Greetings from Spain - I've been here the past two weeks attending a workshop and giving seminars. The workshop, which was held in La Mancha (the central region made famous in part by Cervantes' beloved fictional character, Don Quixote), focused on bringing an ecological modelling perspective to some particularly challenging problems in cancer biology. Our group of interdisciplinary scientists included applied mathematicians, ecologists, cancer biologists and physicians - and we spent several days trying to generate some new ideas to tackle some old problems. The workshop was sponsored by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, and was quite productive - we have plans to publish some conceptual articles, submit some grant proposals for experimental work (my group focused especially on problems in neuro-oncology), and plan a larger follow-up meeting sometime in the next year.
Today I gave a seminar at the headquarters of the Estación Biologica de Doñana, an ecological research center based futher south in Seville, where I have been spending the last week. Tomorrow, I'm heading even further south - down to Kenya, where I'll meet up with a team of UWT students and head to the coast to continue research on elephants, birds, and arthropods. I'll post updates once work is underway there - our first big challenge will be to organize and conduct an elephant census in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest!