Every six years, botanists throughout the world gather together for the International Botanical Congress 🌿 This year's congress was held in Shenzhen, China, and I was lucky enough to attend! Here's a few of my personal highlights from the week:
1) The opening ceremony
An incredible performance with lights, music, dancers & gymnasts! What a way to start the conference, and proof that botanists really know how to party 🎉
2) The city of Shenzhen, China
This was my first time visiting China, and I was so blown away by how beautiful Shenzhen is, especially with the amazing landscaping and greenery surrounding the conference exhibition centre!
3) Evolution, Ecology & Physiology of Carnivorous Plants Symposium
Aaron Ellison and Bartek Plachno organised an amazing symposium, with ten speakers (including me!) over two sessions. It was great to meet other carnivorous plant researchers, to learn about their work, and to share my PhD research!
4) Amazing botanical research
With 6850 delegates from more than 70 countries/regions there were a LOT of inspiring talks to choose from, with topics including biodiversity, conservation, taxonomy, evolution, ecology, environment, global change, physiology, genetics, and society! I was particularly inspired by this part of Loren Rieseberg's plenary:
5) Fairy Lake Botanic Garden
Whenever I travel somewhere new, I always try to explore the local botanic gardens! The Fairy Lake Botanic Garden in Shenzhen had incredible displays of colours, textures, shapes... plus an amazing forest of petrified wood 😲
6) The strangest thing happened...
We made it to the front cover of the Shenzhen Daily Newspaper! Quite the surprise!
So, all in all, an amazing botanical congress and I hope I can join in next time 🤞 Rio de Janeiro in 2023 is sure to be incredible!