I am grateful to have been awarded the CPS scholarship in 2020. Unfortunately, the XV International Palynological Congress of that year was cancelled. Thankfully the CPS board allowed me to keep the scholarship for another opportunity, making it possible for me to join the 11th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference from 19-22 June 2022 in Stockholm.
During this conference with around 200 participants, I presented the ongoing works of my PhD project, with emphasis on the results from my first paper. I talked about the range of past natural climatic variability and terrestrial vegetation change in the sub-Antarctic, based on pollen records from lake sediments on the islands of South Georgia and Kerguelen. The sub-Antarctic is heavily influenced by the global climate regulating Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds. Using long-distance transported pollen grains from the main continents I can make inferences about past wind conditions in terms of wind intensity and position; a unique way of using palynological records.
On top of disseminating my work I met many interesting researchers and some old acquaintances, allowing me to build up new contacts and strengthen existing ones. Especially the many discussions during the coffee breaks and lunches were beneficial. I also got some nice feedback on my work and have gotten new ideas on how to improve it based on presentations by others.
Attendants of the conference were also invited by Stockholm City to join a reception in the Stockholm City Hall, where the Nobel price ceremony is held. It was an impressive visit where the importance of scientific work for the community was highlighted. Something we should not forget about as scientists.
Maaike Zwier, Bergen