Friday was my first day as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, at the University of Birmingham. I had a wonderful welcome both from Sue Gilligan and Sarah Jeffery and over lunch with academic staff from the Schools of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Biosciences and Mathematics. The IAS aims to promote interdisciplinary research and it was great to see so many people connecting over lunch.
Last year in November, our group led by Barry Osmond hosted a LIFT (light induced fluorescence transient) meeting in Wollongong. The second meeting was held in Germany hosted by the Forschungszentrum Jülich IBG-2: Plant Sciences. The University of Wollongong, HRPPC at CSIRO in Canberra and the Forschungszentrum Jülich are developing protocols for measuring canopy photosynthesis using these new LIFT chlorophyll fluorometers.
The first scientific destination on this study leave trip in the spring or autumn of 2014 (depending on which hemisphere you might be in) was for a gathereing of polar peatbog scientists, which might be considered rather a niche in the scheme of things, and yet this small concentration of people proved a very good size for an intense and intimate discussion and planning session on the science of arctic and antarctic peat bogs.