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I have been interested in palaeontology throughout my life, and I know
something about it through literature. However, when high school ended, I
didn't research my opportunities very well, probably because I was put down
by some perceived failures. I ended up in biochemistry (with medical school
in mind), and I could now graduate by writing an MSc thesis. It's tolerable,
like any work, although I'm not terribly eager about labwork. Perhaps I
somehow just didn't realize it early enough that the work will be labwork
instead of coursework. And I haven't yet found a topic that I'd "love" to
research (possibly because our university has a rather narrow focus, mainly
applied science), but on the other hand, I feel that palaeontology might
have such topics. And people say that you should have a love affair with
what you research, because it is only that way that you can be productive
enough to eventually get tenure and a satisfying paycheck.

I have no practical experience of doing palaeontology, so it's possible that
I'd be discouraged by all that collecting, hammering, preparation and acid
matrix dissolution. However, I would like to know if you see it as a viable
option to transfer to palaeontology after getting a degree from
biochemistry, and whether getting tenure in the area would still be a
possibility even after these screw-ups (I'm a few years behind the
competition). I have no problem with being at school if it leads somewhere.
I see the following problems, though. I haven't studied math, physics nor
geology in university, but I could start studying them. Also, I'm not sure
if I'd be able to get into those top schools that produce tenure
palaeontologists. My plan is that I'd start applying to them after finishing
some studies in physics, math, biology and perhaps geology. I would probably
need some references, but I don't know people in the correct areas.

Henri Rönkkö