My thesis was about finding the up-to-date information of Asian Lagomorphs, summarize them and define their endangered status.
With that simple explanation, it took me two years to search, read and summarize more than 200 research articles in English and Chinese for my dissertation. It also involved geotagged these papers that I find it very fun to do and defined their status from IUCN guidelines.
This resulted in describing 45 Lagomorphs across two families, ie., Leporidae (rabbits and hares) and Ochotonidae (pikas), and discussed the trends in studied topics such as Taxonomy, Habitat Lost and Climate Change are very often discussed in papers. There are 14 species considered threatened in the categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable, nine species without enough information, ie Data Deficient and 22 species are doing fine, Least Concern. The mapping of literatures also indicated that we can do a better job in strategizing our research topics more coordinately and presenting species distribution with better accuracy and presentation.
Surviving through these two-year of non-stop diligence of work, wait scratch that, constantly worrying of unable to deliver my thesis, it was both a bittersweet of fulfilling a dream for academic research and an emotional ride of trying to get it done and get it right. The toughest part was to curate the millions of thoughts to put into the writing and being indecisive of how to present my thoughts throughout the writing. Problem was, it was not until the end that I began to understand what study I was writing and it was not until the very end of it that I began to understand how to present my thoughts. So it was indeed tough from start to finish, but of course, the satisfaction was immense when the moment you can proudly talk about what you studied and being an expert on it. Meanwhile, it was a joy to tryout new ideas for problem solving; in my case, that would be using GIS for data presentation, setting up a website for my thesis, using a blog to curate information that are all of these, are because of my deep interest in internet technology. I even tried coding in Google Map that I think it’s the norm for all future wildlife research should be.
So here’s to my lost years indulged into the never ending story of reading papers, constantly typing-deleting words and all the sleepless nights worried writing garbages. It was not until the end that all hardworking paid off. I graduated in the late Autumn of 2008 and Vienna never looked that pretty ever before!