She inspires me and takes my shoe advice

I’ve kept my words short here because I feel like words will always be inadequate.

I met Miriam a full 6 months after we had officially become online colleagues — we had agreed to room together at my first ever ScienceOnline in 2011. I suppose I was a little bit nervous about meeting all the Deeplings in person (I had only just met Dr M.), but definitely Miriam in particular. She was, after all, the only other female on our team at that time, and from what I understood, a Very Famous Ocean Blogger.

I don’t quite remember what I expected, but Miriam was — and continues to be — larger than life. She was immediately warm, friendly, and full of advice for my starry-eyed newbie blogger self.

Miriam is no less than a maverick – I’m constantly amazed by her ability to simultaneously do science and wrangle the PR flood that has gone along with her high-profile research (although I suspect she’s reaped some significant benefits from having a journalist partner). She’s always full of passionate arguments for topics that are close to her heart, yet she never lets this passion get in the way of logic and reason.

Many of Miriam’s contributions aren’t recorded in any written narrative – in the three years that we’ve known each other, she’s become a great friend and steadfast mentor (even if she isn’t fully aware of the latter). I never expected that writing for a science blog would lead me to so many fantastic people who foster my own personal growth.

My interactions with Miriam have increasingly moved offline, and we’ve experienced the gauntlet together as conference roommates: the Discomfort Inn, the aftermath of DSN Suite Parties, classy pillows & bottles of champagne. We’re also soon to be co-authors in a real science journal (stay tuned!).

All of us Deeplings have a sense of solidarity that can never be broken, regardless of where our paths take us in life. For those of you reading Miriam’s announcement with sadness, take comfort in the fact that she’s still flighting for Team Science, still keeping us in the loop, but refocusing her blogging energies towards a new goal with National (and Global!) importance. Miriam isn’t leaving the online world; she’s shifting from an active participant to a silent observer. She’ll be tracking our pulse and adjusting the policy instruments accordingly.

Conversations with Miriam always leave you feeling like you can take on the world. For those of you who haven’t met her in person – I hope you do one day.

Miriam – I feel very grateful to know you, I know you’ll kick ass during your Knauss fellowship, and I’m making a list of cocktail bars that we must visit next time I’m in D.C.

Holly Bik (160 Posts)

I am a computational biologist at the University of California, Riverside. My research uses DNA sequencing and genomics to study microbial eukaryotes (yeah, nematodes!) in marine ecosystems, with an emphasis on evolution and biodiversity in the deep-sea. I can neither confirm nor deny that I like Unix more than I like going to sea.

One Reply to “She inspires me and takes my shoe advice”

  1. But…you’re MY mentor. How can I be YOUR mentor? Are we having some kind of mentoring double-timing here? I can’t believe what you’ve done to my shoe collection – seriously, I own these now – and you’re my role mode for the scientific life. We have ongoing mischief together so I’m not too concerned about our paths crossing a lot in the future.

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