ESRs' experiences of the "British Sedimentological Research Group Anual Group Meeting 2018" (BSRG2018)

Kate Heerema (ESR5), Ricarda Gatter (ESR9), Maarten Heijnen(ESR10) | @ Edinburgh, United Kingdom (18-19 December 2018)

This year’s conference for the British Sedimentological Research Group (BSRG) was held in Edinburgh, just before Christmas. Kate (ESR 5), Ricarda (ESR 9) and Maarten (ESR 10) represented the PhD students from SLATE, and Mike Clare was the PI present for this British based sedimentological conference.
BSRG is a conference that predominantly attracts UK-based sedimentologists, with a few Dutch, Norwegian and German sedimentologists culminating to about ~100 scientists gathering. It is a relatively small conference, with four parallel sessions divided over two days. Ricarda gave a poster presentation, Kate an oral presentation, and Maarten did both an oral and poster presentation. BSRG is a great way to get your research and (wild) ideas out there, receive feedback and improve your ideas and plans!

The conference also has workshops and field trips preceding and following. 
Ricarda participated in the pre-conference workshop “Contourites: seismic and sediment characteristics”, organised by Dorrik Stow, Zeinab Smillie and Uisdean Nicholson from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. At the beginning, the participants got a brief introduction to the terminology and relevance of contourites before they could examine contourites themselves based on seismic data and core material from selected case studies.
Kate went to a workshop where various aspects of sedimentological datasets were shown. The core store showed an excellent record of sedimentological rock sequences found across Scotland. Flume tanks show sedimentological structures being formed in actions, creating ripples, and dropping high density fluids in the tanks. And finally, digging in closer, we used microscopy to get into the nitty gritty of sediments.

All-in-all, a pretty successful workshop with lots of new information, networking and seeing old friends.  

“For me it was the first time attending the BSRG conference, but not the first conference of my PhD. The great thing about the BSRG conference is, I think, the small scale. After my presentation on my current chapter, I got some great feedback that has really helped improve my research. In addition, as it is small scale, it is far less intimidating, and meeting new people is a lot easier!”

“BSRG was the first conference I went to and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to BSRG being a smaller conference, it was easy to interact and get to know new people. Everybody was extremely friendly and I gained a lot of valuable knowledge from the presentations, posters, and discussions. In addition, I learned a lot about contourites during the pre-conference workshop. This new information will definitely help me a lot in analysing my data, which also comprises contouritic deposits. All in all, it was a wonderful experience, which significantly enhanced my knowledge of sedimentology and allowed me to meet nice people in a beautiful city.”

“This was the third time for me attending the BSRG AGM conference. I have, since last year, also became a postgraduate representative for the BSRG, which means that I organise workshops and fieldtrips for other early career scientist. I’m starting to know more and more people within the BSRG community, so this conference was very nice for me. I presented a poster on the first chapter of my PhD and gave an oral poster on the second chapter, which was the first time ever presenting my second chapter. Furthermore, I wanted to practise my poster presentation skills, which is something I think I am not very good at, so I decided to present my first chapter as a poster. I received useful feedback on my work and presentation skills, and had nice discussions with a lot of different people. See you next year BSRG!”