For a scientist to be successful, a global network is crucial. International collaborations bring in new insights, different views on science and important sources of data and knowledge. These ideas are even more relevant in the discipline of ecology, where many of the asked questions need globally relevant answers. You can just never fully grasps the interactions of living things with each other and the environment without searching for the similarities ànd differences in these interactions all over the world.
In my research, this global aspect has always been a main goal and now, after 6 published papers and 1.5 years before the end of my PhD, it is a nice moment to make up the balance. I thus made a map combining the places I have visited myself (dots) and all people that I collaborated with on these 6 papers (lines).
Lines are weighed based on the amount of papers together (bolder lines means more interactions), black lines indicate anticipated future collaborations. The red dot is home (Antwerp, Belgium), green dots stand for past visits, yellow dots for anticipated visits.
While the network starts to look like a spider, I am pretty curious to see how this will end up looking 1.5 years for now, at the end of this adventure and – if all goes as hoped for – throughout the rest of my scientific career. Also, if you’re a young (or older scientist) reading this and are triggered by the concept, feel free to share your own global network, we could learn a lot here about the ongoing globalisation of science!