Continuing on the “extras” with our new paper in PLoS ONE this week on crustacean nociception, allow me to introduce the paper’s first author...
Sakshi was the perfect person for this project. She is a double major in biology and philosophy. She was part of a team that competed in the national Ethics Bowl competition this year and finished in the top half. That’s fantastic mix for a project that has such obvious ethical implications.
We had started working on crustacean nociception from a completely different angle and approach. Sakshi pushed for us to take a different approach, which – though not straightforward (okay, often incredibly puzzling and frustrating) – was ultimately the right way to go.
Proof positive that it’s not always the boss who comes up with the good ideas.
Indeed, one of the reasons I’m happy about it was how little I did. Sakshi owned this project. And is she a post-doc? No. Grad student? No. Undergrad researcher and proud of it. (Gloat: This is the second paper this year I’ve had with an undergraduate co-author; this is the first. Also open access.)
Another advantage of having a co-author? I don’t drink, but Sakshi does. So this was the first publication I ever got to pop open a bottle of champagne when we got the acceptance email.
But the best reason to have a co-author? The full contact hugs when you can get when you tell ‘em the paper’s accepted. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Additional: This is how the paper showed up in my RSS feed this morning. Sakshi as the author, and me as “et al.” Further evidence of my dispensability on this project.
Puri S, Faulkes Z. 2010. Do decapod crustaceans have nociceptors for extreme pH? PLoS ONE 5(4): e10244. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010244