Prof. David Wise, from University of Illinois at Chicago, visited our laboratory yesterday. David Wise is a very well known community ecologist, and is also an influential spider ecologist. On a personal level, David Wise influenced my academic career significantly, and I have long been inspired by his work. His book “Spiders in Ecological Webs” remains an important piece of work (he was also the external examiner for my PhD).
David Wise gave a nice seminar in our Department, and I will write a post next week to share some of the knowledge we gained from that and from other interactions with him. Today, however, I have different (fun!) story for you.
Many of you are aware of “The Bug Geek” (aka Crystal Ernst, my PhD student). In addition to being an excellent scientist, Crystal is a terrific photographer. A few weeks ago, she opened up an on-line shop to sell her wares, including a mug with this lovely picture of Eris militaris on it (by the way, Crystal is doing this in part to help fund her trip to “BugShot2012”.
This jumping spider is the study species of my PhD student Raphael Royaute. I bought one of Crystal’s mugs, and it arrived on Wednesday.
Confused, yet? Here’s the recap: Spiders are great, Crystal photographed Raphael’s study species and put the image on a mug, I bought the mug, it arrived (quite unplanned) the day before David Wise showed up in the laboratory.
So, as you can anticipate, David Wise walked away with “The Mug in Question“. This was entirely appropriate, and I was thrilled to give it to him. A small token of thanks to one of my academic mentors. He was pleased, as were the rest of us. Now I’ll have to go and buy something else from Crystal’s store! (you should too)