EGU Blogs

After a busy summer, we have returned to the blogosphere…

Well, it has been a while since either of us has produced a GeologyJenga post, so first of all apologies on this front. We both have the same excuse – finishing our PhD theses! Our mutual deadline was 30 September 2014, and thankfully we both made it. The last few months were challenging at times and we both agreed that the feeling upon submission is hard to describe: certainly wonderfully joyous, coupled the tremendous relief, but tinged with no small amount of surrealism! We intend to put together a more comprehensive piece in the near future outlining the positives (and negatives) of our PhD experiences as well as suggestions and advice for those who may be at an earlier stage (or indeed approaching the end), but we thought it might be nice to precede that with a ‘welcome back’ post about our current activities and prospects.

The final product (after an excessive amount of wasted paper, sadly...)

Dan’s final product (after an excessive amount of wasted paper, sadly…)

Laura was in fact extra busy during those final few weeks as she had commenced a new job, directly related to the EGU blogging community…

Hi everyone! So, what has been going on with me? Well, in August I started my new position as Communications Officer for the EGU. I guess I’ve made no secret on Jenga about how important I think science communication is and when the opportunity arose to work for the EGU doing just that, I couldn’t pass it up! That however, did involve a move from the UK to Germany… I don’t speak any German, so that clearly made things more difficult. I’ve got to say, I’m super grateful to Sara Mynott for all her help, tips and advice. I also had to finish writing up my thesis at the same time, which has been challenging but certainly worth it and in many ways, the new job made me focus on the thesis a lot more, even though it may sound strange. Now that I’ve handed in, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into life in Munich. Top of my list: learn some German! Second on my list, I can’t wait to get out and about and explore the city, the Alps and beyond. I’ll sadly not be blogging as regularly as before on Jenga, but Dan is taking over the baton on that front. Stay tuned for 10 minute interviews, which I’ll continue. For more from me, head over to GeoLog, the EGU blog where I will be posting regular content every week.

Laura exploring the sights and sounds of Munich

Exploring the sights and sounds of Munich

Daniel also spent most of the summer in front of a computer writing, which sadly meant minimal opportunities for outdoor activities…

I did have a short ‘writing holiday’ in Costa Rica last June, something I have been recommending to PhD colleagues in Geography at Liverpool – the tranquil setting was re-invigorating and I returned to my desk in a positive frame of mind to finish the write-up. Scepticism about my intentions from colleagues and supervisors means I must emphasize it was not solely a holiday, there was some tangible output! I was able to complete drafts of a chapter for my thesis as well as a peer-reviewed book chapter surrounded by the majestic scenery.

My work space in Potrero, Costa Rica (with reasonable Wifi...)

My work space in Potrero, Costa Rica (with reasonable Wifi…)


People often tell me I'm tall... Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica

People often tell me I’m tall… Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica

I am currently enjoying a post-PhD break before I take up a Post-Doctoral Research Associate position in November working on the Long-Term/Large-Scale (LTLS) interactions of C, N and P in UK land, freshwater and atmosphere project, part of the wider NERC-funded Macronutrients Cycles research programme. I am really looking forward to being involved in a project with some links to my PhD research as well as many new and fascinating elements. The prospect of getting out in the field again collecting soil samples, working in the labs at CEH Lancaster and interacting with a diverse research team across the consortium of institutions involved in the LTLS project is really exciting. In the meantime, I am volunteering at the Liverpool Festival Gardens and undertaking a course in Horticulture there as well as finalising a chapter on measurement methods in limnology for submission to the British Society for Geomorphology Online Geomorphological Techniques book.

Look out for a number of forthcoming posts over the next few weeks now that our lives have settled down a little…

Daniel Schillereff has been employed as a Teaching Fellow in Physical Geography at King's College London since September 2015, contributing to teaching across the broad curriculum. Prior to this post he held a Post-doctoral position jointly at the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology in Lancaster and the University of Liverpool on the NERC-funded LTLS project. This research looked at sources, fluxes and interactions of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus across the UK over the last 200 years. He submitted his PhD thesis at the University of Liverpool in 2014 that analysed basal sediments from lakes to determine whether imprints of extreme historical floods could be detected. He tweets as @dschillereff and his personal webpage is