September 9, 2021, by lzzeb


A blog by Giles Foody

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly limited the ability to disseminate research through conferences. Conference organisers, like everyone else, have had to be adaptable and moved events online. With generous support from the School’s overseas conference fund I was able to take part in one such conference this summer. The event was the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) that was due to be held in Brussels. It is one of the largest and most prestigious meetings in remote sensing and is organised annually by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (IEEE GRSS). I was only able to attend a single session but this was still a useful experience.

Having got used to teaching online it was only a small step to present a research paper online. The IT systems were clear and worked well. Although I missed the personal interaction with other delegates I was able to deliver a paper co-authored with a fabulous team of UK and Mexican partners. The paper was well received with a researcher in France contacting me later to explore possibilities of future collaboration. It was also pleasing to catch up with a former postgraduate research student who was also attending the session. So while it was a strange and unusual experience to present a paper at an international conference from a spare bedroom at home the event was valuable and enabled the dissemination of our research on beached Sargassum. I hope to be able to attend the conference next year, especially if it can be a normal conference that allows greater interaction with people.

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