by Christina Tadiri
This winter, I attended the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) annual conference in Granada, Spain. The theme this year was Global Perspectives: North Meets South and as such the plenary talks focused on global patterns of aquatic systems and environmental change. As the largest international meeting in aquatic ecology, it was a great opportunity for me to connect with other researchers in my field, learn about their work and present my own. With thousands of participants, I was able to attend talks from a huge array of specific topics in aquatic sciences, ranging from Climate Change and Biodiversity to Policy Impacts of Aquatic Sciences to Marine Viruses.
I was there to present a poster during the “Metacommunities” section, while my supervisor (Gregor Fussmann), gave a complementary talk in the same section. The work I presented is serving a chapter of my thesis, in which I examine how host heterogeneity affects parasite dynamics on individuals, populations and metapopulations using guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and their ectoparasite Gyrodactylus turnbulli as a model system. In this particular experiment, I looked at how host sex can influence parasite growth on isolated fish, single-sex groups of fish and mixed-sex groups. The casual atmosphere of the poster session allowed me to share my research with peers and experts in one-on-one conversations and get feedback on my results, as well as generate interest in the paper I plan on submitting for publication later this year.
The conference setting was also exiting for me, as I haven’t yet had the chance to travel very much and this was my first visit to Europe. During downtime, I had the chance to explore Granada both on my own and with activities provided through the conference. As a city with a rich and diverse history, there were so many interesting neighborhoods, buildings and monuments to see. Conference participants also had the opportunity to take a nighttime tour of the Alhambra, an intricately designed historic monument that housed former royalty.
In short, my Excellence Award provided me with a great opportunity to communicate my research to a broad audience and to connect with scientists in my field from all over the world in a beautiful city.
Thank you QCBS!