This August I have attended the Goldschmidt 2018 conference in Boston, USA, the biggest geochemistry conference in the world. This has been an incredible experience, a great chance to network with my peers and meet other researchers working in my study area or employing similar techniques in other parts of the world. Every day, during the conference I attended presentations which were relevant to my research like: ‘On the origin of the deep N deficit in Baffin Bay: Insights from isotopic signatures of nitrate’ or ‘ The Transpolar Drift Influence on the Silicon cycle in the Arctic Ocean’ or ‘Greenland-sourced freshwater traced by radiogenic Neodymium Isotopes and Rare Earth Elements on the North-East Greenland Shelf’. These are just a few of the presentations whose authors I got to meet and we started discussions about innovative ways we could bring our research together. Although initially I was worried I might not have a chance to meet all the great researchers I wanted to meet and introduce myself and my research, I overcame this fear rapidly once I embraced the environment I was in.
My presentation was scheduled for the 15th of August, between 17:15 and 19:15 and was very successful. There I got the chance to present my work, on the role of Arctic shelves in the oxygenation of the Deep Arctic basins, to a broad range of scientists, from researchers working with isotopes to detect earth-like planets to researchers who have been working on the same transect as I did (collected during the German Geotraces Polar Campaign 2015- PS94). This gave us the opportunity to analyse the whole Geotraces 2015 dataset and discuss what the different biogeochemical tracers are telling us about the Deep Arctic and its connectivity to the Arctic shelves as well as to update each other on the current research cruises that are taking place in the Arctic and on the future research projects developing in our study area.
As a result of my presentation, I got the chance to meet and discuss with the research team working in the WANKEL Stable Isotope lab at Woods Hole (WHOI), which gave me the opportunity to contrast and compare the laboratory protocols I use in my project with theirs. This lead to fruitful conversations that benefited both parties and can potentially serve as solutions for future problems encountered in the lab while working with denitrifier bacteria.
The generous GO ABROAD grant enabled me to experience a big, international conference, meet researchers who up until now I only knew from reading their papers, present my work, start new collaborations and last but not least, do all this invaluable scientific networking in a beautiful city, Boston.
During my poster presentation. Explaining the differences in the amount of regenerated nitrate from the Deep Arctic Basins calculated using two alternative methods (respiration stoichiometry and stable O isotopes in nitrate). Photo taken by Dr. Sian Henley