It has been a great 88th edition of the Australian Coral Reef Symposium in Brisbane. Dan Harris and I went and represented the Geocoastal Research Group and I think that we did pretty well considering that we were the only two geomorphologists there! Both Dan and I were expecting that we were going to pretty much have the room to ourselves and talk to each other as we could not see much interest at all in what we research. Fortunately, ecologists and biologists alike were quite a curious mob and so we had a completely unexpected but fantastic turn up! Thank you to everyone that came to see us, we did not feel lonely anymore afterwards! And thank you to everyone that came afterwards to say that they enjoyed our talks 🙂
I also wore my One Tree Island director hat and it was great meeting many of our researchers and an absolute pleasure to see OTIRS feature in so many talks. OTIRS takes a lot of my time and energy and it is very rewarding seeing that so much good research is produced there! Next time I am stuck trying to fix something there or trying to get money and funds, finding and hiring managers and doing endless paperwork, I will try to think of the greater good instead of focusing on the science that I could be doing myself.
Basically, I enjoyed the conference, I presented my work on the stability and sediment transport processes on sand aprons and Dan presented some pretty cool stuff on how storm waves propagate over the reef flats, our research represents a continuation of the studies that we recently published in Geomorphology. Our research was also featured in two other talks. Dr Adriana Vergés from UNSW gave an excellent keynote address where amongst other things she mentioned our recent collaboration on the effects of waves on kelp forests near the Solitary Islands. And, Dr Sarah Hamylton, from Wollongong University presented some preliminary results from the Capricorn Bunker Expedition which she recently led taking Steph Duce with her as GRG representative (you can watch a video on the expedition here). Very cool indeed!
I must confess though that there were times that I did not understand anything from the talk I was listening to… I had no idea what they were talking about (is it an animal? Is it a plant? Is it superman?) and, I wondered why was I there… In the end, I think that it was a great conference where I learnt a lot about many things and I networked and established collaboration opportunities for the future. And I think that I speak for Dan too if I say that overall was a really positive experience (and Dan did his thing of getting himself a souvenir… He really cannot help himself! See the picture below). Aside from the science and the work, it was good fun, the night of the conference dinner we ended up in some country and western joint in Brisbane (yep, they had BOTH kinds of music there…) and I wondered again what was I doing there!? (it did not stop me from staying until more than 2am though!)
Perhaps I should have placed a bid for that life membership to the oldest coral reef society in the world! Thanks #ACRS14