Friday, July 26, 2013

PSA Travel Award Report- Nathalie Collins

AMS-WMC 2013: Melbourne

The Australian Marketing Science Academy World Marketing Congress was held in Melbourne in 2013. With the support of the PSA I was able to attend and give two papers which I had authored and had been accepted. One paper was on authenticity in marketing; the other was on consumer religiosity (when people treat a the consumption of a product like a religion). 

The conference was held in the centre of Melbourne in a hotel that was so expensive ($240/night conference rate) I could never have afforded it. So I stayed in St Kilda, a tram ride away for about $100/night on average. However this meant that I needed to wake up extra early, because (that's right folks) BOTH my papers were on first thing in the morning!

I was able to re-encounter academics from around Australia who I had seen at other conferences. I noted their names so that I could run them past my supervisor as potential examiners. One lady from South Australia had been to three of my talks over the last 4 years! I was impressed. I was also able to intro duce myself to other early career researchers and some very established names in the field.

The outcomes (besides gaining a kilo or two from all the mini-cupcakes they served for morning and afternoon tea):

- I am in discussions with an American academic who is editing a series of short, business oriented marketing books about authoring one on authenticity;
- My head of department was there and attended one of my talks (and seemed to like it) so I was able to engage him in my research;
- A session on industry engagement with academia was very interesting, and demonstrated methods and roadblocks to companies and universities working together from a variety of perspectives. Although this was not immediately useful to me, I did earmark the information for future use.

Thank you PSA for helping me out. It made a BIG difference.

Nathalie Collins

Monday, July 22, 2013

PSA Travel Award Report

PSA  Travel Award Report

Marina Borges Osorio, PhD student – School of Plant Biology

With combined funding from the PSA Conference Travel Award and the GRS Travel Award, I attended the BIONUT Summer School held in Gargnano (Italy) last June. The event is part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network, an initiative involving nine renowned European research centres, such as Rothamsted Research and the John Innes Centre in the UK, and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Germany.

During the Summer School I learned about different aspects of plant mineral nutrition in a challenging and stimulating atmosphere. The scientific program was spread over three full days and included lectures from twenty first-class experts on plant nutrition, followed by short presentations from sixteen selected students with free-flowing discussion periods after each talk. I was among a group of eight guest students who had been selected to speak. The other eight student speakers were from the BIONUT network. In total, about seventy postgraduate students took part of the school.

In my talk I explored the connections between plant nutrition and pathogen defence in plants. This topic is a central aspect of my PhD research that focuses on how phosphite protects plants against Phytophthora, the pathogen that causes dieback and is devastating native ecosystems across southern Australia, including the internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot in southwestern Australia. My talk was a great opportunity to showcase the research carried out at UWA and discuss with the European community an issue that not only affects Australia, but which is also relevant worldwide.

Most of the participants were hosted at Palazzo Feltrinelli, a beautiful venue for the summer school and also the place we gathered for meals. The meals were in fact an added attraction, firstly for giving us a taste of the best Italian cuisine and secondly for being a great opportunity to network with experts and students in a very casual and friendly environment.

Overall, the knowledge gained, the connections made and the venue visited made this event a memorable experience that greatly contributed to my professional and personal growth. 

Students ready for the last dinner of the Summer School

View from Palazzo Feltrinelli, Gargnano