25 June 2018

News from Scarborough

Training event

For the week of the 9th to 15th of June, NaToxAq met up for the second summer school in Scarborough, UK.

Written by all ESRs from NaToxAq

On the first day, an excursion to the North York Moors National Park reminded us of the motivation behind NaToxAq. We did not only get to enjoy the great scenery, we also followed up on our last excursion in Denmark by looking at the also rather common Bracken problem in the UK. Focusing on issues of representative sampling and how to minimize the impact of this toxic plant, not only on the environment but also on the public. We learned many new aspects that have to be taken into account. An inspiring talk by a Bracken expert later during the week, highlighted the public concerns again, from Bracken being a host for ticks to destroying heritage sites.

The summer school also introduced us to the aspects of Risk Assessment, including talks on the Risk Assessment Process, Prioritization and Policy, Risk Perception and Communication as well as some practical examples. All ESRs also contributed to the course by presenting a case study that we worked on in groups.
Scientific Writing and all relevant aspects were also a big topic that week. We did not only work on our own manuscript drafts, we also learned about abstract writing, poster design, the do’s and dont’s in scientific writing and the review process.
The consortium meeting allowed us all to present our progress in joint presentations of two to three ESRs. It was great to see how many connections there are and how our research can work together!

A final highlight was the visit of a Drinking Water treatment plant in York. John Haley from Yorkshire Water, a stakeholder and important non-academic partner of NaToxAq, showed us the facility, that uses raw river water for drinking water production. It was impressing to see, how many steps that are undertaken to ensure safe and clean drinking water.

Aside from the official program, we had a great time discovering Scarborough, enjoying each other’s company and discussing PhD life…
It was great to see everyone again and we are already looking forward to the next PhD school in February 2019 in Barcelona!