One of the (possibly the) best of the pollination ecology conferences is SCAPE. This meeting has been held annually since 1987, and has rotated around the four Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In 2018, for the first time, this meeting was held outside Scandinavia, when Prof Jane Stout (TCD) and Dr Dara Stanley (UCD) hosted the meeting in the Republic of Ireland and welcomed 87 pollination ecologists from around the world. Delegates came from 14 different European countries, and further afield (USA, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Zambia).
The focus of the SCAPE meeting is on pollination ecology, wild and crop plant pollination, plant-pollinator interactions, pollinator conservation, plant reproduction, pollinator behaviour and diversity, plant evolution, and related subjects. Delegates enjoyed 50 oral presentations, 20 poster presentations and two excellent keynote speakers (Dr Elli Leadbeater and Prof Steve Johnson) (see programme here).
One of the highlights of the SCAPE meetings is the friendly, informal atmosphere, which integrates top professors with Early Career Researchers (including MSc and PhD students, early postdoctoral researchers). This enables ECRs to not only present their work, but to have it reviewed and critiqued in a supportive way. It also allows and encourages connections to be made, networking and informal mentoring of ECRs. This year, thanks to SFI sponsorship, student prizes were awarded to:
- Best Oral Presentation: Stephanie Maher, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
- Best Poster Presentation: Margareta Kluth, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Dusseldorf, Germany
- Best Flash Presentation: Cian White, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
The conference was held at the the beautiful Avon Ri Lakeshore Resort, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. And we maintained the Scandinavian feel with a very Irish sauna, and augmented it with a very enjoyable ceili (see photos by Laura Russo here).
Thanks to all the delegates and to the venue for making this a very successful SCAPE meeting. Looking forward to SCAPE 2019 in Lund, Sweden!