A double big day for Heather

15 09 2015

It was Heather‘s PhD defence today!  Here she is giving her presentation, the face of her external examiner, Cheryl Meehan, glowing behind her (in our terrible set-up — which feels like a psychology experiment — the camera through which anyone connecting in sees you is ahead, at the back of the room, but for you to see their face you have to tFullSizeRender-14urn around [at which they see the back of your head]).

Obviously I’ve read Heather’s thesis chapter by chapter, but reading the whole thing these last few days, I was almost shocked at how huge and thorough it is. Her committee member examiner, Dave Barney, actually said it was the best thesis he has ever read! No surprise then that the afternoon went well. Both these two, along with Alexandra, the non-committee member examiner, asked great questions, as did Andy Robinson who chaired the event. Heather handled these with aplomb, and although afterwards she couldn’t say that she’d enjoyed it as such, she did admit that it wasn’t quite as unbearably ghastly as she’d feared.

Here she is below, wreathed in smiles, relief and gifts from Dave (the book, on parrot intelligence, is signed by Irene Pepperberg), as he and Alex congratulate her.FullSizeRender-15

As for the double big day? It’s also her 10th wedding anniversary! “Happy anniversary!!” said Michael as they got up this morning. “Uh .. what??” was Heather’s distracted reply. Hopefully she could finally celebrate that too when she got home.