Update: Quantitative Viral Ecology: Dynamics of Viruses and Their Microbial Hosts won the award for best postgraduate textbook from the Royal Society of Biology.
Research grant consulting has great benefits. Reviewing and editing the proposals keeps me current in across the life sciences. In fields outside the life sciences, I serve as your colleague and novice or lay expert reviewer from another department. About two years ago, a book editing opportunity came my way through Twitter. In a Twitter conversation Jung Choi @jung_gt was following, someone complained about not getting research grants funded or leaving science and replied “or hire my wife” @grantsciencelab. In less than five minutes, his colleague Joshua Weitz, who was also following the conversation and said, “What’s this about hiring your wife?”
That is how I came to review and edit Quantitative Viral Ecology: Dynamics of Viruses and Their Microbial Hosts. Josh works in theoretical and quantitative biology. He needed a critique from a biology generalist to ensure that it was understandable to faculty and others outside the field of mathematical modeling. Reviewing and editing this 100,000-word monograph was the biggest project I have had to date. It was even more challenging as Josh was on a tight schedule and I did it over about ten days. The book was a pleasure to read, even full of equations that can scare a math phobic person like me. Josh is such a good writer, that one need not be a math genius to understand all the modeling in this text. This testimonial from him is on my Praises page.
Deb provided critical insight and feedback on a monograph project. I really valued her ability to identify both what worked and what needed improving in communicating my message to a broad range of scientists. I would recommend her to colleagues seeking out a thoughtful, informed, professional and time-sensitive read of their work.
In fact, aspects of this took me back to teaching prey/predator interactions in the survey course for biology majors and a sophomore level microbiology course. It even took me back to graduate school, where field ecologists condescended to discuss ecological modeling among other things over beer with a laboratory plant physiologist.
On September 14, 2016, the Royal Society of Biology announced their biology book awards. Quantitative Viral Ecology made their shortlist.
The judges said: Beneath its unassuming plain green cover is a novel, readable and extensive scholarly work on viruses and their interactions. A superb introduction to a new field of research.
I am proud to have a hand in this book. This is what I live for as an academic grant consultant.
Deb Cook PhD