Tuesday, 1 March 2011

2011 UEA CEEC Rebellion

Last week was the 11th Annual Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (CEEC) Rebellion Conference at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The Rebellion is a student conference that aims to be a platform for the showcase of CEEC PhD student research and, more importantly, an occassion to bring together ecologists and evolutionary biologists that are normally scattered in various departments across the UEA. More info on the Rebellion, including where it gets its name from, here.

For the last few years, Rebellion has also been a student run conference, and this year I had the pleasure of being in the Organising Committee!

Organising the 2011 Rebellion was really great fun for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process, including the one little spat we had within the Organising Committee. We were really rubbish at having a fight though: we proceeded to apologise to each other almost immediately. Not particularly spectacular, but super efficient! In general, we worked brilliantly together. And that really says something coming from me. I'm a perfectionist and will take over where I feel others aren't delivering to a high enough standard. But during the Conference, I did not hesitate to leave tasks in the capable hands of my fellow Committee members.

My excitement for the whole thing did not go unnoticed. It was repeatedly pointed out to me that I was acting like a kid on Christmas Eve, and one person actually asked me: "What are you going to do when Rebellion is over?!" Yeah, maybe I went a bit nuts. Set up a blog and everything! I did suggest live tweeting of the conference, but it transpired I was the only one in CEEC with a Twitter account...

CEEC Rebellion 2011 in pictures
- student and post-doc talks -
CEEC Rebellion 2011 was a resounding success! We had the pleasure of hosting Prof. Tim Birkhead (University of Shefflield) and my co-supervisor (*brag*) Prof. Nigel Collar (BirdLife International) as guest plenary speakers, whose presentations were nothing short of inspiring. Our internal plenary speakers, Dr Jenny Gill and Prof. Tracey Chapman, wowed us with accounts of their work, truly at the cutting edge of ecology and evoltionary biology research. And the standard of student talks was just phenomenal. Here is the Programme if you're interested.

The most important part of the whole conference though was the atmosphere. It was fantastic. Everyone was lively and enthusiastic, and people who don't normally interact were engaging with one another, creating a real community spirit. We brought CEEC closer together and this is really significant for a group of researchers that are dispersed across so many different parts of the University.

I'm really chuffed =)

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