Sunday, January 25, 2015

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2015, West Palm Beach FL

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to present my summer research at SICB.

SICB is the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.  The annual conference is one of the largest research conferences in the field.  My research supervisor had recommended that I attend and present a poster.

The conference started on Sunday, so I flew out early Saturday morning.  As a word of advice, once you commit to attending a conference immediately book your flights.  I had looked at some online but decided to wait and just two days later the cost went up by 40 dollars! Crazy.

Bright and early Saturday morning I flew to West Palm Beach and checked into my hotel around noon.  The conference had taken care of my lodging and I was able to stay at the most gorgeous Embassy Suites hotel.

There was complementary breakfast (and happy hour), and the rooms were huge!

Since the conference wasn't starting until the next day, I spent most of my time by the poolside.  Coming from the freezing cold in New England, the weather was absolutely perfect.

Later on I met up with some friends to explore the area.  There was a shopping center called City Place that was pretty close to our hotel, so we walked around and grabbed a nice dinner.

The next day (Sunday), I checked into the conference and printed my badge so I could attend some sessions.  There were constant presentations and talks occurring throughout the day, spanning a broad array of topics.

Luckily enough I downloaded an app for my phone that gave a list of all the abstracts and helped you create a daily schedule. It was a lifesaver!

Monday was when I was scheduled to present my poster.  I stood by my poster for a few hours and got to meet so many great people! I was able to talk about my research, speak to people conducting similar research, and even had time to explore other projects.

I promise there were plenty more people... I took this practicing before the session started.
The rest of the afternoon held more sessions and poster discussions.  That evening I met up with my research partners for dinner and drinks. It was a great group of people and we could have talked through the whole night.  It's weird to know we're all heading different ways, but I hope we'll have the chance to meet again at another conference in the future.

The next day (Tuesday) my research partners and I decided to explore the beaches and more tourist-y areas.  One of my partners lived near the area and drove us around to her favorite places.

It was so relaxing to just laze about together (and I definitely missed sticking my toes in the sand when I was home).  We had a great time roaming the beach and exploring some of the more ritzy neighborhoods. (Honestly, some houses looked straight out of Gossip Girl!)

Unfortunately Wednesday was my last day in West Palm Beach.  I packed up all my things and headed back to the airport fairly early that morning.

... but I managed to sneak one last visit to the beach!

All in all, SICB was a fantastic trip.  I am so incredibly grateful I was granted the opportunity to go and present my research.  It is so inspiring to meet everyone in the field and see the outstanding work people have done.

Oh, also - on my first day in Florida I found this little guy climbing a tree.  It's a curly tailed lizard! 

I think they're so cute.

If you have any questions about my research, or even about doing research as an undergraduate feel free to ask! It's one of my favorite things to talk about!


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