Do you want to experience the feeling of spring in the south of France? You will get the closest possible by visiting the beautiful picture gallery ‘Montpellier 2017’ on the right of my blog, or via this link. There you can see in a series of images how I experienced the south of France while I was there for the Functional Ecology conference end of March.
An occasional conference is a necessity, in my opinion. Not only for the highly interesting and rewarding contacts with other scientists, yet also for the experience of the totally different ecology of the local ecosystem.
For an ecologist, getting the feeling of a wide variety of these environments is even crucial to understand the world and how it works. It helps keeping an open mind when searching for global processes and local variation.
Interestingly, these different environments also indirectly contribute to the power of a conference: they get reflected in the research topics and – even more importantly – the way of thinking of the scientists you meet there. They often add unexpected insights or viewpoints to what you thought of as a universal ecological viewpoint.
I thus spend some time getting to know key factors of the local nature: most notoriously the lowland salt marshes and the large amounts of water.