Highlights on the BES-SFE International Conference

I recently attend an international conference, and wanted to share my top three highlights.

This event brought together the British Ecological Society (BES) and the Société Française d’Ecologie (SFE). It was located in Lille (France) during one of the quieter insect months, December.

A small group of us arrived a day early to explore and take advantage of the delicious food and interesting sights (from the opera house to the ferris wheel).

How about this on arrival for the BES-SFE conference

How about this on arrival for the BES-SFE conference

The following days were spent at the conference centre, Lille Grand Palais, along with ~1,100 other delegates from around the world. It was a buzzing atmosphere from day one, meeting old friends and making new ones. It feels like different academic parts of your life come together as you see those from recent conferences to those you haven’t seen for years. If this is not the case for you, no worries, it means you have more people to acquaint yourself with and give your elevator speech to. Highlight numéro un.

Numéro un: Where the magic happened

Numéro un: Where the magic happened

Time flies as you move between sessions, workshops and various events. When you go to an event like this one you will find similar themes with lots of different perspectives (fantastic for solving complex problems as a team). Interdisciplinary research is the way forward (even better from those at different stages), and these events help form those connections. Highlight numéro deux.

Numéro deux: Old friends and new from a variety of backgrounds, PhD (left), Postdoc (right) and lecturer (middle)

Numéro deux: Mixture of backgrounds, PhD (left), Postdoc (right) and lecturer (middle)

If you are lucky, you can present your research through a poster or talk, and learn at an even faster rate. To my delight, I was given the chance to give a talk on my research. What an opportunity! I stood there and spoke for 15 minutes to an international audience and benefited from their wealth of experience and knowledge. It felt like a rollercoaster ride; mixture of scary and enjoyable (and maybe gets easier the more you do?). It was a memorable moment, one of the highlights for sure and I absolutely recommend it. Highlight numéro trois.

Numéro trois: An unforgettable experience

Numéro trois: Presenting, an unforgettable experience

Were you there too? What are your highlights from attending this conference, or conferences like this one? I hope you find them as rewarding as I did.


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