Archive for June 12th, 2014

A day of talks and scientific camaraderie at the 2014 Larwood Meeting

June 12th, 2014

Instytut Oceanologii bldg 061214SOPOT, POLAND — Our first day of the Larwood Meeting was much fun, especially after I unloaded my presentation in the morning and could relax. We are gathering on the beautiful campus of the Instytut Oceanologii (one building pictured above), which is within an easy walk of the hotels and the beach. Just under 50 people are participating, from beginning PhD students to retired faculty. These meetings are also a mix of biologists and paleontologists who are interested in bryozoans, so everyone learns a lot from the talks and posters. All that is required is some intersection of the presented material and the Phylum Bryozoa, which can include evolution, systematics, physiology, ecology and genetics. This kind of scientific conclave is rare with its interdisciplinary diversity.

Instytut Oceanologii sign 061214Piotr 061214Piotr Kuklinski, our leader and senior staff at the Institute, opened this morning’s session with a greeting and orientation. Note the proud Polish eagle behind him.

SopotHotel061214Here’s a view of my hipster hotel. Hard to tell its a place to stay when you walk in. It looks (and sounds) rather more like a nightclub at times. Very comfortable, though.

Intrusion 061214I thought Dr. Pollock would appreciate the very distinct intrusion in this glacial erratic found in the nearby park.

Tonight we have a mysterious dinner “in the Eastern European forest”. I shall report later, if the wolves don’t get me.

An evening of good food, games and talk deep in an Eastern European forest

June 12th, 2014

Polish bbq 061214SOPOT, POLAND — Our surprise dinner this evening was a Polish barbecue in the forest outside Sopot. I am impressed with how much forested land has been preserved around the three connected cities of Gdansk, Sopot and Gydnia. With a half-hour drive we arrived at a campsite well isolated from the urban build-up. The excellent food included wild boar, chicken, fish, cold beet soup, and various permutations of cabbage. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my dish of roasted potatoes were actually baked and sweetened apples. We talked and talked, of course, and played darts and fired hard beans with a slingshot at suspended buckets. (Some people were scary-good at this.) It was a great social event that tied the group together in new ways.
Polish woods 061214Nope, nothing spooky about the Polish woods. It’s not like anything happened here …