Right at the start of my postdoc, I applied for the ESEB Godfrey Hewitt Mobility Award to expand my questions on the evolution of social organisation to larger datasets, namely the non-coding regions of genomes (lncRNA). I was successful in obtaining the €1,600 grant at the turn of the new year 2020. Needless to say, the next two years proved more chaotic than anticipated.

beach The view next to the building, with Mar and her group walking back from a lunch in Barceloneta

In March 2022, I travelled to Barcelona and spent the month collaborating with Head of Evolutionary Genomics Group Prof M. Mar Albà Soler at the GRIB (Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics in Barcelona Biomedical Research Park). I wanted to learn more about lncRNA and developed my Python skills. The warm welcome that I received from Mar and her research team was fantastic: I had access to a desk in the shared office, I attended weekly lab meetings and seminars, I could ask dumb/direct technical and biological questions on my project. At the end of the month, my exploration of long-coding regions had jumpstarted to solid analyses (that are still running), and I was proud to present results in a Jupyter notebook.

While I was there, Mar received awesome news: her ERC project was funded, and she is currently recruiting. If you are/know of a postdoc who likes to explore long non-coding areas AND playing beach volley after work, apply here.