Now Update



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I’ve finished my fieldwork (on Kangaroo Island, South Australia) for 2016 in late September and am now back in Tasmania. I’m looking forward to staying in one place for more than a month – training hard in BJJ, maybe do a multi-day cycling trip to cockle creek (south of Tassie). AND BRING ON TASSIE’S SUMMER! WOO!


Summary for this year’s fieldwork:

From the female seals I’ve deployed loggers on and other sampling methods on pups, I’ve got:

  • 6 out of 15 geolocation loggers were recovered (deployment period from Jan – Sep 2016)
  • 2 out of 15 time-depth loggers were recovered (deployment period from Jan – Sep)
  • 2 summer foraging tracks obtained from 6 GPS loggers deployed in summer (failed to recover 3 loggers, 1 logger had corrupted data)
  • 2 winter foraging tracks obtained from 3 GPS loggers deployed in winter (failed to recover 1 logger)
  • many whisker samples for stable isotope analysis from females and their pups
  • pup (of tagged females) growth rates obtained from measuring their length, girth and mass in summer, autumn and winter.
  • temperature and wet/dry data that the geolocation and depth loggers also recorded

Recovery rate of the loggers isn’t fantastic but at least I’ve got data to work with! This will be my first time working with GPS, geolocation and oceanographic data. Most of the data analysis will be done in R. I’m trying not to be overwhelmed, and remind myself to focus on the small goals i.e. start small, focus on the process and not the outcome.

My goal for the rest of 2016 before I do the fieldwork all over again is to answer this question with the data I got:

Are we able to detect the timing of the shift from shelf (in summer) to oceanic (in winter) foraging in the mums?

This can be done through detecting changes in water temperature  where the seals dived in, foraging trip duration (we expect foraging trips to become longer towards winter), and maybe geolocations?

Geolocation analysis is very interesting – the geolocation tag basically records light levels continuously. The light data can tell us timing of dawn and dusk, which tells us the amount of daylight the seal is experiencing. With some sophisticated maths and programming… (what I’m trying to learn!), we can use this information to produce coarse scale locations (latitude and longitude) of where the seal is at dawn and dusk each day.

Non-PhD (I’m not just a PhD student)


  • Learning programming particularly R, and soon going to dive more into Python. More interested in using Python for web designing actually!
  • Yoga for BJJ ( everyday
  • Making videos that tell a story, could be through vlogging or just random story ideas (Casey Neistat is my inspiration)
  • Selling shit I don’t need (on eBay and Gumtree)
  • Looking for some casual work
  • Looking forward to the Falls Festival!


  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


  • Tim Ferriss, Rich Roll and Joe Rogan podcasts (ALWAYS!)
  • Recent new artist I’m digging DEAN (Korean RnB)

Developing (good) habits:

  • Yoga practice everyday (it has sort of replaced my daily 10 min meditation, though I meditate for at least 1 min after each yoga practice; sometimes I do 10-20 min meditation too)
  • Cold therapy i.e. cold showers – starting showers with 30 seconds of cold water, and finishing with a cold blast.
  • Practicing Wim Hof’s breathing method (at least once a week)
  • Intermittent fasting – having my last meal by 6 pm and having breakfast later to do a 16 hour fast (trying to!).

Pondering on:

  • The serenity prayer. I’m not religious but open to what works. It’s essentially the same as the stoic mindset, which I try to live by everyday.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference

Last update was 4th October 2016

This is part of the nownownow project by Derek Sivers.

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