The people who use our boards.

Vitor Pavinato

Evolutionary Biologist

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

I am Vitor, a biologist, entomologist, and geneticist. I have spent some time abroad (in the US and in France) as a postdoctoral researcher, working and learning different techniques and approaches to study how organisms adapt to their environment. My work initially involved a lot of wet lab work, but now (I would say in the last three years) it has become more computational, as I spend most of my time analyzing genomic data and developing simulations. In other words, I spend most of my time using R, Bash, and SLiM, and preparing scripts for high performance-computing (HPC). Other parts of my work include preparing figures for publication and reading and writing scientific articles. I also spend some time looking for grants and scholarships (since I’m not in a permanent job position).

Outside of work, I enjoy reading and learning new languages. I have always had an interest in history, philosophy and politics. Some of the books I’ve enjoyed reading were Letters to a Stoic, by Seneca; Drunk Tank Pink (2013), by Adam Alter; and Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport (2019). Lately, I’ve finished these three books that helped me understand part of the actual political and economic scenario: How Democracies Die (2018), by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt; Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism (2020), by Anne Case and Angus Deaton; and Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2020), by Anand Giridharadas. These interests almost put me in a different direction when choosing which career to pursue. So, I spend my free time reading non-academic books that revolve around these topics. I also split my free time watching movies and series, listening to podcasts, and taking online courses in my current targeted language, which is French. But I cannot wait to change to the next language (maybe Italian or Spanish, but I am also fascinated by German).

Vitor Pavinato's setup
Vitor's setup reflects his minimalistic mindset

What hardware do you use?

I have an old MacBook Pro 15” (2013) that I use most of the time for reading, writing, coding, and analyzing data. The university where I work now (Ohio State University) has provided me with a newer MacBook Pro 15” that I am using for heavy data analysis. My Mac is docked in a Dell D6000 docking station and uses two Dell P2219H monitors. As part of the computer they provided, they also gave me a Dell wireless keyboard and a mouse. That was the setup in my office, and at home I only used my computer for entertainment during the weekends, so I didn’t need a workstation. But COVID-19 changed everything. The first thing I did was to buy an Ikea PÅHL desk. Then I brought one of the Dell monitors and the docking station home. I also bought my Planck EZ keyboard and later an IKEA HATTEFJÄLL chair. My setup was completed around August (when I bought the chair and brought home the docking station). I love Planck EZ because it takes up little space on my desk, and most important, it fits perfectly in my backpack (in case I need to go to my office). The other reason I bought this keyboard is because I hope to be able to use it for many years, as I have a minimalistic mindset of buying things that last and are meaningful to me.

Vitor Pavinato's workspace
Light colors and lack of clutter make a cozy workspace feel spacious

And what software?

As I perform most of my analysis in the HPC, I use Vivaldi as my daily internet browser. When I’m working, I also use iTerm2 with oh my zsh for a nice terminal experience, RStudio as an IDE, R for statistical analysis, and Geany for everything else—such as a notepad to jot down some ideas, tasks, and small bash and AWK scripts, etc. For graphs and figures, I use Graphic, and for writing I use Pages and sometimes Overleaf for projects where I need to use LaTeX. Software that I cannot live without are Dropbox, Freedom, Divvy, New Terminal Here, and 1Password. I cannot forget Homebrew, as I used it to install missing Mac packages for simple tasks and for packages dedicated to genomic and statistical analysis. I also use it to install and manage most of the software I listed above.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

The keyboard looks the same. I made only small changes. But I am very excited to try the Dvorak layout. I also regret having the Planck EZ without the Glow, as I like to change some caps to help with keyboard shortcuts. I am always looking at Drop, but I still haven’t found anything I want to buy.

Vitor Pavinato's keyboard
A tiny keyboard for a tiny desk

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be a newer MacBook Pro Retina 13”, with one wide monitor and another 27” monitor that I could set up vertically for writing and reading. I also would have the newer Moonlander keyboard, and a Logitech G604 mouse. I also would love to have the Twelve South Curve SE lift on which to place my MacBook Pro.

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