"Back to Reality"

Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

I sent most of the specimens back to their respective museums as soon as I could after graduating. But I did keep the specimens I would need to finish my revision of Choerades, as well as a reference collection for Laphria s. str. and the new genera. Where necessary, I set up new loans for this material, made to me as a private individual.

Between 1986 and 1994 I had four postdocs at two universities. No two of these were remotely alike, and none had anything to do with robber flies. During this time I was too busy to work on my Choerades revision during the day, or to even dream about resuming work on Laphria s. str.. In the first postdoc I tackled a short revison--of the males of the scale insect genus Chionaspis, which in its way was every bit as demanding taxonomically as the work I had done on Laphria. In the second, I field tested insecticides. This position required that I master statistics, SAS, and several programs on a PC (which I had never used previously). It also required that I learn much about chemicals and their effects, both practically and theoretically. Further, it required that I spend a great deal of time in the field--I have never seen so many dairy farms up-close-and-personal before or since. And my next postdoc was even more demanding regarding travel--I spent all of my time on the road, living in three different states in two years, and once again seeing more of the outdoors than I had ever dreamed possible. And in a fourth--in yet another state--I taught entomology for the first time, and became involved in forensics. But by squeezing work in in the short but free spaces of time between jobs, I did manage to bring my revision of Choerades much nearer completion. I also added a section on phylogeny to my dissertation and got it accepted for publication, contingent on some minor changes. And I gave numerous talks on my work at the national meetings of the Entomological Society of America, and even published a few papers on other robber flies, that had long been postponed because of my dissertation.

This was in 1994. At that time I decided I was going to settle down. I had gotten married a year earlier, and needed a more sedate life style. I therefore decided to capitalize on my experience as an economic entomologist, and go into business for myself as a consultant. For the next several years I was too involved in setting up my new business to do much on robber flies. So I never made the changes in my dissertation, and it remains unpublished. And, to tell the truth, I am glad. For what happens by accident is often in our best interest. If I had published the material in the standard fashion I would not have it now to publish electronically. And electronic publication is henceforth the key to immortality. For in 50 years no one will read paper books.

Next page "The Future is Now"

Back to Laphriini Page Introduction