Two weeks ago I have attended the meeting of Young Modellers in Ecology (YoMos). It was my first time at YoMos meeting and I truly enjoyed it! The meeting was four days long, but I could only join during the last three days.
I really liked the format of the meeting. Everyone had an opportunity to present their work shortly either as a talk or as a poster; each day there was a long key-note lecture by modellers at the early or advanced stage of their career; and there was plenty of time during rather long lunch and coffee breaks to get to talk to each other. Moreover, the participants themselves organized five thematic workshops, for example there was a hands-on workshop on ggplot() in R given by Cédric Scherer and a vivid discussion about how best to describe an ecological model in the paper. But most of all I enjoyed that the program did not last until very late in the evening, so that we had some great chats accompanied by board games.
I was nicely impressed by a broad range of research topics presented by the participants: from mechanistic individual-based modelling to advanced spatial statistical analyses, from very applied and conservation-oriented projects to rather theoretical ones. Just to name a few themes covered during the meeting: inferring the processes that led to the spatial pattern of community organization, understanding effects of migration on carrying capacity of the species, studying how dispersal affects the stability of food chain and how climate change affects the distribution of an endangered parakeet. I was pleased to see that students helped each other out in the areas they could: some would send a paper that seemed relevant to the project of the others, there were a groups of two-three students in the evening sitting together and staring at the code… eventually finding the place that had to be fixed! It felt a bit as if being in a family: knowing how to have fun, but at the same time helping the others when it is needed. Once more, thank you YoMos for having me there!
Author: Victoriia Radchuk, Keynote Speaker of the 2017 Workshop