MBA Travel Bursary Report | Sara Mynott
Midsummer in Brest. Boats line neatly in the harbour, herring gulls bathe in the fountains and the delicate scent of salted caramel crepes lingers in the air. And, for one week, the town is filled with the buzz and thrill of researchers working at the interface between marine science, policy and society.
The gathering, Future Oceans 2, set to work out how we can pave a way to a sustainable ocean future, drawing on the skills of natural scientists, social science researchers, and many others from diverse and interesting disciplines.
Ahead of the conference I immersed myself in a workshop geared to engage and inspire early-career researchers: with enlightening talks, policy pitch practice sessions and a plethora of networking opportunities. The meeting saw the official launch of the Interdisciplinary Marine Early Career Network (IMECaN) – a group of like-minded people all undertaking different careers in marine science.
After listening to a smorgasbord of mind-broadening and brilliant presentations from people working across science, policy, and industry, it was my turn to step up. I presented my PhD research on how climate change is affecting anti-predator defences, sharing insights into the impact of ocean warming and acidification are having on the interactions between species. This will – probably – be the last time I present my PhD research and it was a delight to share it with such an inspiring audience.
Through conversations with researchers, conservation managers and those in the policy sphere, I gained invaluable feedback on my work, forged new collaborations and expanded my marine science network enormously. I look forward to many more conversations with these inspirational people in the years to come.