First two months at ANU

It’s been two months since I started my PhD here at the Australian National University! I’ve been reading quite a lot about Australian reptiles, especially elapid snakes (front-fanged venomous snakes). There are 107 terrestrial elapid snakes in Australia (according to AROD), which is a huge diversity, not to mention that many of the sea snakes are also elapids as well! More to come about my PhD project…

For now, I wanted to write a post highlighting a few things I’ve found useful as I review the literature in evolutionary biology, and things I’ve been doing on the side.

  * Reference manager: [Zotero](

    * Make sure to install [Zotfile]( plug-in as this allow you to do more with your PDFs.
    * Organising your library with tags can be a very powerful way of archiving. Check out this [tutorial.](

  * Daily note taking: [Evernote](

    * I use [tags to organise]( my notes and found it to be quite easy.

  * In-depth note-taking: OneNote

    * I use OneNote to make more in-depth notes about papers I think will be important. For each paper I will note/record:

      * Main findings - you can get this by reading the abstract
      * Significance - how this paper will move the field?
      * Methods
      * Graphics - figures or photos of organism

    * I use OneNote because it lets me place figures where I want and draw things on them. Other software can do this too, I just use OneNote because I'm running a Windows machine.

  * Git: [Bitbucket]( and Github

    * I learnt that Bitbucket offers private repository for free while Github does not. So I've been using Bitbucket as a private repo until I'm ready to publish my project on Github.
    * I also started learning how to use Git Bash (on windows). [Bitbucket support page]( has some good documents to get you started.

  * R Markdown: making new CV with pagedown

    * I'm still trying to figure out the best way to host my new html CV.

The weather is warming up now in Canberra, it is lovely as always though.


Sarin 'Putter' Tiatragul
Sarin 'Putter' Tiatragul
PhD Candidate

I’m a Thai PhD candidate at the Research School of Biology (ANU). I go by the name “Putter”.