The Wales Ecology & Evolution Network (WEEN) aims to promote post-graduate research and create a networking platform for early-career scientists at Welsh Universities.
Their annual conference has been co-hosted by WEEN and the LCEE Research Network Wales for the last two years. Held at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Mid-Wales, it includes talks and poster sessions from both experienced and early career researchers, training workshops, and networking events. It’s an ideal opportunity for the research network to support early career researchers in what is often their first go at conference presentations and networking face to face with other researchers from Welsh universities, many of whom are still completing their PhDs.
Talks spanned from rocky shores to rivers, agriculture to evolution, and axolotls to chimpanzees.
Supporting the rising talent within the Welsh research landscape is a core part of the mission of the research network’s strategy and contributes toward increased grant capture into Wales in the mid and long term. Within this cohort of engaging early career researchers will be the research leaders of the coming years and decades. Supporting opportunities for them to develop themselves and their networks within Wales is key to building on research capacity in Wales.
Over 60 delegates attended the 3-day event, bringing together speakers from organisations across Wales including Swansea, Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth universities.
“WEEN is such a successful and inspiring event. It is a conference organized by students, for students and works brilliantly at facilitating important networking and cross-fertilization of ideas between early career researchers from across Welsh Universities. The quality of the talks was top notch and it was fantastic to see groups of students from different universities interacting and sharing ideas and approaches. Wales is very strong in ecological and evolution-related research and WEEN is helping to maintain and build the future strengths in this area.”Julia P G Jones, Professor of Conservation at Bangor University & Director of the Low Carbon Energy and Environment Research Network Wales