Yesterday Patricia Pecnerova defended her thesis. Patricia was a Ph.D. student in our sister-group, on the other side of the road from where we are sitting. At the Natural History Museum in Love Daléns group. A Swedish thesis defense is usually an interesting event to witness, and this was no exception. Mark Thomas did a good job in questioning Patricia for about an hour, or one and a half (after both of them had given introductions to the field and the thesis). And Patricia did an equally good job in answering Mark. Together Patricia and Mark guided us through the genomics of the last stages of the last mammoth population, right before the species went extinct.
Later that same day Patricia hosted a dinner to celebrate that there is one Ph.D. student less, and one Ph.D. more in the world, and an excellent dinner it was. Sometime during the whiskeys that followed (and there were some of them), Mark used Stone Roses to illustrate that our generation is gradually handing over to a new generation: ”The past was yours but the future’s mine, you’re all out of time”. I can live with that, there is a good generation stepping up to the task with tools very different from those we had.
Patricia and Mark discussing mammoths