We are back to the TAAG student conference. Fortunately for you, we’ll allocate another post on the now concluded event. I am sure you want to know more about this exciting event that reunited 136 student delegates and participants, among them 56 TBA alumni from 11 countries in the Louis Leakey auditorium at the National Museums of Kenya.
During the 3 days beginning from 2nd of July, we learnt about the work of 30 students across Africa as well as the wealth of experience from 4 Keynote speakers. 4 workshops were also organized on the first day around various themes that divided participants into different groups. These included “Bush craft skills and Mammal identification techniques “, “Fundraising for conservation projects”, “Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services” and “Conservation of carnivores”. As for me, after somehow getting myself lost in the museum (So predictable!), I managed to find the workshop group on “Fundraising for conservation projects” animated by Dr. Rosie Trevelyan from TBA. Fortunately although all 4 workshops were run in parallel, we all got a chance to discover the experiences in the other workshops through the Rapporteurs of Workshop Proceedings.
Back to the students: after all, the conference was for students. Besides 20 oral presentations, a poster session took place on the 2nd day of the conference, but the previous day we had had a speed talk session. Yes speed talks! Now we may all not be familiar with them but as the name implies they are supposed to be speedy. 5 minutes chronos: describe your whole study. It can be quite a challenge but that’s an experience we can all wish for, as scientists. I bet Moses Chemurot from Uganda who won the best presentation award in this category may agree with me. Our other award winners were Tendai Musvuugwa from Zimbabwe and Simon Musila from Kenya for the best oral and poster presentations respectively.
Other key parts of the conference were the panel discussion about TBA and TAAG: the way forward. Such discussions that give the participants an opportunity to share their ideas and suggestions on the spot is not common, but have yielded several interesting thoughts that we all look forward to see come to life in the future. Before concluding on the conference, I almost forgot to mention another key event if not the main one: Coffee breaks! SO important because that’s when you get to talk with other participants/speakers, meet fellow TBA alumni, make new contacts and network. Isn’t that the key point in a conference after all? Thanks to the whole team including above all the participants who made the conference such a success!
For a slideshow of conference pictures: click on any picture below: