Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Spain to attend the Past Global Changes Young Scientists Meeting and Open Science Meeting (PAGES YSM and OSM).
There were 70 people at the Young Scientists Meeting workshop, and the group consisted largely of post-doctoral researchers and some late-stage PhD students. I was delighted to find out, many of these were names I recognised from high-impact papers that have been published in my broad field. The YSM workshop was very intense, with a full schedule of lectures and training activities.
I now have good personal connections with these researchers, especially after sharing the experience of such an intensive workshop! This also stood me in an excellent position to present and discuss my research at the PAGES Open Science Meeting (OSM) immediately after conclusion of the YSM, as I already had a broad network of fellow scientists with whom to discuss my work in the field of paleoclimate.
As a result of attending these meetings, two new collaborations have been formed that will significantly improve the quality of analysis that I will perform on the data that I have been collecting for my PhD.
Following the week of meetings I travelled directly to the University of Heidelberg to train under Dr. Tobias Kluge in the use of a state of the art mass spectrometer. I used this instrument to gain novel analyses on carbonate from the Naracoorte Caves. This was an absolutely invaluable experience and despite needing to do some more controls, the data already looks extremely promising. I have no doubt it will make an important contribution to the already significant body of work being performed on the Naracoorte Cave deposits.
I also made excellent connections during my time at the Institute for Environmental Physics, at the University of Heidelberg. I hope to continue to learn from and collaborate with Dr. Kluge for the duration of my PhD research, and far in to the future.
The trip was hectic but highly successful, and greatly improved my skills as a research scientist, as well as increasing my global network of scientific contacts.
Without the grant from the Environment Institute, this trip would not have been possible.