The last ISBE I went to was in New York. Where was this one? Well… back in Exeter. Typical.
Still, Exeter can be nice!
I’ve only been in Canada for about half a year really, so in some ways it felt slightly odd going back quite so soon. I also had to write the abstract for a presentation very early after starting my postdoc. While I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to investigate using the data from that winter, I had no clear idea about the sort of results I might eventually find. It was therefore necessary to write an abstract that sold my research while at the same time being somewhat vague about the conclusions that might be drawn from it. I feel this is a skill many scientists have to develop, as timing of fieldwork seasons and the time it can take to analyse data combined with the requirement to submit abstracts several months before a conference means that many of us have to be guessing what we will eventually be presenting.
While this conference didn’t take me to new places, it did actually lead to me seeing more of the main Exeter campus and the down itself than I ever had when I was officially studying as a student in the University of Exeter. The meeting was also almost entirely organised by people whom I knew, with my PhD supervisor Sasha being in charge of the meeting.
The opening talk on the first night was given by Richard Dawkins who was somewhat fiery about recent political events in the UK. After which I bounced from group of people to group of people, introducing many of them to Teri and Shannon who had also come to the exotic land of Exeter. I had only been away a few months, but it felt like longer. I also bumped into a few of the people I had done my master’s degree with, now scattered in various locations through-out the world.
It was to be my first time presenting social network stuff, something which I still felt I was feeling my way around. Not to mention the fact that this would be the first time presenting my current ideas to people outside my lab group.
Anyone seeing photos of my talks might have noted a pattern in my outfits by now
The talk felt like it went well enough, though as ever I find it impossible to judge these things due to the tunnel vision I get when I’m actually speaking. I had some tough but fair questions, and some very useful chats afterwards which gave me some ideas for what I want to do in the future.
Talk done, I could relax and enjoy other people’s talks, seeing what other people were working on and turning up to try and provide moral support for other members of my lab
I plugged Teri’s talk in my talk!
Then it was all done.. then it was off to Cornwall!
Teri and Shannon came down to Cornwall for a few days, to experience all the important Cornish things.
After they left I stuck around a bit. It was Falmouth week, which means Red Arrows.
Then it was time for me to get on a plane myself, next stop Washington DC for the North American Orthological Conference.