The first week of August 2016, I had the opportunity to go to Berkeley, California to present a poster at the 2016 annual meeting Mycological Society of America (MSA). The poster I presented was titled “Fungal colonization of wood in ground contact”. As part of my PhD research with Dr. Jeff Morrell at the Wood Science and Engineering Department (OSU), I looked at how communities of fungi associated with wood change overtime.
The poster session was held outdoors and lasted about 2 hours. Fortunately, pretty much all of the people that stopped by my poster were very attentive. It was very rewarding to explain all the work I have done on my project and receive feedback from students and researchers. I also have the opportunity to attend many presentations about ecology of fungal communities, interactions fungi-plants and how climate change may affect communities of fungi. Common themes throughout the conference were the importance of fungi in the sustainability of ecosystem, impact of changes in environmental conditions on fungal communities and the need to better understand their ecological functions in our environment.
It was certainly a beneficial trip in so many different ways. There were plenty of spaces for attendees to meet up and networking. I learned so much from those four days, and I met many people from different schools in North America. I also had the opportunity to attend workshops on professional development that gave me guidance on how to prepare for an academic position and networking sessions for students and experts.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the SSI for the support to attend this conference. As recipient of your fellowship program I am so grateful for the opportunities this award provided me. I appreciate the things you do for our community, particularly in support environmental awareness and education. Today, I feel more confident about my research and knowing that I am in the right track before my upcoming dissertation.