After over two years of lockdown, I had the opportunity to leave Australia to attend the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) joint conference with the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE). This conference marked my first time presenting an oral talk outside of UNSW. While it was exciting to share my research with others, I found learning about others’ research and networking with new people to be an equally exciting experience.
As my projects consist of systematic-like research, I was thrilled to see ESA created an entire session dedicated to meta-analysis in ecology. Ecologists are relatively new to conducting meta-analysis of their data, so this session was well-attended and directed conversation towards improving meta-science while it’s still in its early stages in ecology. These talks were all excellent and highlighted the upcoming importance and challenges of conducting systematic-like research in ecology and evolutionary biology.
In addition to meeting new people, I was able to connect with researchers I already knew. While in Montreal, I was able to meet I-DEEL’s newest post-doc, April Martinig, in person. April has been working remotely for the past few months, so it was great to attend her presentation on her previous work examining predator-prey interactions in culvert animal passages. As a Canadian citizen, she knew of the best places to go in Montreal, and we chatted over a delicious vegan lunch. We should all look forward to the research she’ll conduct with I-DEEL.
I also had the opportunity to meet members of the Society for Open, Reliable, and Transparent Ecology and Evolutionary biology (SORTEE), of which I’m a member. Even though I went to Canada intending to attend the ESA conference, SORTEE members attending the conference gathered for a mini meetup in Montreal. The society was able to reach out to more ecologists at the conference, and many people came to the meetup to hear firsthand what SORTEE is all about. If you’re interested, please check out a previous blog post by Rose O’Dea and the SORTEE website.
Attending a conference was such a privilege, especially one as diverse as ESA’s 2022 Conference. I look forward to continuing to share my work and learn from others.