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Friday, 23 September 2016 17:36

From the Poles to the Tropics in Kuala Lumpur

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We have just got back from KL where the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research held its biennial meeting. Mel and I went via Singapore so we could catch up with Jessica on the way. We got to see the Singapore Botanical Gardens as well and meet some VIP orchids. Diana and Mick met up with us in KL. Xurxo Gago who is visiting our lab for a few months came from Spain. We also met up with our Antarctic collaborators Todd from Portland, USA and Angelica from Concepcion, Chile as well as several hundred other Antarctic Scientists. We were surprised to find that fashion week was on in KL but we couldn’t find a red shoe to pose in (see news from SCAR 2014 in NZ).


It was great to meet up with everyone, learn the latest on everything sciencey in Antarctica, from glaciology to chemistry and share ideas with other scientists from around the world. There was a wonderful wikibomb party to celebrate the new Antarctic women scientists we have managed to get into Wikipedia over the last few months. Jan Strugnell did a fabulous job - exceeding all expectations with the number of entries.


Mick, Mel and I gave talks. Mick started off the week with a talk about the temperature optima of the various mosses from Antarctica and how they compare with co-generics from Australia. I presented in the remote sensing session, giving a talk on Zbynek’s work showing how we can use drones to map moss health in Antarctica. I also gave a talk about the remediation work that Gabby and Anna did few years ago. Darren Koppel from Di Jolley’s lab also gave a great talk in that session on his PhD work with algae and metal contamination.


Mel compared the physiology of mosses from the East and West of Antarctica in the ecophysiology session, where Angelica and Todd also presented. Diana was the star - winning a poster prize for her work on automatically classifying images for long term monitoring.Her work was commended on being of particular interest and use to managers trying to look after Antarctic Biodiversity.



All in all - a very successful week. Of course the food was excellent too!


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