The ATBC 2017 meeting in Mexico was a success. About 750 people from 40 different countries came together to discuss ecological and social dimensions of tropical biodiversity conservation.
From the opening ceremony with musical performance, over the mentoring circle (where we get to know a lot of new people) and all the interesting sessions to the closing ceremony where Lore got awarded for best student poster (congratz!), we enjoyed ourselves and were happy to get this networking chance!
There were a lot of sessions on animal conservation, animal-plant interactions and many talks about fancy birds. We went to sessions talking about the importance of working together with farmers for better agricultural production within a highly bio diverse framework. There were sessions about aquatic tropical biology, about plant photosynthesis, about lianas and even a couple about soil nutrients and their impact on the ecosystem (even though the researcher in question mentioned that he disliked the fact that soil nutrients are important after all). We listened to talks about wild boar (white lipped pekaris, yeah!) and mangrove forests. All in all the conference spanned a broad range of topics within tropical ecology and most of them were very interesting to learn about.
Both Leandro and Lore presented a poster at the conference (see previous post). Each day about 70 people presented their poster. In practice this meant that those 70 people put up their poster during the morning break (between 10h30 and 11h00), and the poster presentations took place during the afternoon break (between 16h and 17h). So we (and all the other 740 people present) only had 1 hour to have a look at the posters, and every day we had new posters to visit. If you want to have a look at all of them, you spend less than a minute at each poster which is way too short!
Our poster session took place on Wednesday. A pity they put all posters of the same topic on the same day, so we couldn’t ‘visit’ the posters we were interested in. But we had a nice hour of presenting a poster. A lot of people were interested. Even so much that several people skipped the plenary session at 17h to stay longer to have a look at the posters.
On the last day of the conference several field trips were organized. The one we participated at was a trip to Uxmal and surrounding cenotes. Uxmal is an ancient Maya city and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Maya culture (along with some others). A cenote is a natural pit resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. These are typical for the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
Both Uxmal and the visited cenotes were amazing! We were surprised that so few tourists find their way to Uxmal. Climbing one of the pyramids offered a nice view over the rainforests.
After this great conference, we took 10 days to travel around the Yucatan peninsula. More pictures will follow later 🙂
See you (hopefully) next year in Malaysia, ATBC!