I’m counting down the days for my first Ecological Society of America (ESA) conference next week in Portland, OR. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been diligently working to finish as much analysis as possible on the data from my recent post-doc, as I am presenting a poster on Wednesday, August 9th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm; PS 31-13 – Soil bacterial diversity in response to stress from farming system, climate change, weed diversity, and wheat streak virus.
Several of my new colleagues will also be presenting on their recent work, including a talk from Roo Vandegrift on the built environment and the microbiome of human skin, and one from Ashkaan Fahimipour on the dynamics of food webs.
The theme for this year’s ESA meeting is “Linking biodiversity, material cycling and ecosystem services in a changing world”, and judging from the extravagant list of presenting authors, it’s going to be an extremely large meeting. It’s worth remembering that large conferences like these bring together researchers from each rung of the career ladder, and many of the invited speakers will be presenting on work that might have been done by dozens of scientists over decades. Seeing only the polished summary can be intimidating, lots of scientists I’ve spoken to can feel intimidated by these comprehensive meeting talks because the speakers seem so much smarter and more successful than you. It’s something I jokingly refer to as “pipette envy”: when you are at a conference thinking that everyone does cooler science than you. Just remember, someone also deemed your work good enough to present at the same conference!