193,551: funding received in 2020, including a Systematics Research Fund grant from the Linnean Society of London & Systematics Association, a Leopold III Fund grant, and a PurSUiT grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. This NSF grant covers the stipend of the first-ever PhD student I am co-advising (with Cathie Aime), Jeff Stallman, who started in Fall 2020.
51,886: the highest number of impressions received by one of my tweets in 2020. That top tweet—surprisingly?—was about a penguin with leucism that was spotted on Isabela Island, the largest of the Galápagos Islands.
5,813: number of visitors to this website. That’s nearly 29,196 visitors in almost six years since I started it (in April 2015). Well, I should say Marianne Lourens of ML media set it up. I’m just adding content. Not nearly enough, admittedly—but I do what I can. One day, it is my intention to use this website as my unofficial lab website with news, updates, and other content but let’s first get my own lab (see “2” below).
1000: numbers of hours spent outside. I should be honest; this is the number of hours spent outside by my four-year-old daughter. She did the work, mostly with mum but I helped out whenever I could.
535: number of citations. My total number of citations has increased to a dazzling 1,479. The only way is up!
388: number of co-authors. This does not even include the 205 authors of the State of the World’s Plants and Fungi 2020, but that report wasn’t peer-reviewed. What can I say? Multi-author peer-reviewed publications are popular in mycology these days.
30: papers I reviewed and edited (19 reviewed, 11 edited). I quite enjoy this part of the job, even though it’s very time-consuming; I learn a lot while reviewing/editing and I often get reminded of better techniques, or tools I should try out in my own work. In a way, it’s a privilege to be among the firsts to read someone else’s work and so I don’t go over it lightly.
I have always struggled with what is a good ratio of reviewed/published papers. Mine is 2 for 2020, a little higher compared to 2019 (25 reviewed/edited, 16 published = 1.6). Looking at the results of a recent analysis of peer-review data from 142 journals including 300,000 reviews and 100,000 publications found, I think I’m doing more than fine.
On average, 3.49 ± 1.45 (SD) reviews were required for each scientific publication, and the estimated review ratio across all fields was 0.74 ± 0.46 (SD) reviews per paper published per author. Since these are conservative estimates, I recommend scientists aim to conduct at least one review per publication they produce.
8: presentations and posters, including 4 invited talks. Several other talks were cancelled, one of which was an invitation to speak at a congress in South Korea. That cancellation was a bummer. I am happy that somewhere around mid-2020, most societies and organizations decided to hold their meetings online rather than cancelling them. As a result, I spoke at the “50 years of bat research” virtual symposium organized by the North American Society for Bat Research (#NASBR), at the first virtual meeting of the Mycological Society of America (#MSAfungi20), and at the World Bat Twitter Conference (#WBTC1).
2: number of job interviews in 2020. I feel a bit torn about this. Both interviews – one in person, the other one online – went fine, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Sadly, neither of them landed me a job. I wouldn’t say that the first job search was run very professionally. And although the result of the second one wasn’t what I had hoped for, I should genuinely thank the committees involved. This search was open, transparent towards the candidates, and with clear communication. I came in third (but no offer after the two top candidates were out of the picture) and second, respectively, which I suppose I should celebrate. But in academia, you don’t get medals for coming in second or third. Damn it! 🥉🥈
0: days in the field. If there was one thing depressing about 2020 for me personally, it was the absence of fieldwork. I always live up from living an adventure. This year was supposed to be particularly exciting, with fieldwork planned (and then either cancelled or postponed) in Panama, Honduras, and Siberia. From early discussions with collaborators, it looks like we may be going to Honduras in 2021. I’m keeping up high hopes for the new year!