Visions from nature

Bringing Nordic Science Together: Highlights from Oikos 2018

By Sam Perrin

Bringing the entire Nordic ecological community together is no mean feat, but every two years, the Nordic Society of Oikos does just that, and last week, over 300 researchers from this part of the world gathered in Trondheim for the Oikos 2018 conference.

A biannual event, Oikos brings together researchers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and beyond from the disciplines of ecology and evolutionary biology. The conference involves three days of talks, poster presentations, networking and workshops, plus the necessary post-conference drinks.

This year saw some amazing keynote speeches, with Professor Georgina Mace giving an engaging talk about the concept of natural capital and problems with incorporating societal needs with the natural world. Professor Bill Sutherland speaking about conservation policy in the post-truth era, introducing Kaizen conservation and presenting his Conservation Evidence website. Kate Layton-Matthews and I were lucky enough to interview Bill on the first day of the conference. We went into more depth on some of the themes presented in his keynote speech, and we look forward to bringing you the interview very soon.

Among the more interesting posters was one by Uppsala University and frequent CBD collaborator Josefin Sundin, who brought to light the process of whistelblowing in the case of scientific misconduct. Josefin’s poster can be found above.

The NTNU Natural History Museum was again well represented at the conference, with poster presentations from Tanja Kofod Petersen and Katariina Vuorinen. Anders Kolstad and myself both gave talks on our PhD research, and we both enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

Anders gave an enlightening talk about the effect of moose on forest structure
Anders gave an enlightening talk about the effect of moose on forest structure (Photo Credit: Sam Perrin, NTNU University Museum, CC BY-SA 4.0.)

This was my second international conference in the space of a few months, and there were some noticeable differences from the last one. Though Ecology Across Borders last December had an audience of 1500+, Oikos still felt just as international and busy, and the extra allowed for talks made for less rushed presentations and more open discussions, which was a definite bonus.

The next Nordic conference will take place in Reykjavik in 2020, and we are already looking forward to it.

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