Friday, July 21, 2006
Oh yeah... that's why I'm doing this
Just when I start to get bogged down in mind-numbing details about primers and PCR and does this additive work? and what temperature should I use? and blah blah blah, I take a moment to play with some GIS data and remember why I love biogeography in the first place. It was such a simple thing: the supplemental data from a paper on beech phylogeography, with lat-long coordinates and haplotypes for each accession. I muddle around in ArcView, trying to remember how to get point data into the map, and suddenly it worked and the haplotype patterns just leaped out at me in shades from the lovely "mineral" color scheme. Now imagine that map with way more data, way more markers. Imagine a single picture that shows in an instant where my pretty trees came from, and whether they share their history with their compatriots. Imagine me at my defense several years hence, putting up that picture and watching my audience's eyes light up with understanding and appreciation for a story well told.
I am ending the week on a positive note. Now if only that new PCR works!!