I (Karl Cottenie) had a busy weeklong trip to Belem, Brazil, at the end of October. I was invited to facilitate a 2.5 day workshop, give a research seminar, and be part of an MSc qualifying defence.
See here for some pictures of my trip, and below is a little bit more information on what I did.
It was really fun (and a lot of work) to put together the material for the metacommunity workshop. I did a lot of hands-on activities, where the participants performed a quick meta-analysis, explored metacommunity dynamics with a simple but powerful simulation model in R, and finally analysed the simulation results with the vegan package in R. This is the second time I have been in Brazil, and I have now advised several Brazilian PhD students, and I was again impressed by the quality of the Brazilian ecologists. Hopefully I will be able to continue my interactions with them, because I myself learned a lot during the 2.5 day workshop.
My research seminar was a first summary of the last 5 years of research from my lab on temporal metacommunity dynamics. Most of that research is currently submitted, resubmitted or almost ready to submit, so hopefully I will be able to share more of this exciting research soon here too.
And finally, Lucas Corales presented his MSc research progress. They gave an impressive presentation with stunning visuals, and the science behind it was equally impressive. I am looking forward to the publication that will come out of this research, and the rest of their carreer. Great things will come out of this.
While you could get the impression that there was little time for fully enjoying Brazil, you are mistaken. In the downtime, I ate local foods (tacaca, jambu, peixada, acai icecream, cupuacu, muruci, taperaba), and visited the local rainforest (sort of).
Here is to hoping I will be able to go back there in the near future :-)