ICYMARE - a great experience

It was the conference like no other I have attended. Completely organised voluntarily by young marine researchers for young marine researchers on an international scale is truly remarkable.

I started getting really positive vibes from the application process itself. Firstly, the participation in the conference was free of charge. It’s such a big support for someone like me who is coming from the global south. Also, the abstract submission process was such a smooth process. In a regular conference we submit the abstract and some unknown people judge our abstracts and give their verdict just as selected or not selected. However, in this conference the reviewers not just reviewed and gave a verdict on my abstract, but also gave comments on how it can be better. This is unheard of. It would be really nice to see ICYMARE continuing this review process which helps not only people who got selected, but also for those people whose abstracts could not make it.

I was one of the fortunate few who got a travel grant which was offered by ICYMARE. The unique thing about the travel grant was we were asked to give evidence that we have chosen a mode of transport which has a least carbon footprint compared to the alternatives. This is a great initiative that other conferences also should totally adopt. I am going to adopt this practice of checking the least carbon footprint path for my travel whenever I will travel again.

The conference itself was a great experience. The atmosphere was very informal, non-hierarchical and warm. Even though it was my first travel to Europe, I felt very comfortable in the conference. The ice breaker session was really helpful especially for someone like me who knew no one and certainly helped me to make a few friends.

This conference is still not well known outside Europe. However, I see it changing in years to come. I will certainly encourage people I know in India to attend this conference. In India although ecology and conservation science are well established fields, marine biology and ecology has not come at par with its terrestrial counterparts. And conferences like ICYMARE can certainly provide a great platform of exchanging ideas for young Indian researchers like me.”

by Mayuresh Gangal
PhD Student at Nature Conservation Foundation, Índia