15th DSBS Travel Award Report – Elisabeth Myers



by Elisabeth Myers

Massey University, New Zealand

The 15th Deep-Sea Biological Symposium held in Monterey Bay was a great excuse to make my first trip to America. The week started off with an inspirational plenary from Julie Packard. Coming from New Zealand, I knew little about the Packard family and all they had done for marine research and conservation in America. It was great to get some context about the history of Monterey Bay, MBARI, and the aquarium early in the week.

One of the highlights of the conference for me was the lightning talks. It was a great way to see early on which researchers and posters to seek out. It pointed me straight to the scientists behind the discovery of the Giant Slickhead (Alepocephalidae), for which I had about a hundred questions. My colleagues back in NZ at the national museum are still enthralled by the massive fish!

After getting my talk over and done with late on Tuesday afternoon, I was able to relax a bit and really enjoy the talks. It was around this time that I realised that as a fish enthusiast, I was a tad outnumbered. Over the course of the conference I learnt a lot about invertebrates that I hadn’t known before. I came away with a much greater appreciation for the spineless – so thanks to all those who enlightened me. You know who you are!

The excursion to the aquarium was a lot of fun, it was great to go to such a place with so many other marine scientists and experts. Surely the other attendees must have noticed all the excited specialist talk, and scientific names stated? My favourite exhibits were the tentacles section, the sardines, and the pelagic tank.

Chong Chen’s plenary was inspiring and emphasised the benefits at tackling a challenge from multiple different technological angles. It was also great to see Monty Priede’s talk on fish energetics after reading his recent book and so much of his work for my own studies.

All in all, it was a great week filled with a lot of learning, making connections, and new friends. I came to the conference having only met 4 attendees before and walked away knowing many more than that. I’d like to sincerely thank the society for the travel award, and the conference organisers for making it such a great event. Presenting some of my early thesis work to an international audience two years into my Ph.D. was a very beneficial experience, and the feedback I received will go into making a better thesis! I hope to see you all in Japan!

Ngā mihi nui,
Lizzy Myers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *