I recall back to when I first started; it was just Shinichi, Losia, Rose and I. How much it has changed since 2015. Us four kicked off all the fishy work together, in collaboration with Dan Hesselson at Garvan. Much of the initial work really formed the foundation for Rose’s amazing set of empirical projects…I think Rose is one of the most efficient people I know and probably has collected more data than just about any PhD student on the planet (although, I think Fonti is a pretty close second). I’ve always been so impressed with how she can juggle huge experiments and then two weeks later come with a wonderfully written manuscript (I need to learn how to do that). In any case, I’m excited to see what Rose gets up to in the future, no doubt it will be very cool stuff.
In addition to the fish work, I was also kicking off all my lizard experiments and it wasn’t too long before the wonderful Fonti Kar joined the group (thank goodness for that; I probably would have killed myself if she didn’t) to come on and do a PhD with Shinichi and I. While most people were working with fish, Fonti started as part of the lizard team and has done such an amazing job driving some really stellar projects. She has also mostly kept me organised, and I am very proud of the work she has been doing and all the cool things she has been discovering. I’m looking forward to us getting through the next few chapters of her thesis and seeing what amazing discoveries we uncover from her work.
In addition to I-DEELs current configuration, there have also been countless numbers of instrumental people that have passed through the I-DEEL doors who I really enjoyed working with; especially Joel Pick, Melissa Fangmeier and Takuji Usui who were around for a while and with whom I worked quite closely with on a number of projects. Additionally, all the visitors who transiently pass through the lab, like Dave Westneat, Alfredo Sánchez-Tójar and Nick Moran, plus a bunch of PhD students Shinichi has hosted / brought over from NZ. I’m really glad that I got the chance to meet them all in the short time they had at UNSW.