By Kelly

For those who read this weeks “not so serious” I mentioned that I was planning to be melodramatic and just say “so, it has come to this” when it came to question time after my talk. Here in Hobart, the Australian Marine Science Association began their conference in earnest and I was speaking at 12pm. As nervous as I was, not quite like going to the dentist but close, I actually managed to really enjoy myself. The presentation went well (as it should have, I practiced it ALL morning) and then I even enjoyed question time (because I was able to answer the questions!). I received some very complimentary and helpful feed back, and met a guru in my field who I had been wanting to meet for years. It turns out they are setting up the same sort of system to do compound specific nitrogen isotopes….which is exactly what I gave my talk on! It was a winning day I tell you.

The Research School of Earth Sciences has quite a large presence which is wonderful, with 5 presentations yesterday featuring the ANU Powerpoint template and two posters in the evening session bearing the branding. We have three more today, that includes Aimee who will wow the audience with her take on ocean circulation in the South West Pacific over the Holocene. And I get to sit back and enjoy! There were some great talks yesterday, with my particular favourites being Richard Mater’s presentation on modelling the eddy field in south-east Australian waters. Did you know that the East Australian Current extension that has been bringing more warmer subtropical water in to the region over the past 50 years is actually not a current at all, but a series of mesoscale eddies? No I didn’t either, but I do now, and feel all the better for it.

And in other breakthroughs in science I met the most interesting, and funny Portuguese woman who is modelling the distribution of whale sharks! Yes she has been swimming with them ~350 times. We discussed her work, and ever thing else, over a couple of glasses of wine at the poster session. Walking home last night with a spring in my step, I remembered just how much I love being a scientist. It’s all just so INTERESTING! And today I have an entire session devoted to the East Australian Current (when it is still a current) to look forward to. At a smaller friendly conference like this one you get to meet the most wonderful people, form collaborations, talk about your work and compare how many chainsaws you own. It’s such fun!

This is Kelly Strzepek reporting live from Marine Science Central signing off.