Van Walt recently supported the Department of Geography at the University of Liverpool who hosted the annual Quaternary Research Association Postgraduate Symposium. Held over four days (19th - 22nd August) the event attracted fifty seven PhD students from Universities across the United Kingdom.
The following feedback was received from the organisers:
Forty two students took the opportunity to talk about their research in six different themed sessions spread across two days. The themes of palaeoecology, geochronology, geoarchaeology, climate modelling, glacial environments and sedimentology highlighted the diverse nature of the delegate's interests. Eight delegates presented their work in poster form in an event which took place in the evening after the first day of talks. Two keynote lectures delivered by Professor Frank Oldfield and Professor Richard Bradshaw provided thought provoking perspectives on different aspects of the Quaternary.
Abi Stone (University of Oxford) presented work on securing chronologies from Aeolian landforms in Namibia and Gina Moseley (University of Bristol) discussing her work on speleothems to examine past high sea stands in Caicos were both awarded prizes for their excellent presentations.
After all the hard work of the presentations was completed the delegates and organisers enjoyed an evening of entertainment at the conference dinner hosted at the restaurant '60 Hope Street'.
Thirty people stayed in Liverpool for the final day which was spent in the field. Taking place on the Wirral Peninsula and led by Dr Geoff Thomas, the glacial history of the Merseyside area was examined. Geoff provided detailed insight into glacial stratigraphy of exposed cliff sections near Thurstaston on the Dee Estuary before a visit to relic subglacial melt water channels on nearby Thurstaston Common.
On reflection the symposium was a great success both academically and socially. The science presented was of a very high standard and created lively debate amongst participants. Events like this are important for the development of postgraduate students who can present their work to the larger research community and receive feedback, often for the first time, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The organising committee would like to thank Van Walt for being the main sponsor. This vital contribution to the financing of the event allowed registration costs to be kept to a minimum and augmented the number of participants to attend this event.
If you are running a similar event we would be happy to consider supporting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with details and we will let you know once we have set our sponsorship budget and criterion for 2009.