My first semester as a new PI at the University of Vienna is coming to an end… transitioning from being a postdoc to a PI – brought some surprises for me, and some things just stayed the same! Like many other postdocs, I have (co-)advised many students over the past years, so this part was not new to me at all. What was new, however, was that this is now officially part of my job and that everyone expects me to get less done on my “own” research given the new duties – in a way, this is more relaxed than before! I do cherish the times when I can sit down with “my” data and code, and if possible, would love to keep this up for as long as I can! The field of evolutionary biology and ecology is developing so quickly, and in order to be a good advisor, it is absolutely necessary to also take (and have!) the time to follow the recent developments and innovations in the field.
In terms of teaching, I have had a lot of fun teaching an undergraduate class in plant systematics and diversity – one of our best days probably was when we were all out in the Botanical Garden adjacent to the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research dissecting flowers and fruits of Ranunculaceae and discussing adaptations to wind and animal pollination and dispersal! I think that really helped grasp the theory behind such concepts!