Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry! Almost as bad as Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man
I had a productive meeting with my supervisors today, where we discussed the use of Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) in determining the rare earth element (REE) composition of fossil bone and surrounding matrix. Exciting times! Now I just have to choose who/what to sample...
Its fantastic to wake up on a Saturday afternoon (yes, afternoon), and realise that all I feel like doing is searching for journal articles about fossil crocodylians! I. duncani has beautifully articulated phalanges, but the metatarsals are completely disarticulated. I want to see if there are any similarities between the preservation of I. duncani and of other crocs, from all different depositional environments, among other things. Hoorah for Saturdays!
I've just discovered a new program called Prezi, which unlike MS Powerpoint allows you to create one image full of pictures and text which you can then navigate around, zoom in and out, in any order you want! For presentations, you can set a designated path which will take you to each part of the image or text in the order you want. I'm going to start using it to map out the Isisford fossil localities, with each locality containing information about the fossils found there, and each fossil containing a description of taphonomic features etc... It should be a great visual/graphical tool for record keeping!
As it's a cold rainy day here in Brisbane, I decided to spend the afternoon working from the comfort of my home. I also wanted to make sure that if at any point I couldn't make the journey to uni, I could easily access from home all my documents on my iMac at uni.
My Dropbox folders are syncing properly, so I can very easily access my PDFs and MS Word docs from home. But to my disappointment, Mendeley, my reference manager, keeps crashing. Apparently it doesn't like Windows 7 64-bit, although it quite happily plugs away on Mac OSX 10.6 64-bit. And after reading the Mendeley forums, it appears that the cite-while-you-write plugin for Windows MS Office 2010 64-bit doesn't work either! I'm very disappointed, as this really limits what work I can do from home.
At this point in time, I'm going to hope this problem is resolved by Mendeley relatively rapidly. Otherwise I'm stuck with sorting through piles of PDF's and citing docs in text manually. Which, I guess, isn't terrible, but frustrating when you know a streamlined system could be doing the hard work for you.
About the author
Dr Caitlin Syme is a palaeontologist who recently finished her PhD at The University of Queensland, studying the taphonomy (preservation state) of fossil non-avian dinosaurs, crocodiles and fish from the Winton Formation, Queensland, Australia. Think forensic science or CSI for fossils, and you're on the right track!
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The Integrative Paleontologists
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UQ Palaeo Blog
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