I have just returned from a sojourn to Melbourne where I met a worldly aquatic ecologist Dr. Peter Macreadie. Pete is a research fellow and advisor at the University of Technology in Sydney in the Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster (C3) group. He works out of the Burwood campus of Deakin University. His publishing record is really astounding. I think I liked the title of his dissertation best as it made me think this is a study Steve and I should do together!
I can't thank Pete enough for the tour and the enlightening and inspiring conversations about evolution and seagrass restoration strategies. I can see there are many opportunities for us to easily pursue research, grant funding and papers together in the future. Pete is one of these people that makes anything seem possible with a little dedication and a lot of elbow grease. Really inspiring individual. I look forward to returning to Australia and pursuing some of these projects with him.
As far as the city of Melbourne is concerned, I didn't have much time to look around because I was on a tight schedule to get back to the cultures here in Sydney. My Dad would be happy to know there are more cranes on this skyline than I have ever seen before in my life (this is his measure for how good an economy is). The economy must be good, even a humble house in the burbs will gather over a million dollars if sold. The housing market is just nuts in both Sydney and Melbourne. I hear there are a lot of kangaroos and I can attest to the gorgeous landscape. I would describe it as savannah type vegetation, made from Eucalyptus and gum trees, instead of Oak. It is really exactly what you expect from Australia as a foreigner. It was refreshing to lose the humidity for a day. In that regard, it felt a bit more like home. The Melbourne area has loads of kangaroos, even in Burwood. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any of the iconic kangaroos in person. On the next trip, a journey up the great ocean road with Steve and Charlie is a must!
Back to work tomorrow on the Labyrinthula isolations! I left them in great shape Thursday morning. Lots of fun things going on all around in this lovely country :)