to include creative writing, theology, philosophy, random musings and more, this new blog will focus completely on palaeontology and evolution. I wanted to do something more focussed and related to where my life was going, so I decided that I would start this blog when I started my MSc studies and would write about those experiences, along with my favourite palaeontological subjects (more on those later). However, life took a wrong turn, or a pause, or something annoying and slow. Getting accepted on the MSc course was no problem, but funding it was, so I had to defer my place and hope to raise money for the following year (I am so far failing miserably). This also meant a year-long delay on blogging if I stuck to the plan, but why wait? Much of what I hoped to write could be written regardless of my study situation, and it would prevent my writing from stagnating. 

Here I am, babbling on already, yet nobody knows who I am (except those rare few who might have followed my old blog). Earlier this year I graduated from the BSc Palaeobiology and Evolution course at the University of Portsmouth and am attempting to pay for the Bristol MSc in palaeobiology. I also volunteer at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery so I am getting my hands on fossils on a regular basis, until I find a job which will sadly likely take me away from the museum. I do spend a lot of my spare time researching, trying to keep up with palaeontological advances so that I don’t lose touch with the discipline (who knows where research will lead, even casual research…). I so far only have one publication, and it is not peer reviewed (a short article in Deposits which I don’t actually like that much – the article, not the magazine, the magazine is awesome!). If I do get anything published properly, ever, it will likely end up on my Academia.edu profile, which still thinks I am at Portsmouth…

So, what to expect from this blog? Well, one of my major interests has long been evolutionary biology, particularly when the fossil record is taken into account, but I like to dip into the genetics side of things (particularly developmental genetics; evo-devo is a very exciting field), so expect much about evolution, particularly macroevolution. I am known to be very critical of creationism and Intelligent Design, but I will try to keep any critiques to a minimum. I will cover some broad aspects of palaeontology, touching on subjects which I do not know as well as others, but like anyone I have some key interests. My major passion is for the Ediacaran biota, so much of this blog will be dedicated to them, whatever they are, and I intend to run a Tumblr account alongside this blog, helping to spread Ediacaran awesomeness. Naturally, a love of Ediacarans goes hand in hand with the Cambrian Explosion, and I will certainly discuss it rather a lot. I also have a soft spot for trace fossils, which ties in nicely with the Cambrian Explosion as there were some incredible changes going on at that time – the Cambrian Substrate Revolution! The subject of my undergrad dissertation was Early Cambrian trace fossils, so I at least have some first hand knowledge. I also have my volunteer work with Doncaster Museum, which tends to expose me to local fossils, particularly the Permian fossils deposited in the Zechstein Sea, and of course it will come with stories about some of the random finds in the collection. 

I think that’s everything, so hopefully I will keep it up. If things get slow I can always be lazy and reblog things from my old blog, as I am sure I wrote at least one interesting post…

P.S. Check out Palaeocritti if you have never had a peek. 

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