Tectonics Studies Group
Graduate Research Fund Travel Report – Rellie Goddard
After braving the gales of storm Eleanor we finally arrived in Plymouth, a pleasant seaside town where it appears to always rain… or at least on a daily basis. After settling into our room, a bargain which included bunkbeds any self-respecting adult would envy, we headed off to the Icebreaker. It’s always good to see old acquaintance as well as to make new ones. Tectonics Studies Group (TSG) is a UK-based conference but an impressive amount of delegates had come from overseas – with one of the keynote speakers, Professor Stephan Cox, coming all the way from Australia.
The first day of the conference had a number of interesting talks but most captivating was the discussion panel on nuclear power. This included experts who had worked both in industry and academia and was an interesting insight into how we can put our knowledge of geology to good use.
Having TV presenter Iain Stewart as the chair to the panel brought another level of excitement to the audience. Other quirks of the discussion included a foam microphone which could be thrown around the audience and also an interactive board where members could suggest and vote on questions to ask the panel. As the afternoon wore on these questions became ever more appropriate…
The second day of the conference was focused on metamorphic petrology, which is not my region of expertise. Still, it is always good to broaden ones horizons and think about the potential interplay between metamorphism and structural geology. One talk by Jo Gardner (which showed how metamorphic reactions in feldspar can cause the formation of dislocations and stress in grains) I found particularly interesting. The day ended with the conference meal – a three course affair at the Crown Plaza Hotel.
The third and final day of the conference included my first ever conference talk. After a sleepless night, where I dreamt I went and presented my talk in my pyjamas, it was time to go. Apart from dropping the microphone to begin with it went surprisingly to plan! I had many interesting conversations following the talk and compliments from various academics. All that was left to do was to take the conference photograph and head to the pub for a celebratory drink.
I would like to thank the Old Members’ Trust Graduate Conference and Academic Travel Grant for allowing me the opportunity to present my work for the first time at an academic conference.
Published: 22 February 2018