Networking and collaborations at the Tropentag conference 2016, Vienna, Austria

We are delighted that Pedro Pardo, a Tropical Forestry master student in his second year and from Guatemala, took the opportunity to attend this year’s Tropentag conference in Vienna, Austria to present a poster he collaborated on.

Here he provides us his personal insights on the conference and recommendations for students interested in a research career.

1.      What was the topic of your poster?

The scientific poster was the result of a collaboration between two other colleagues from Bangladesh: Arif Chowdhury and Sohag Miah.  Sohag just obtained his Master degree in Forestry at Georg-August Universität Göttingen. Arif has a Master degree in forestry from the University of Chittagong. The research title is “Climate Change Adaptation with Community Based Management- CBM in Komolchari Village Common Forest-VCF, Khagrachari, Bangladesh”. The field work was conducted by the first author of the poster, Arif, who did it during 2015. Then Sohag and I collaborated on the analysis and the presentation.

2.      What benefits did you derive from presenting your poster at Tropentag? For example, could you network with people who were interested in your topic?

It was my first impression, and soon after it was confirmed by one of the moderators with whom I had the opportunity to talk, that the main objective of the Tropentag is to be a common ground where the students and new researchers can communicate, share experiences and engage in future collaboration with experts on specific topics. In my case, I was able to find out that new research projects are about to begin in my home country and also to get to know the research team that is currently working there. I also talked with university professors interested in networking with local researchers; one of them even informed me of the possibility of a PhD program. Therefore, it was an excellent opportunity to meet and collaborate.

It was also a good experience for me because I was able to hear young researchers, who have similar topics and findings in other parts of the world.

I participated in as many presentations as I could and also in formal and informal social events where you have so many opportunities to talk to these experts with whom commonly you don’t have the chance to talk to.

4.      What is your overall impression of the conference?

I really recommend attending the Tropentag conference.  Every student, especially those who are developing a thesis project related to “Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural and Natural Resource Management” have to participate in order to gain expert knowledge and fresh experiences. It is important for new researchers to generate results that are linked to the current needs and have an impact in the academic world.
This is possible if you develop scientific networks and collaborations between different institutions and experts from different countries. Tropentag is the perfect ground to do that. Due to its nature, is easy for students and young researchers to participate and present in Tropentag compared to other international scientific congresses. Therefore, I consider it a must for students interested in research.

5.  What were the most important things you got out of it e.g. for your studies, career, personally?

Beside plenty of positive feedback, it gave me more ideas on the do’s and don’t’s for future presentations in congresses and with expert meetings. Also I gained new research ideas, contact information and practical ideas on how to manage myself when trying to talk to experts.

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