Guest blogger, Rachel Granberg, an M.S. student in the Verble Fire Ecology Lab, discusses her recent experiences at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting below.
The Society for Integrated and Comparative Biology’s annual meeting was January 3-7 this year in Austin, Texas. Dr. Verble and I were able to attend this year. This is a particularly interesting conference because of the variety of research presented. The study organisms represented range from horseshoe crabs to koalas with the scale of research from a cellular level to entire ecosystems.
|Austin, Texas © R.M. Verble-Pearson 2014|
I gave my first oral presentation at SICB on the Survival of the Texas horned lizard as a function of physical environment. It was a terrifying, but rewarding experience. My talk immediately followed a talk by Dr. Ray Huey, who I cited several times in my project proposal. The range of scientists presenting their work was impressive; there were many well-known scientists, but students still got the chance to present their work.
|Title slide for my presentation © R.M. Verble-Pearson 2014|
Fire ecology was something that was largely absent from the conference. I relished the opportunity to explain some concepts about prescribed burning and how it affects habitat in central Texas. I am certain it was the first time some of the audience members had really thought about how fire affects habitat and wildlife in positive ways.
|My advisor and I in front of my presentation|
Overall, it was a very rewarding experience. I met some inspiring scientists and got some great feedback on my research. Attending conferences has been the most beneficial way for me to grow as a scientist. Not only do I make new connections, but I see how others design their studies and become inspired by others’ work. SICB gave me a whole list of new concepts to explore for 2014.