A developing tradition for biology PhD vivas is to celebrate the successful outcome with exquisitely rendered cake representations of the candidate’s study species. This week my PhD student Leandro Patino (@) successfully defended his thesis on the evolution of parasite communities in Galapagos giant tortoises, and was rewarded with this spectacular tortoise worm cake, baked by fellow grad student, the fabulous Liz Morgan (@).
To our knowledge this is the world’s first, and most taxonomically accurate, tortoise worm cake, faithfully representing both the physical characteristics and intimate relationship between a Galapagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) and one of its intestinal nematode parasite species, Atractis marquezi….. and it was absolutely delicious to boot! You can never have enough of parasites in cakes form.
Long may the tradition of viva cakes and baking your study species continue.