Congratulations to Misha!

6 01 2019

This is LONG overdue: Misha defended his PhD thesis in November!  I may be dragging my heels writing this up just because I’ve worked with him for so many years off and on (we’ve known each other at least a decade), that I can’t quite believe the end is coming up (though I did finagle 3 months of post-doc money for him, so we’re not quite there yet!).

The defence had a slightly surreal start: first, Jonathan turning up in a suit scared the bejesus out of Misha, and then the video connection wasn’t working so Marian Dawkins, our fantastic external examiner, was there only as a disembodied voice blaring out at full volume from an invisible speaker.

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But then Misha relaxed into it and all went well. Marian had the infuriatingly astute questions I was braced for (querying whether enriched hens were really resilient to acute stress or just showing blunted physiological responses for some reason: ugh, why didn’t we have acute rewards as control events?!). But that’s just why we wanted her.

Here are the rest of us at the end, all lined up neatly in height order: Misha, Trevor de Vries (chair), Alexandra (committee member), Steph Torrey, the ‘internal external’, and me:

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luke is mutinous

That evening we celebrated with a lovely meal out (Miijidaa again). I was a bit late because Luke (right) wouldn’t let me wrap Misha’s present (a mini nail gun called a ‘palm nailer’ and a Home Depot gift token), but it was a great evening, and a pleasure meeting his astonishingly beautiful mother for the first time. Sam and Lindsey couldn’t make it but all the rest of the group can just about be seen below, plus Misha’s mum top left and wife Gwen to his left in the bottom pic. And to read his terrific thesis, click here!

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