In August I attended the World Herpetology Congress in China. Despite the congress being moved around 90km to the city of Tonglu just a couple of days before the congress started the organizers still managed to very well to pull off the congress. I was able to attend the congress as they awarded me a partial scholarship which covered the registration fee, accommodation and food whilst I was there.
I presented a talk titled “Ansonia platysoma, the effect of habitat variables on occupancy”, this is part of my data that has been collected for my PhD (we got awarded funding from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to conduct the work on it). Currently the data indicates that there are different factors that affect occupancy in comparison to the density of individuals that you have in a site.
The congress had a lot of amazing talks and I met a lot of individuals doing fantastic work in different disciplines. It was nice that everyone were herpetologists, but it truly showcased the wide range of areas that people use these amazing taxa’s as study species for. I do enjoy going to “random” talks that it looks like it isn’t related to my area, often you find out something new and sometimes it turns out that some technique that you could apply is being used. Maybe they even look at things from a different view point and give you another angle to think about in your own work?
I managed to meet two of my previous masters project supervisors (David Gower and Mark Wilkinson from the British Natural History Museum) as well as one of my previous masters lecturer (Ansi Laurila from Uppsala University) and it was great to catch up with them. I also got elected as a student member of the congress committee and hopefully I will be able to attend the next congress in Dunedin in New Zealand in 2020. Thank you to everyone that I met at the congress that made this such a brilliant experience!