On Friday 17th September 2021, I officially became a doctor passing my PhD viva with NO corrections!! The viva was a culmination of four years hard work that had produced my thesis. The viva lasted four hours in total as I was questioned on the details of my thesis. A wide range of topics were covered including the different theories of species coexistence and how my work might inform tropical forest conservation and restoration. I must thank the examiners – Andy Hector and Toby Pennington – for reviewing my work and my supervisors who have provided endless support and helped me to grow as a scientist and research over the past four years. Thank you Lucy, David, Lindsay and Lina! A special thank you also to all my other colleagues and friends who have helped me to realise my dream of becoming a doctor in tropical ecology!