The International Biogeography Conference, Bayreuth Germany, January 2015

… And learning how to deal with the cold that is Europe in Winter (when you really are a tropical girl at heart!)

I was recently lucky enough to attend the International Biogeography Conference in Bayreuth, Germany this January. And it was really my first time in a proper Winter (ever) and the first time I have seen snow falling that I can remember. So first-up it was freezing and because I was only going to be there for roughly 7 days I didn’t bother to purchase a proper jacket. Let me just say to anyone who is going to Europe in Winter that you should buy a proper jacket – no matter what! These were the conditions on my first day (see images below), and I was absolutely frozen to the bone!

However, seeing snow falling for the first time in my life made it all worth while. I’m sorry to say that when the snow was actually falling I didn’t have my professional camera on hand so no pictures, however I have to say those little flakes were mesmerising, it’s the closest I’ve felt to being a kid in years!

IMG_3266 IMG_3275

Interestingly, this trip had many firsts for me!

These were:

  1. My first presentation at a conference (ever)
  2. My first international conference
  3. My first conference
  4. First time seeing snow fall!!! (= mind blown haha)
  5. First European Winter experience

So I was honoured not only to be selected to present my research (only 72 applicants out of 300 were selected to present! With a total of 600 attendees) but I also won a student travel award to fund my travel. And while only a small amount of cash, every little bit helps with these kind of trips! So here I am presenting my findings, the one where I am laughing must be after I finished, as I was pretty nervous!

I also met so many fantastic people and heard about so many interesting studies. In particular a highlight for me was meeting and discussing my research with Professor Robert J Whittaker, who developed the General Dynamic Theory of Oceanic Island Biogeography (GDM) which is one of the theories I am testing in my research (very very exciting!).


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