Barely recovered from the First Global Soil Biodiversity Conference in Dijon I was back to France the week after to attend the Joint Annual Meeting of the British Ecological Society (BES) and the Société Française d’Ecologie (SFE), in Lille Grand Palais, Lille, from the 9th to 12th of December. This time I was not only presenting my poster but attending as a BES student helper which not only gave me free entry but would increase my confidence as I would have a ‘job to do’ and be working with other student helpers (my supervisor calls this ‘activity-based socialisation’ and it is ideal for introverts and those with autistic leanings).
Like Dijon, Lille also had a Ferris wheel set up for Christmas but this time I had a day and night to settle in before my poster presentation. Social media was even more in use in Lille than it was in Dijon so do check out the Twitter hastag #bessfe and the collections on the BES Storify page, in particular the final day of the conference when Christmas attire was encouraged and the Storify features fellow PREDICTS students Adriana and Helen in their marvellous Christmas jumpers!
The conference was not all work though, we had the night off to attend the awards ceremony and Gala Dinner which was complete with music and dancing from Warblefly, not that I joined in but it was rather enjoyable watching a crowd of highly educated individuals failing to folk dance without collision!
I also had an evening off to attend the Plants, Soils, Ecosystems Special Interest Group social, which featured an impressive selection of cheese and wine! So the conference was a good mixture of work and play, giving me more experience in presenting my research. Hopefully by the next one I will have some results from my PhD research to present and my confidence in presenting will have increased – maybe I will even do a talk!