Last Thursday and Friday the PhD students arranged BLAM. BLAM stands for Biology in Lund Annual Meeting. It is a meeting/conference where all the organizers, all poster creators and all the lecturers are doctoral students, except for two invited plenars. The meeting is always in Palaestra in the central of Lund and all people at the department are welcome.
And it is always sunny weather, except this year and last year. The only two years when Per Lundberg, one of the directors of postgraduate studies, has not been able to participate. Is there maybe a connection?
BLAM started with workshops for the PhD students. This year you could choose between workshops in Citizen Science, Science Communication, Data Management, and Poster Session. The seniors had a workshop of their own. They prepared one-minute presentations of the posters.
The first invited speaker was Brian Langerhans, from North Carolina State University in the USA, who talked about how predictable the evolution of different traits in Bahamas mosquitofish is.
After that, it was time for the poster session and the seniors presented the posters in this first poster session. The poster session really engages people and there were a lot of discussions.
The first BLAM day ended with oral presentations and flash talks. A flash talk is three minutes long and you are only allowed to have one slide. A challenge that the talkers solved excellently both days.
There was, of course, a pub quiz when all the talks were over. The theme this year was drinks, which was not as easy as it sounds.
Next day started with the invited plenar Heather Ferguson, from University of Glasgow in the UK, who talked about how to control malaria by knowing more about the mosquitos’ life cycle, ecology, and evolution. This day it was also a lot of great talks and posters about exciting subjects.
In the evening there was the well-known BLAM dinner. During the dinner, all the winners were announced. Every year there is a competition about the best poster and the best talk, both ordinary and flash. This year the nominating committee could not choose just one of the talks. So the talk prize went to both Caroline Björnerås and Carlos Arellano Caicedo. The poster prize went to Alexander Hegg and the prize for best flash talk went to Kristaps Sokolovskis. Congratulations!
BLAM is one of the best things during the year at the department. I am already looking forward to next year.
Thank you so much Martin Škerlep, Aninara Leizeaga, Pierre Tichit, Ann-Kathrin Ziegler and Raphael Gollnisch (this time I got all the name right, I hope ;-)) for an educational, pleasant and enjoyable BLAM!
Text and photo Inger Ekström