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Goldschmidt geochemistry conference

Graduate Old Members’ Trust Travel report – Ethan Petrou (2018, DPhil Earth and Environmental Sciences)

In July 2022 I travelled to Honolulu, Hawaii to attend the Goldschmidt 2022 conference, the largest, international conference that specialises in geochemistry. After an eighteen-hour journey by plane, I finally landed in Hawaii with the same bright sun that I had left in the UK due to the 11-hour time difference. Goldschmidt is a week-long conference, and I was due to present on the Monday.

My abstract was accepted into the programme of the conference where I presented my recent DPhil research, diagenetic cycling of barium isotopes in anoxic sediments, as an oral presentation. I presented my talk in theme 12: metals and nutrient cycling, where my research directly sits, to a large audience both in the room and online. Attending this session in person allowed me to build a diverse, international network that could lead to potential future collaborations and help launch my career in academia post-graduation.

In addition, giving an oral presentation increased my science communication skills to specialist and non-specialist audiences and allowed me to practise for my viva by receiving (many!) complex questions.

Knowledge acquired from attending other presentations in the conference provided me with a contemporary, wider geochemical outlook, and it was inspirational to see the applicability of geochemistry on other fields from mining to medicine. What I enjoyed most from the conference was the chance to meet and build up connections with other geochemists from across the globe who were at different career stages, something that hasn’t been possible in years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After the conference I was able to travel to the Big Island and spend some time with other Oxford students hiking around the Hawaii Volcano National Park, scrambling over cooled lava flows, and relaxing on beaches of black sands! A truly incredible experience for a geoscientist and it felt like we were living directly what we learn from our textbooks.

I am extremely grateful to the OMT in providing funding to help make it possible for me to attend the conference.

Find out more about the range of travel grants and scholarships available to assist Univ students on our Travel Grants page or read further travel reports. Find out more about the Chalet des Anglais on our Chalet page.

Published: 12 October 2022

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