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IPSAM2018: A great success

18 June 2018 13:35

The UCD Centre for Plant Science was delighted to welcome more than 100 plant scientists from across Ireland to the 2018 Irish Plant Scientists' Association Meeting. The meeting was held in the UCD Agriculture and Food Science Centre from 11 to 13 June 2018.

Across the 3-day programme, participants heard from nearly 70 different scientists across oral presentations, poster flash talks, keynote addresses and a special "careers session" for plant scientists.

Two keynote speakers were invited to present work at IPSAM2018 and the Centre was delighted to welcome Professor Jennifer McElwain (Professor of Botany, Trinity College Dublin) and Dr Andrea Chini (Ramon Y Cajal Fellow, National Center for Biotechnology (CNB), Spain). Professor McElwain spoke about important lessons for species to biomes from vegetation responses to past global changeand Dr Chini spoke on the subject of the meeting of chemistry and biology, using jasmonic acid biosynthesis as an example.

A total of 33 oral presentations and 30 poster flash talks made up the overall programme with a good mix of talks by established researchers and those who have just recently joined the ranks of plant scientists as postgraduate candidates. This was reflected in the fact that there 20 of the oral presentations and 19 posters were entered into two student competitions, very generously sponsored by the International Association of Plant Biotechnology ( Prizes for best posters were awarded to Amruta Deshpande (Waterford Institute of Technology) and Niamh Curran (Teagasc and Trinity College Dublin) with presentation prizes being awarded to Myriam Deshaies and John Conway (both at University College Dublin).

The Centre would like to extend a special word of thanks to the judges: Dr Zoe Popper (NUI Galway), Dr Dagmar Stengel (NUI Galway) and Professor Astrid Wingler (University College Cork). The prizes were presented by the Conference Co-chairs, Dr Angela Feechan (UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science) and Dr Rainer Melzer (UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science).

On the afternoon of Tuesday, 12 June, there was a special session on career progression for plant scientists. This took the form of a panel discussion and included scientists from a variety of backgrounds now working in very diverse areas across industry, academia, communications and regulatory and advisory functions to government . The Centre was delighted to welcome Dr Susanne Barth (Teagasc), Dr Mark Gaffney (Alltech), Dr Stephen Hammel (Science Foundation Ireland), Professor Paul McCabe (University College Dublin), Professor Jennifer McElwain (Trinity College Dublin) and Dr Claire O'Connell (freelance science writer and communications expert who writes extensively for The Irish Times and Silicon Republic).

While the programme for IPSAM was intense, these was still plenty of time for general discussion and socialising. The conference barbecue in the UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station was a particular highlight: a special thanks to Bredagh Moran, William Deasy and Puskin for making it possible!

As with all conferences and meeting, there is a huge amount of work in the background. The Centre would like to acknowledge the efforts of all of the members of the Scientific and Organising Committees for their dedication and input. We would also like to extend a special "thank you" to our sponsors: the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, the UCD Earth Institute, Labquip Ireland Ltd, Origin Enterprises plc and, of course, the International Association of Plant Biotechnology.

IPSAM 2019 will be hosted by Teagasc, with further details to be circulated shortly.

IPSAM2018: A great success