A report by Samuel Hepner

From the 28.08. to the 02.09.22 Prof. Dr. Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Georges Agonvonon and me, Samuel Hepner attended the Intecol 2022 – conference. Over 200 scientists from all over the world gathered to exchange information and present their research in the fields of ecology. Each morning started with interesting plenary presentations of renowned scientists. Then the day continued with sessions where early career and advanced researchers had the opportunity to present their work in 15 minutes. It was particularly interesting to get to know topics beyond our daily focus. However, it was also shocking to see that in the end each topic relates to our triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution, and rapid biodiversity loss.

During the coffee breaks and lunches, tasty, vegetarian food was served. People were open for interesting and spontaneous talks, and it was likely that you find yourself with an expert of your field.

The whole conference was hybrid, and some people attended it online to avoid long travels or due to covid-restrictions. However, there were some technical issues and not all the presentations could be executed as foreseen.

Prof. Dr. Chinwe Ifejika Speranza chaired a session on land use and biodiversity, assisted by Georges Agonvonon and me. It had 27 presentations during two days. The presentations highlighted the multidimensional ways land use influences biodiversity and its conservation. In another session, “Ecology in Africa: present and future prospects”, which Prof. Dr. Chinwe Ifejika Speranza co-chaired, discussions and reflections focused on how to maintain or enhance teaching and researching ecology in Africa.

On Wednesday, about ten different excursions in the region of Geneva took place. Georges and I went to the botanical garden, where the greenhouses hosted vegetation that we are likely to see soon in the field.

I’m happy to attend such a conference another time, preferentially in person and in the best case, with more results from my own research. Such conferences are a platform for potential collaborations and can boost and inspire the own work.