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.
Very well organised and surpassed all my expectations
Claudia Tapia Harris
Centre for Biological Diversity, University of St Andrews, UK
This past August I attended both the European Ornithologists’ Union congress (EOU2019) and the pre-congress Migrant Landbird Study Group Symposium (MLSG) in sunny and (very) warm Cluj in Romania. Besides it being my first ever ornithological congress, EOU2019 was the first time that I gave an oral presentation in English to an international audience. It was nerve-racking! However, I am happy to say that things went pretty well.
I presented my work during the migration session on the first day of talks, which was a big relief and allowed me to relax and enjoy the rest of the days without that extra nervousness. I talked about the “temporal and spatial use of the wintering grounds by a Palearctic migrant”. It was a challenge to summarise my two full winter fieldwork seasons working with Common Whitethroats in Nigeria in a very brief 10-minute talk. Nonetheless, I received good feedback and had few fruitful conversations because of that.
Claudia presenting her work at EOU2019 © Sophie Edwards
The EOU is a perfectly sized conference that gathers people from many countries, with different academic backgrounds and academic experiences that have one thing in common: birds. It was a great opportunity being able to hear about other peoples’ projects and being able to present my own work, especially during the MLSG. It was good to hear people intrigued and excited about my project and, above all, I was happy to receive feedback and suggestions that will help to improve it.
Besides all the academic aspects of the conference, there were many other ways to reach out and meet and talk to people in a more casual and relaxed environment, including coffee breaks, workshops, dinners and excursions. One of my highlights was the excursion to “Turda Gorge”, a Natura2000 nature reserve during which I had a really good time meeting other people and enjoying part of the beautiful Romanian scenery whilst having a break from sitting down all day.
Turda Gorge © Claudia Tapia Harris
I would like to give a big shout-out to all the organisers that made this event possible – it was very well organised and surpassed all my expectations.
Being a member of the BOU has proven to be rewarding. Besides having access to grants, e-newsletters, their journal, IBIS, and reduced rates to BOU conferences, I received a BOU member travel award in order to attend EOU2019. Therefore, if you are yet to be part of this community, I highly recommend you try it – especially if you are an ECR.
Thank you BOU! And I look forward to reading about what other people have to say about their own experience at EOU2019.
Nominate this article for a BOU Science Communication Award.
About the Author
Claudia Tapia Harris is a third year PhD student at the University of St Andrews, working with the non-breeding ecology of migratory birds at the AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute in Nigeria. Prior to her PhD, Claudia undertook an MSc in Environmental Biology in Mexico
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