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4-Oceans Wales trip

4-Oceans Holm team workshop in Menai Bridge, Wales

  • The 4-Oceans Holm Team workshop attendees. Photo by Emily Schwalbe on 30 August 2023.
  • Author: Emily Schwalbe

    This week the Professor Poul Holm team for the European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Project 4-Oceans (Grant Agreement No. 951649) visited beautiful Menai Bridge in Wales for a group workshop. The excursion was organized by project Research Fellow, Dr Alec Moore, at Bangor University’s Marine Centre, with team members travelling from all over Europe to attend. Participants leaving from Dublin embarked on a long journey to Menai Bridge on Tuesday (29 August 2023), which involved numerous forms of transportation including bus, ferry, shuttle, and, finally, taxi. Despite the long journey, everyone arrived safely that evening and the hard work started on Wednesday morning. All team members presented on their ongoing work, which covered a wide range of topics, including marine ecology, coastal demography, histories of marine species extinction, digital mapping possibilities, and new interpretations of archival sources. Following each presentation, the group asked questions of the presenter and suggested possibilities for future directions. The collaborative environment highlighted the diverse expertise of the team, as well as the strengths of interdisciplinary perspectives for improving research.

    On Thursday (31 August 2023) morning, the group reconvened to brainstorm how our research contributes to the overarching goals of the 4-Oceans project. After seeing the numerous presentations the previous day, everyone was able to contribute ideas for how the specific methodologies, questions, and preliminary findings of the different participants fits into the project goals. Team members also identified where we could continue to complement each other’s research in the coming months. Everyone departed Thursday afternoon with plenty of new ideas for research and collaboration.

  • Walking tour of the town. Photo by Emily Schwalbe on 31 August 2023.
  • View from Menai Bridge. Photo by Emily Schwalbe on 31 August 2023.
  • Even with all the hard work, the team had plenty of opportunities to reconnect and socialize. The Holm team is made up of researchers from numerous institutions, and the workshop was an opportunity for many members to see each other in person for the first time in months. Participants enjoyed group dinners, scenic morning runs, and a walking tour of Menai Bridge led by Alec during the workshop. Additionally, this was the first official in-person meeting for PhD student Johannes Dahl and Research Fellow Emily Schwalbe, and was last meeting for Research Assistant Mart Makkink, who is leaving TCEH to pursue his PhD.

    The excursion was such a success, team members are planning on organizing another in early 2024. Many thanks to Alec for organizing, and the Marine Centre for hosting!