SCCS Conference Update

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This week 15 current DICE students, a couple of alumni and staff (representing 10 different countries) ventured to the University of Cambridge for the 2015 Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS).

Rob Ward's poster 'Conservation and spatial modelling of a declining island population of grass snakes (Natrix natrix)'

Rob Ward’s poster ‘Conservation and spatial modelling of a declining island population of grass snakes (Natrix natrix)’

SCCS helps young conservation scientists gain experience, learn new ideas and make contacts that will be valuable for their future careers. Over the past 15 years, SCCS Cambridge has hosted over 2,500 delegates from 124 countries worldwide.

Not only was the conference a wonderful opportunity to create friendships, build partnerships, and grow academically, but also many of our students had their work and contributions recognised. Nico Galvez (PhD student), Amy Hinsley (PhD student) and Arun Kanagavel (MSc Alumnus) all gave talks which were highly praised, in addition Nico was awarded 3rd prize for his presentation and Amy was awarded a commendation.

 

Tristan Pett's poster 'Nature and human well-being: The people-biodiversity paradox'

Tristan Pett’s poster ‘Nature and human well-being: The people-biodiversity paradox’

DICE students presented 11 posters out of a total 90, with Tristan Pett & Rob Ward both being awarded as highly commended. During final remarks at the end of the conference Rob’s poster was highlighted for being visually appealing and ‘even making Jersey’s biodiversity interesting’ which is quite impressive when most of the posters were about exotic and charismatic species and places!

Our students also had the opportunity to catch up with DICE alumni including Dan Challender who is now working in Cambridge for the IUCN and they were also joined by some SAC staff who dropped in; Bob Smith & Ian Bride. When asked about the conference Rob Ward commented,

The conference was a great way to meet other researchers and discuss current conservation topics, as well as engage people in our research and get feedback from peers and established conservation professionals. There was also a set of workshops to further develop our skills as researchers. It also worth mentioning that there was also a party night which had many of us out until the early hours. I think I speak for the group when I say that we would recommend it to any students thinking about attending in future years.

Our students were praised by one of the plenary speakers, Professor Paul Ferraro, for the broad range and practical relevance of their research. Apparently, they also turned heads on the dance floor!

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