Exactly 10 years ago, I was starting my PhD
January 1st 2002 was my first day as an official PhD candidate, funded by the Italian Ministry of Education. I had been hanging around Antonio Bodini’s lab for a couple of months while preparing my entrance examination, but that was unofficial (and unpaid).
These past 10 years have been very intense but very fun. I have learned a lot and made many good friends along the way. If in 2002 somebody were to tell me that in 10 years I’d be a professor at a top US institution, publishing in Nature and Science, etc., I would have commented that it is not a good idea to add that much grappa to your coffee.
I am very grateful for all the help I received. In particular, my family and my mentors Antonio, Scott and Mercedes have been a constant source of support, enthusiasm and inspiration. The friends in Parma, the Mercedes lab gang and the NCEAS folks shared with me gallons of espresso, greatly improving the local economy, and turning coffee and laughs into papers. It is thanks to the wonderful people in my lab (in order of appearance Alex, Jose, Anna, Si, Philip, M, Phillip and Jason) that most days I walk to work whistling.
Science is a funny business, but I hope I’ll still love it as much as I do today 10 years from now.