Tools of the interdisciplinary trade – a workshop at #BES2019

On 12th December 2019, mid-way through the British Ecology Society‘s Annual Meeting in Belfast, Althea Davies (Chair of the Palaeoecology SIG) and myself (Chair of the Conservation Ecology SIG) led a workshop entitled: Tools of the Interdisciplinary Trade: how to make your interdisciplinary project a success.  We were joined by Dr Kath Allen, a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow from the Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, whom expertly facilitated the workshop.

Over 50 people come along to the lunchtime session, most of whom are currently engaged in interdisciplinary projects.  After introducing ourselves and theme of the workshop, we split everyone into four groups to discuss the main challenges they have faced in different stages of a research project.  We also, importantly, asked that they propose potential solutions to these challenges, and feed them back to the group.

The result was a very interesting exchange of experiences and thoughts on how to improve the success of a truly interdisciplinary project, where “success” manifests in the answering of a real-life challenge.

Althea, Kath and myself were so pleased with how everyone engaged in the theme and the discussions, and thank all those who came along.  We are currently working on an article that will summarise the knowledge we gained from our research on the theme and from running the event, which will be published in 2020’s first issue of the BES’ The Niche magazine.  If you would like to view the workshop slides, please click through to the Conservation Ecology website here.  And if you attended the event and would like to send through any feedback or further comments, please get in touch.

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