These last weeks and months have been really hectic and have given me almost no time to continue writing my blog. Teaching the evening course on Human Evolution kept me busy, because I completely remade last year’s lectures. So much is continuously published on Human Evolution and I wanted to include all this in my lectures, so that the students are really up-to-date with research. This means reading all the new articles, summarizing them and translating them mentally into Swedish, searching for appropriate illustrations and then burning it all down in an understandable way and finally telling the story so that no one falls asleep.
This year we had two invited lecturers in our course, Denise Leesch, an archaeologist from Switzerland, who talked about how archaeologists work, and Sahara Talamo from Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, who explained all the fascinating research on Neanderthals, which is going on in her institute. Sahra gave a very different lecture, using a self-made crossword to keep people from falling asleep, and was very surprised about the high level of knowledge most of the students had.
What more kept me busy?
Two of my PhD students finished their respective manuscripts on the Asian monsoon and Thailand lake sediments and needed help with structuring and writing. Then they continued with writing a summary to be included in their licentiate, which will be defended by the end of May. More text to read and correct! This time on past Asian monsoon variability!
SKB, the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, has asked me to summarize the current state-of-the art regarding glacial inception, i.e. how did the last glacial period start some 110 000 years ago? Why did it start, what was the sequence of events, and what was the response in Europe to this climatic change from a warm interglacial into a colder glacial? In order to get all necessary information together, which means a historical background, latest results from marine, ice core and land archives, plus climate modelling, I had to move from the Asian monsoon into a completely different area, into a different time period and different questions. Although time consuming, I learnt very much, and should probably use everything I now know to update the online course on Climate Change through Earth’s History, …. but this will have to wait a bit.
And then there are the more usual duties, making schedules for courses in the autumn, planning excursions, writing research projects, applying for money, supervising MSc students, sampling sediments, discussing research results, sitting on board meetings, attending courses, … time just flies!