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From EOU2019

 
The BOU supported 12 members’ attendance at #AOC2019 (Darwin, Australia) and #EOU2019 (Cluj, Romania). Here’s one of their accounts highlighting the take home messages from their time at an international conference.
 
 
Caitlin Higgott
University of Sheffield, UK
 

EOU2019 came at a perfect time to allow me to share my research findings

 
Coming at the end of my PhD, EOU2019 came at a perfect time to allow me to share my research findings with others and to allow me to discuss my future career plans with other colleagues.

Coming at the end of my PhD, EOU2019 came at a perfect time to allow me to share my research findings with others and to allow me to discuss my future career plans with other colleagues.

A favourite aspect of undertaking a PhD has been attending conferences. One of my favourites was the European Ornithologists’ Union (EOU) conference in Turku (EOU2017), so I was really excited when I was able to attend this year’s EOU2019 in Cluj, Romania with the support of a BOU member travel award.

The conference was a lively, friendly meeting with more than 300 attendees from around the world. I presented part of my PhD research in a talk entitled ‘Heritability of an extended phenotype: is nest site selection in a temperate passerine’. I explained the potential for heritability of nest site selection and my search to answer the question: why do Long-tailed Tits choose to build their nests where they do? I explained my work investigating how genetics and experience may affect where individuals choose to place their nests. It was great to receive new perspectives and instructive comments from scientists that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance to speak to before I submitted my thesis.

There were so many great plenaries, symposia and talks. I thought Stuart Bearhop’s plenary on ‘Moving together: social decision making in avian migration’ was the real stand out presentation for me and I also especially enjoyed ‘The effects of weather on birds’ symposium as it was very relevant to other work I have done as part of my PhD.

Another highlight was attending the Urban Birds Consortium (URBICON) meeting and hearing about their plans to move the group forward. I think this is an exciting initiative and I really hope I get the chance to be more involved in the future.

Cluj was a lovely city in which to hold a conference, and it was great that the organisers chose to hold it at the university in the heart of the city. This made the social side of the conference so much better as there were many excellent restaurants and bars close to the venue where we could continue to discuss ideas we had heard about during the day and talk about our latest work while getting a taste of Romania.

Having to submit my thesis at the end of September, I had been a little apprehensive about taking time away to go to a conference, but I left the conference feeling refreshed, full of new ideas and with a renewed drive to finish writing my thesis.

I’d like to thank the BOU for awarding me a member travel grant to attend this conference.
 

About the author

Caitlin Higgott has recently completed her PhD in the Animal and Plant Sciences Department at the University of Sheffield, UK. Her research focused on the effects of weather conditions and predation on various aspects breeding behaviour in long-tailed tits, which include nest site selection, nest structure, and incubation behaviour.
 

Blog posts express the views of the individual author(s) and not those of the BOU.

If you want to write about your research in #theBOUblog, then please see here.
 

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