This year I decided not to re-post my traditional “Thank the insects for Christmas” piece, in part because I don’t want to bore the good readers of this blog with too much repetition, but also because the idea has been taken up by the Urban Pollinators Project at the University of Bristol, and developed into an infographic (on which I advised) that you can view here. The BBC News Website used the information for a nice article called “The insects that made Christmas“. So look back on your Christmas dinner, if you had one, and give thanks to the many invertebrates that made it happen!
The other reason for not doing a full re-post of that piece is that I was feeling worn out by a long university term that ended not with a whimper, but a stressful double-bang of publication of our pollinator extinctions paper (and the associated media interest, which I may talk about early in 2015) and the release of the results of the Research Excellence Framework, which I coordinated for my department. We were pleased with the outcome, with over 40% of our research papers rated as “world leading” or “internationally excellent”, and most of the rest being “recognised internationally”. For a young, mainly teaching-focused, non research-intensive institution such as the University of Northampton (which doesn’t enjoy the facilities and funding of older, larger universities), that’s an impressive result.
A final bit of news is that this blog made it onto the MySciBlog survey 2014, by Paige Brown Jarreau (Louisiana State University) who asked more than 600 science bloggers “to list up to the top three science blogs, other than their own, that they read on a regular basis”. The initial results can be found at Figshare, and I’ve inserted network graphic below (click on it for a larger view). The size of a node is proportional to the number of respondents who read that blog regularly and my blog is part of the green section near the top, tucked just under the dominant Dynamic Ecology. It’s gratifying to know that other bloggers are reading this in significant numbers!
Thanks to everyone who has read my blog over the past year, particularly those who have commented on the ideas and information I’ve presented: best wishes to you all for 2015!