January 16, 2019

Essential skills for grad students in ecology

Dear grad student in ecology,

I spent the last 15 years exploring mental health, wellbeing, motivation, and confidence. Grad school gave me the "laboratory" to test what I was learning about staying happy and productive in one of the most mentally challenging environments imaginable. This is what led me to develop HabitU, an app designed to help me form healthy habits and reduce stress as a grad student.

Last spring I completed my PhD and now, along with the academic skills and hacks I've learned along the way, I present The Grad Ecologist: a series of online courses aimed at helping the next generation of grad students in ecology. The courses will focus on three main themes: Mental and emotional health, how to be a good ecologist, and how to succeed as a graduate student. The courses will also include a full module on using HabitU the way I did to get rid of grad school stress. Courses will be released over the following months. Updates with launch dates to come if you sign up below.

For starters, I want to share a PDF guide I created on the MUST-READ articles for graduate students in ecology. Get it here: https://mailchi.mp/1d067640a2fe/resources

If you are a graduate student and interested in learning more, be sure to sign up on the new website to get updates and access to free content: ecologygrad.weebly.com

To good habits and a Happy New Year!
~ Luka

P.S. A PhD is successfully defended each time this message gets tweeted, and a qualifying exam is successfully passed each time our Facebook page is liked: The Grad Ecologist

May 9, 2016

I am currently a fourth year PhD student studying plant ecology, and I absolutely love what I do. My research allows me to spend time learning about the topics that interest me most.
However, like most other graduate students I know, I've gone through some really challenging times, sometimes hitting rock bottom and feeling more overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious than any other time in my life. In fact, grad students have been shown to suffer from greater levels of depression and other mental disorders than the broader public.

In recent years, PhD dropout rates in the US have been as high as 50%. While some of that may be for good reason, I'm sure that a portion of those students left school because they were never taught how to handle and alleviate the psychological stressors of grad school.

Over the last 4 years of my PhD I've been developing a system to help me handle this stress and I was surprised by the simple solution that I found.

I began implementing the system about 6 months ago, and the results have been very exciting. I was able to increase my wellbeing, productivity, motivation, and self-confidence in ways I couldn't foresee. The fact that I have the time to work on HabitU speaks for itself.
Grad school is one of the most amazing opportunities to learn and make discoveries about the world we live in. There is no reason we shouldn't be able to make it a more enjoyable experience. I want to share my system by building a simple and easy to use mobile app.
We are currently in the app development stage, but the more interest there is (i.e., subscribers), the more funding we can get to complete our first beta release. Please spread the word about HabitU to your colleagues and department to help make this happen.
Sign up on www.HabitUapp.com to be one of the first to try our beta release.
Follow us on Twitter: @HabitUapp
- Luka Negoita
PhD student
Founder, HabitU

February 9, 2016

New Blog

Check out my new blog at lukanegoita.weebly.com/blog

I'll be transitioning towards that blog almost exclusively.

Check out my latest post on how to read 20 papers a day.