• [caption id="attachment_1041" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Tawny Frogmouth in a suburban Brisbane backyard, February 2011"]Tawny Frogmouth in a suburban Brisbane backyard, February 2011
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Great fun at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2019

I recently presented at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2019 held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I was initially sceptical about my attendance – it was mid-December and my internal batteries were low. There was huge inertia to make the effort to get to know people, and of course, make my conference presentation slides.

But now that it is done, I must say, the opportunity to hear more, and engage with, the work of others was absolutely fun.

I met two other PhD students who were also presented in the same session – Max and Robert. We had great fun organising the conference, and I enjoyed having them correct my non-existing German grammar. I was also finally able to put a face to the names, names from studies that I have been reading for the past few years! Through attending the conference talks, I am glad to learn that more ecologists were using mixed-methods (i.e. qualitative methods drawn from social sciences) to better define the multi-faceted aspect of human-nature experiences. I was excited also to hear about the work conducted in non-developing countries, as I am sure the experiences are different, and hence the benefits delivered. I had (unexpected) great support and some thoughtful questions from the audience when I shared that the extinction of experience did not hold in my Singapore case-study. I learnt from positive examples of academics who were very kind and encouraging in the way they chaired their sessions.  

I know that I am still super keen for BES 2020, so hopefully, I’ll see some of you there 😉

A group of people posing for the camera

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Caption: Rachel with Max (University of Leeds), Professor Assaf Shwartz (Technion Israel Institute of Technology) and Professor Aletta Bonn (iDiv).

A large body of water

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Caption: I also managed to visit an RSPB reserve for some birding! Finally! After having heard so much of the great conservation work that RSPB does.