Year 2014 was an eventful year not only personally, but also professionally. Is wasn’t very productive blog-year, though, so I hope I’ll be a better bloger next year.
As this is my first “annual report” (hopefully more will follow), here I’m going to overview the most interesting/important for me events in 2014 and will briefly mention what I’m expecting to happen in 2015.
The European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) events happening annually in Vienna (Austria). There were 12,437 scientists from 106 countries participating this year. From these, 174 and I were representing Denmark. I did have a poster (here’s the abstract), which was accepted very well, even though the session was not appropriate. This was the first (and only) poster I have for my PhD project. I did enjoy most of the talks I attended, however, I don’t think EGU is the most appropriate conference for me… I find the scale of such event completely overwhelming.
ATV Jord og Grundvand mødenr.24
ATV Jord og Grundvand organises different events in Denmark (usually in Danish too), which are appropriate not only for researchers but also for governmental employees, local authorities, and private companies. One of their meetings this year (#24) was on “Skifergas – energiudnyttelse af undergrunden” (something like: Shale gas – the energy of the underground/subsoil). I didn’t present anything, but was very excited to just be there and listen what everyone else had to say. The meeting was about technical, administrative, and environmental issues, especially about the used methods and the risks they pose on the groundwater resources. Shale gas and thermal energy are hot topics right now here in Denmark. Here is a very nice site where you can also follow the exploration process in Nordjylland, where Total E&P Denmark B.V. and Nordsøfonden are “in the early stages of a long exploration phase to possibly find and extract shale gas”.
This year the conference of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH) was organised by researchers from Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK). Even though it was only a month before the submission deadline for my PhD thesis, I could not skip it, because there was a session (a whole session!) dedicated to my topic -> “Environmental Iodine and the Deficiency Disorders”. I gave a short presentation on the findings from my two published papers, but as usual there was not much time for details. I can say that this conference was the most interesting and relevant one I have been to… Next to the iodine session, there was also a special session on “Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) and Health”, which was a nice coincidence. I think I enjoyed more SEGH2014 than EGU2014 just because it was easier to network… not too many people and not too many topics. I must admit that I quite liked the building of Northumbria University, where the conference was held (something business, or law…). I may pass by Newcastle once more, just so I try again some of the local pubs/bars/cafes.
It was a great 3-year period, lots of stress, but also lots of nice memories. I was extremely happy and proud that I managed to put everything together and to submit the PhD thesis (paper-based). I defended it on 9th of October 2014 and few days later (on 15th of October) I was awarded the PhD title by the Faculty of Science and Technology at Aarhus University (Denmark). The thesis is not available online, just because there were manuscripts which we wanted to publish before making them online accessible. However, my presentation (part of the PhD defence, about 45-50 min, announced in this post) was open for public, so I have also uploaded the slides (click here). The status (30th of December 2014) is that 2 of the papers were published before I submitted the PhD thesis and 2 of the manuscripts were submitted a month ago (one article and one technical note). My supervisor was nice to employ me for two more months after I graduated, so we finalized the work… I am pretty satisfied with the work we did in these two months, as not only we submitted everything we had planed to, but also we managed to prepare a completely new (3rd) manuscript based on the data collected during my PhD. If this paper gets accepted, it will be the fastest thing I have ever written, also it will be the real collaborative work (as I had to coordinate and collect pieces of work from 6 more people). But let’s see what 2015 will bring.
I have been thinking for long time about starting a blog, and, this year, after long thinking, and even longer discussions with Niels (my husband) and with my brother, I did it. I have to admit that I was planning to be much more active, but just couldn’t do it. I fought for few days with setting up the WordPress theme and I’m not 100% satisfied yet, but for now it will do. Recently I updated my “About me” section, so don’t miss to check it out. Here it is also my top 3 of this year’s posts:
- Large Dams in Bulgaria: infographic: I’m quite proud of this infographic, even though my initial plan was to include much more information. It was a nice way to pay tribute to my former education/profession, which I miss from time to time. Also, I think this will be somewhat regular approach… probably in the next year I’ll be writing more about places or issues, which are relevant/characteristic for the areas I travel to/live in.
- Bottled water consumption: how much, where, and why: I needed to go through these data in order to refer to them in one of my manuscripts, but the details caught my attention, so at first I thought of making an infographic, but then I didn’t find the time to do it, so I just prepared two figures.
- My Infographic Resume: this was my first attempt to make an infographic… If I’m not counting the two posters I have previously made (one on arsenic in Danish drinking- and groundwater and one on iodine in Danish drinking water).
I’m going to start the new 2015 as an unemployed researcher. I have chosen to look at this from the positive side, i.e. I’m open for new opportunities, collaborations, ideas, adventures etc. I am still very much interested in doing research, so I’m looking for post-doc positions, or for funding opportunities. There is the DFF deadline at the end of April, so I’m planning to submit a proposal (however only 10-15% get funded). Next to writing funding applications and waiting for peer-reviews (3 submitted manuscripts are awaiting peer-review), there are three more things planned for the next year:
- The 9th Annual Water Research Meeting of the Danish Water Forum in Copenhagen (Denmark) on 29th of January 2015: I have submitted an abstract, so let’s see if it will be oral or poster presentation;
- The 6th International Conference on Medical Geology (MEDGEO2015) of the International Medical Geology Association (IMGA) in Aveiro (Portugal) from 26th July to 1st August 2015: It is a biannual conference and the last one was in Arlington (next to Washington DC). I submitted an abstract and payed the conference fee, still have to find money for the plane tickets (see the next bullet);
- Moving to the US of A: Unless something urgent comes up, I’m leaving Denmark at the end of April (after the DFF deadline). I don’t have a visa yet, but have no doubt that will get one, since my husband starts a PhD in Wyoming University from January 2015.
That’s all folks! 2014 was a nice year, let’s hope 2015 will be even better.