I've spent the afternoon helping two of my best assistants move on to research that more closely matches their interests than what they have been doing with me. I'll still be helping to advise them, but I'll no longer have them on my project. They will be hard to replace, but after all the work they have done for me, I owed it to them to help advance their careers.
NN will be studying rotifer biomechanics in another lab (with me acting as rotifer expert), and MR will (if all goes as planned) be doing coral censuses in PNG (with me helping to urgently prepare her for her trip). My other long-term lab assistant, LZ, who is totally irreplaceable, is graduating in a week and moving to India two weeks after that to work in public health. Time to recruit more assistants.