IALE Grant Recipients and Their Thoughts on the 19th ialeUK Conference

IALE awards a number of grants each year to support early career travel to IALE conferences, amongst other funding proposals. Three early career professionals were successful in their application, and received the IALE grant to support their attendance at the 19th ialeUK conference held this September. Grant recipients have provided below their thoughts on the conference and how it has benefited their research and career as a young professional.

Fabrice Vinatier

The conference offers a formidable opportunity to present my recent post-doctoral work in landscape modelling and to discuss with landscape modellers about the generality of my approach and the possibility to apply it to their case studies. Furthermore, as I began a new position in landscape modelling of ecosystem services, the conference was a unique occasion to enlarge my view on the way to analyse and model ecosystem services. The discussions between scientists from other disciplines will help me to find new ideas on how to model the link between environment and society, this link being insufficiently considered in my previous work. It gives a good opportunity for me to submit new ideas about the optimization of landscape arrangement to consider trade-offs between ecosystem services.

Finally, I am convinced that, more than gathering scientists that work on the same object, landscape congresses are excellent places for transdisciplinary researches. There is an urgent need to consider landscape as the matrix where ecological, socio-economical and physical processes occur, and the variety of disciplines invited to this congress in Edinburgh demonstrated that it is possible to work together if each discipline makes the effort to standardize its own vision of the landscape for being understood by the other disciplines. The congress convinces me that we are on good way to share an integrated vision of landscape with all its complexities.

Monique de Groot

Graduated as an urban planner and a young career as a policy maker and consultant in the field of climate adaptation I have explored the importance of visualisations in the landscape planning process. Specially visualizing complex information on how climate change impacts can improve the planning process. Since 2010 I am working as part time PhD student at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands to investigate how we can improve visualisations in order to make given spatial information on climate change impacts more relevant for policy makers in the design phase of the adaptation planning process. To address my research question I am working on a theoretical framework which links spatial impact information indicators and visualisation uncertainties techniques to specific framed perceptions of adaptation planning.

Attending the 19th ialeUK conference gave me the opportunity to share my experiences with people working on landscape planning in various countries from across science, policy or practice. Both the oral and poster presentations gave me a lot of inspiration to further elaborate my research and consulting activities. Claire Vos for example also ascertained that the implementation of adaptation measures is still hampering because they are not suitable at the local scale. She introduced a theoretical framework, which applies the social-ecological system and points out the importance of local knowledge in the adaptation planning process. Susan Guy shared her experiences with mapping processes to force action and implementation. The presentation of Lorena Segura gave me a lot of inspiration by the way she selected her indicators and visualised them in a very attractive way. Chloe Bellamy and Andrew Mead both presented the possibilities of GIS to explore, analyze and combine mapping data.

The conference gave me also the opportunity to present my own findings and to sound my Information Visualisation Framework. The Framework is aiming at systematically clarifying, identifying and visualising user needs for adaptation planning. The close out by Richard Smithers emphasized the importance of identifying users needs in order to provide salient information. For me the conference was very successful. It gave me a lot of inspiration, which will surely benefit my research and consulting activities.

Monique Gulickx

This summer, I attended the 19th ialeUK Conference, which was held from 4 to 6 September 2012 at The University of Edinburgh. This international conference explored how landscape ecology can help guide sustainable use of land and the services it provides to society. With about 90 participants representing various disciplines and working in a wide range of fields, the conference proved to be a valuable platform to share knowledge and discuss issues of landscape ecology.

I was delighted to give a flash presentation about my work on the development of scenarios for the spatial distribution of landscape services in a rural landscape. I appreciated the flash talks a lot, since there is only time to really focus on the most important parts that you want to convey to the audience. Even though 5 minutes is very short, all the presenters were able to give a clear presentation within the given time. Unfortunately, some were at the end of the day, in the future it would be nice to have them before the poster presentation, to facilitate the discussion and debates during the poster sessions.

The interactive session with the Ketso toolkit was a very valuable exercise of the conference. The goal was to discuss how landscape science, policy and practice can better work together to ensure sustainable use of land and the services it provides to society. Even though there was little time, it was good to share our knowledge in an interactive way, which provided different types of discussion and provided an opportunity to debate landscape ecology at a different level. I think it might be worthwhile to organise an interactive session with a similar group of delegates, focussing on a specific issue in order to identify potential implications and opportunities more explicitly.  By any means, I appreciated the interactive session a lot and hope this will be done more often at conferences.

The conference has brought me a new collaboration within my research and even gave me a job opportunity for after my PhD. I am truly grateful for receiving the IALE early career support, giving me the opportunity to exchange my research and expand my professional network! I also want to thank the ialeUK committee for their support and trust. I really enjoyed my role as post-graduate coordinator and learned a lot from the committee members. Finally, I want to thank Jess Neumann for taking over this role and wish her good luck and a good time in the committee!

Student Conference Travel Award (SCTA) and the European Congress 2013

ialeUK awards a number of travel grants each year to postgraduate students with an interest in landscape ecology. SCTA will be available for postgraduate students registered at a UK University for the upcoming European Congress 2013. Funds of up to £250 can be applied for to cover the cost of travel and accommodation. Successful applicants will be expected to provide a short report of their conference attendance for the ialeUK newsletter. More information on the application process will be provided next year.