Today begins the CBA Biodiversity Genomics Conference here in Canberra. Its topic is the use of genomic data and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) in biodiversity studies. Today only the welcoming reception and a public lecture took place. Tomorrow will mostly consist of talks about applications to evolutionary biology, landscape genomics and systematics, Thursday will then feature talks about conservation issues and the conference dinner. Friday is for workshops; I will participate in one on phylogenomics. Let's see how it goes.
This is the first time since 2008 that I am going to a conference in my city of residence, so that feels a bit odd. Cheaper, of course - no airfares and hotel necessary. It is also the first time since the exact same year that I am going to a conference without giving a talk. Not having done any NGS in my research so far, I am really participating only to learn.
One thing I always wonder about, by the way, is the curious English phrase "to present a conference paper" meaning really "to give a talk at a conference". Generally the only paper involved are a few square centimeters in the abstract book, otherwise it is all sound waves.