This year, the SSE International Committee awarded over $20,000 in travel awards to international researchers to attend the Evolution meeting. Continue reading for statements from four recipients.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity that SSE has given me. I have been following the Evolution Congress for a long time but this year was the first time that I could attend. For me it was a long journey from another continent and I needed all the support possible to overcome the expenses. For that reason, without the funding I would not have been able to go---this money was fundamental to help me buy my flight. Everything that I learned at the meeting was innovative and relevant for an evolutionary biologist. There were also so many questions that I have never imagined. This confluence of scientists renewed my curiosity, creativity, and desire for research. This meeting has also impacted my career, because I am currently looking for a Ph.D. and, there, I found so many interesting research groups. I even could talk with some professors and now I am applying to several Ph.D. programs. Thank you very much and see you at the next opportunity!” - Valeria Ramírez (Colombia)
“I am grateful to the SSE for the travel award to attend my first Evolution meeting. As an Argentinian student, attending an international congress is always difficult but luckily the SSE made it possible. I was surprised by the amount of scientists gathered at the event and the excellent organization. The poster session was a very pleasant moment and allowed me to make many contacts for future work; many people stopped by to see my work. In addition, I had the chance to see lots of interesting talks! In summary, I had a very positive experience in Montpellier. Thanks again to the SSE, I will see you at the next Evolution meeting!” - Sergio Tarquini (Argentina)
“As an early-career researcher from Argentina, attending international meetings is always very difficult because the funds available for traveling, if any, are usually not enough to cover long distances. In this context, the SSE International Travel Award was essential to attend the Joint Evolution Meeting in Montpellier. This conference was very important for my career because it gave me the chance to find out about the latest findings on a wide range of evolutionary topics that complemented my paleobiological background. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to present my doctoral research, for which I received invaluable feedback from a diverse audience. I enjoyed this meeting very much not only because of the impressive talks and posters, but, most importantly, because of its friendly environment, which was perfect for meeting new colleges, from students to very well-known researchers from all around the world. After this great experience, I returned home with new ideas, collaborations, and friends.” - Celeste Pérez Ben (Argentina)
“The Second Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Montpellier, France, was the first opportunity I had to be out of my country to speak and show my research project to scientists from around the world. The talks were led by amazing scientists and particularly the posters were surrounded by an ambience in which we interacted with everyone in a more relaxed way. I was able to exchange experiences and recommendations on scientific exhibitions and poster stands in a very friendly atmosphere. Each day was a new opportunity to meet people who were willing to share their opinion to enrich my project. I would have liked for this experience not to end so fast. However, now I have more motivation to do my PhD in evolutionary biology and return to the next meeting. I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity that the SSE gave me to be a part of the Society, as well as the student travel award. Finally, I would like to encourage scientists to continue their participation in the coming meetings. This meeting is an academic and cultural experience and provides scientific and personal growth opportunities.” - Verónica Reyes (Mexico)