By Marlene Roellig
Almost three weeks ago I attended the SCCS in Cambridge, UK. It was the first time I’ve attended, encouraged by its reputation of extremely high quality talks and posters, as well as interesting keynotes and workshops. As the name suggests, the conference is aimed at students (mostly Master and PhD) from across the globe – this year, 63 countries were represented among the participants, and the projects presented ranged from China to Peru, via Sri Lanka, Iran, the Gambia and, of course, Romania. All in all, the topics reached from Aquatic conservation, Climate Change to People and protection. It was interesting to see how many conservation research projects were looking at social aspects – for example concerning Dwindling traditional knowledge in western Himalaya or Social structures and microcredits – showing the importance of a socio-ecological framework for conservation projects.
One of the keynote speakers, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, was in fact an anthropologist, who spoke about Wearing too many hats? Anthropology, development and conservation. In her talk she was not only speaking about her work in Africa and the link between the cultural function of lion dancers to the protection of lions in the national park, but also showed an interesting evaluation of community-based conservation projects providing important lessons on why some of them fail and some do not (the paper from PNAS you can find here).
Cambridge is at the hub of the largest cluster of international conservation organisations in the world, including Birdlife, RSPB, UNEP-WCMC, Flora and Fauna International, as well of course as Cambridge University itself. This meant that representatives from these organisations were present at the conference, giving participants the opportunity to network and ask questions. A new conservation campus is also being built at the university to link up interdisciplinary conservation researchers and conservation organisations.
But what I also want to show in this blog entry is that out of 103 international posters, 4 presented research from Transylvania (see the pictures below). It was nice to see Transylvania that well represented at an international conference!
Thanks to Laura and Edina for their input and also thanks to all for the permission to use the pictures of their posters.