OMG all these people work with Daphnia? How cool is that!
Meeting the “big Daphnia scientists”
This was probably one of the most important conferences I attended as a PhD student. Why? Because (almost) everyone who “has a name” in Daphnia research was there. I finally met so many scientist whom I only knew as authors of the papers I was ready. It was the best opportunity to build up a network of future collaborators, mentors and colleagues. The most ironic thing about this conference: it was organized by Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch, who was lecturer at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich while I was doing my undergrad, and in one of his lectures (about inducible defenses in Daphnia), he said that he never thought he would work with Daphnia. I can remember turning to my friend, who was sitting next to me in the lecture theater, saying “oh yeah, that’s not gonna happen to me”. Well, and yet here I was, doing my PhD on Daphnia and attending this great, but so niche conference. I was really happy to meet Prof. Dr. Laforsch and his colleagues, who have done an amazing job organizing the conference. I also talked to some of the “famous” scientists who gave me some really useful advice for the study I presented in my talk. And to make this so important experience even better: among really great ECRs, I won the 1. prize for the best student talk! I can still remember me hoping for it to happen, but loosing hope as 3. and 2. place were announced, who both really gave awesome talks, and could’t believe it for a moment when my name was announced. My supervisior was so proud (btw he just joined Twitter back then and one of his first Tweets was a picture of me holding my award), and so was our head of the research group. And to round this all up: 2. place in the “best talk” run and the poster prize went to two PhD students, whom I both knew from the LMU. It was the “LMU night” and we were all happy we met after years on such a great conference.