What’s new in 2022?

Welcome to 2022! Boy, the last two years have not been overly kind…but here’s hoping that things (globally) will improve! Here, I thought it would just give a little recap about what’s been happening on my end, and what to expect from me (and The G-CAT) in 2022.

A recap of 2021

Last year was a bit of a ride if I’m honest. As you may recall, at the start of the year I announced changing my posting routine to something more irregular, to take the focus off maintaining a strict timetable and more on the delivery and structure of posts. Predictably, this has meant an overall decrease in the number of posts (without necessarily a corresponding increase in length). Although I’m very much happy with the content I produced, I’m a little disappointed that I let this fall on the backburner. So sorry about that.

As you can see, posting frequency has dropped off significantly since the end of 2019 (this is now a callout post for myself).

The ups and downs of an academic career

Since completing (and graduating) from my PhD at the very start of the year, my professional life was a little precarious. Although I had some minor casual contract work, last year was a bit of a struggle financially and professionally. Add that with the well-documented anxiety of being an early-career academic traversing a competitive job market, I was not mentally in a great state for much of the year. Excluding, of course, getting married to my loving husband in March (at an open-range zoo, of course) – with all of the various restrictions, outbreaks and logistical nightmares, I feel extremely lucky that it all went according to plan and was a wonderful day.

Me, delivering my wedding speech in much the same way I deliver conference talks (but a bit better dressed).

Thankfully, despite being a little delayed my career prospects have now starting to catch up with that highlight. I’m very pleased to have started a new job as a Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. The two-year contract is focused on the application of genetic, morphological and demographic data to the conservation management (particularly, translocation and genetic rescue efforts) of half a dozen (and potentially more) mammalian species across Australia. It’s a fantastic collaboration between academic researchers, government departments, state museums and non-profit conservation organisations, with a very practical and direct management focus. After feeling somewhat disillusioned and anxiety-riddled for most of 2021, it’s reignited my passion for research and conservation (even with the stress of moving!).

The G-CAT in 2022

I plan to carry that same energy back to The G-CAT. I’ve thought a bit about the delivery and format of the blog for some time, and I think something that has been a little lacking is some direction – topics tend to vary from being directed towards the general public, incipient researchers, and those a bit longer in the game, without much consistency or clarity. With that in mind, I intend to diversify some of the content to other platforms and format (I won’t reveal exactly how just yet – stay tuned!) to try and make this distinction clearer. If you’re a fan of the longer (descriptive) blog format, don’t worry – I will still be maintaining the lengthier posts here (hopefully with a little more frequency than last year)! But I feel that this strategy will be best in order to get the most out of The G-CAT brand and build a wider range of communication skills.

With all said and done, I hope you will stick around and see how the next year plays out! There is plenty of exciting things coming out soon – both in terms of The G-CAT and my own academic research – which I’m keen to share. And as always, my inbox is always open for you to drop a line, or you can contact me via any of my linked socials.

See you all again soon!

Dr. Sean Buckley, aka The G-CAT.

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