With his picture of a beautiful cauliflower jellyfish taken in Saudi Arabia, Christian Jessen (one of the "ZMT ICRS crowd") won the second place in the ICRS photographic competition in the category "Animal Portrait".
Cairns, Queensland, Australia, July 12th 2012, air temperature 25 °C
Today is the second last day of the ICRS, and it has been a busy and very interesting meeting so far. Most of the ZMT contributions have been delivered and received very good feedbacks including a fully covered talk invitation to a seminar series at a Japanese University.
Today is also the day to meet our Australian colleagues from University of Queensland (UQ; Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Sophie Dove) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS; Sven Uthicke) in order to discuss and arrange the upcoming new joint research projects involving Sebastian Ferse for the UQ and Friedrich Meyer for the AIMS collaboration.
We are all looking forward to the conference dinner tonight that takes place open air in a neighboring park. Fortunately, after heavy rainfalls in the last days and rather chilly temperatures, today we have a sunny and warm day. Let’s hope that this beautiful and calm weather lasts a bit longer, because a large proportion of the ZMT crowd chartered the diving boat “Rum Runner” after the conference in order to see the amazing Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea.
Cairns, Queensland, Australia, July 8th 2012, air temperature 20 °C (Australian winter)
The first ZMT scientists have arrived after a long and exhausting 30 h travel from Bremen to Down Under to attend the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) from July 9th until July 13th in Cairns, Australia. This symposium is globally the most important coral reef meeting and only takes place every 4 years.
In total, the ZMT is sending 16 staff members to the ICRS. They are coming from all 4 ZMT departments including Ecology (Vanessa Bednarz, Elisa Bayraktarov, Hannah Brocke, Gaelle Quere, Alexander Wolf, Friedrich Meyer, Christian Jessen, Corvin Eidens, Malik Naumann, and Christian Wild), Ecological Modelling (Martina Keller, Andreas Kubicek, Sönke Hohn, and Hauke Reuter), Social Sciences (Sebastian Ferse) and Geosciences (Claire Reymond). This highlights the intense and interdisciplinary work of ZMT in tropical coral reef ecosystems. It further emphasizes the high quality and quantity of scientific ZMT contributions to the ICRS. Overall, ZMT staff submitted 15 scientific abstracts, whereof 13 were accepted as oral presentations and the other ones as posters. In addition, 7 short articles from ZMT staff were accepted by the peer-reviewed ICRS conference proceedings. This characterizes ZMT as the most actively contributing European institution at the ICRS in Cairns and among the top 5 institutions in the world. Special thanks go to the funding agencies DAAD, GLOMAR, EU, DFG and Evangelisches Studienwerk that made our ICRS participation possible.
We are all looking forward to the upcoming week, although some of us are a bit nervous because of their first talks at a big international conference with close to 2000 participants from 80 countries. There will be 72 scientific mini-symposia and lots of side events and thematic meetings in order to get in contact with our colleagues, friends and partners, particularly from Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Zanzibar, Saudi-Arabia, United Kingdom, Portugal, and the US to discuss upcoming joint proposals, projects and publications.
In the good tradition of the Olympic Games that also take place only every 4 years, the ZMT has rented a small building, the “German House”, in order to save hotel costs and to be able to invite collaboration partners for dinners and meetings. Consequently, one of the highlights of the ICRS 2012 will likely be the ZMT ICRS goodbye barbecue party in the German House on Friday night.
With best greetings from Down Under!
Christian Wild (for the ZMT ICRS crowd), WG Coral Reef Ecology