INTERESTS

Birdwatching

Each time I visit a new country I collect a local birding book, and discover the treasures of each area. It is a real challenge to be in a new place and not be able to recognize most of the birds...

For me, birdwatching as a form of meditation. Especially when we travel, we tend to do too much and not enjoy fully the present. Nature observation is the cure to this, at least for me.

I also love to pair birdwatching with (light!) exercise. See on the blog my bird-biking adventures in Michigan!

I am an enthusiastic birdwatcher and I mainly use eBird, of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I only started using eBird in 2017, and quickly realized the world of citizen science is in the same measure inspiring and challenging. I am also not so good at it! But that is the point: we can all be a part of it, and help preserve nature through biodiversity. 

My dream job is to study bird migration patterns: I am fascinated by bird orientation capacity and memory. I recently managed to collaborate on a project on the effects of climate on wintering birds distribution in Greece. I am working with bird experts while using my experience with spatially distributed datasets. This is an exciting project, and I hope it is just the beginning!

 

 

 

Volleyball

 

I cannot explain how much it hurts not being a player anymore. I am a setter, which means I do not spike – and spiking is all you want to do when you are young and you want to face the world (and destroy the ball). My story as a setter began when my first real trainer took me on the side and said “You are a setter, Anna”. I was a bit tall at the time, so the choice would not be automatic (usually when you are 10-12 the shorter girls are appointed to be setters, because they do not reach as high and that makes it tough to spike). He simply said that I was a setter, I had it inside.

 

I was quite upset at first, because I too wanted to destroy the ball! Then, for few years, while I was trained as a setter, I did not think about it. When I look back, I saw how he was right: I enjoy making the decision, organizing the play, being the orchestra director.

 

I wish I could go back to him and tell him “I understand now”.

...I consider now if I should say that I "was" a setter. It would be a lie either way: I am not playing anymore, but my mind does not know it, and keeps trying to train me in every possible way.