Sciencey fieldwork forever: thanks and farewell Zarah Pattison

Zarah Pattison (@ZarahPattison) is a postdoctoral researcher in invasion biology and joined Real Scientists in early June. Zarah started her week with a bang, kicking off the #fieldworkhome hashtag, with folks from all over sharing their varied fieldwork sites.

She also discussed some of the highlights and challenges of conducting science in the great outdoors



Zarah kindly obliged in completing our exit interview, and her answers are below.

In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?

I found it interesting and dynamic! There are many followers from different backgrounds which creates a great atmosphere and adds to scientific debate. I chose this specific week as I was in the office after a long month of fieldwork. I feel if I had been on fieldwork I would not have been able to interact as much, as chatting to people takes up a lot of time. But I loved it!

It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

I only had a couple of negative comments but expected that at some point. I found the rush of comments for the #fieldworkhome exciting!

What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?

The highlights were definitely looking at all the amazing #fieldworkhome pics and a great debate on how invasive species are perceived. It is important not to be sensitive to the fact that some of your questions or topics don’t take off.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

I would have liked to discuss the Hydroscape project and team more. however, all of that information is on my website.

Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?

I had a rough plan and I did stick to it.

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

Plan the topics that you want to discuss day by day. For me the #fieldworkhome hashtag worked so well that I ran it for two days. When people don’t interact with a specific question or topic you offer don’t get disheartened. Move on to the next topic! Make sure you have plenty of time to respond to people during your week as curator. I specifically chose a week when I was in the office so I could chat freely and engage with the community.

What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?


Thanks once again Zarah from all of us here at RealScientists HQ. If you missed anything from her week, the tweets are all collated at the following link.


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