Collaborations are like whisky, there are many worth trying, and quit a few of them will reward you if you do. The better once you will get back to every now and then, but in the end you will find that only a few will keep popping up on your table quit frequently. For us, or at least for me, there are three groups I have worked closer with than any other group over the latest years. The first one is Love Daléns at The Natural History Museum. He runs a very skilled group much focusing on paleoecology, and especially processes that has left genetic traces in the circumpolar megafauna. Although the topic don´t overlap with what we are usually doing, it is still interesting (and cool to diversify with some of his extinct hairy giant beasts), and occasionally gives me the chance to actually do some lab-work with Love while discussing the latest particulars concerning Real Madrid. And sometimes we get lucky with the results, like last week.
The next one is with Mehmet Somels groups in Ankara at METU. A group much focused around the history and genetics in the Near East. Amazingly competent people he manages to recruit. More than once have they helped us out when we were short on bioinformaticians to cover all our projects. And they have never disappointed me so far. Our connection to Ankara is intense, just two weeks ago Gülşah Merve Kılınç arrived from Ankara to work with us in Stockholm. Again, amazingly competent people he manages to recruit.
The third one is Mattias Jakobssons group at Uppsala University. And Jan Storå is somewhere in this collaboration too, but in Stockholm. With these guys we always land somewhere in-between evolution and archaeology. So much competence with them. So many fun things going on here. Hardly a week goes by without something fun popping up within this framework. The lion-part of my work today is within this collaboration.
I guess when you have been experimenting with whisky for some 30 years, there are some that you know contains all the qualities that you value the highest, and those you always make sure that you have some of at home.