Dear all,

On Friday, December the 3rd, we hosted a virtual Q&A session with the aim to provide young up and coming researcher the opportunity to ask any questions they have regarding research and our friends the diatoms. The event was a great success and that is all due to each one of you who have attended and contributed to the event. Thank you!

I want to use this opportunity to express my appreciation to our three speakers that took time out of their busy schedules to share their knowledge and expertise with all our participants. Drs Roksana Majewska, Keely Mills and Ruan Gerber, thank you very much for being part of this event and sharing your extensive knowledge and experiences with us.  Also, thank you to my fellow Young ISDR team and Andrea Burfeid-Castellanos for all your assistance before and during the event, this would not have been possible without you on board.

During the session we had some great discussions and knowledge exchange on various topics within our field of research. The main discussions however focused on networking and funding opportunities. Insights from our panel surely helped steer our participants in the right direction on how to approach these two very daunting aspects within research and by the end highlighting that it is not as daunting as we once thought. Some of the key take home messages included: 1) when it comes to any form of applying for funding or submissions of papers one should not take rejections personally. This is a part of the day to day of being a researcher. Yes it is important to take a moment and be disappointed but after that rather look at it and ask yourself “what can I learn from this”. Secondly, do not be shy when networking. Yes this can at times be easier said than done. But take the leap and go and speak to your favorite researcher at a conference or use the opportunities during poster sessions to build on the questions asked by other members. I can’t even count all the great friends and colleagues I have met at conferences. And you will see all researchers, if they are early career or established, do enjoy the social side and having a drink and discussing all things science and yes even small talk.


There is definitely a scope for more suchlike events or just social get togethers were networking opportunities can be established between scientists in different stages of their careers. The internet makes it possible for us to be more connected as the world gets smaller and smaller thanks to innovating technologies.

So please watch this space. We will be organizing more such events and trying the make the world of fellow diatomist from around the world even smaller. Get ready for more networking and social events and for your friends list to keep on growing.

Wishing everyone all the best.

See you soon.


Early career representative