Last week the VectorBiTE RCN working groups met at Imperial College London to engage with fellow researchers from around the world studying vector biology. Working groups focused on particular areas of vector behavior, ecology or eco-informatics and set to work organizing databases, drafting manuscripts, reviewing literature and brainstorming on ways to improve our field. This year’s meeting allowed last year’s attendees and those new to Vector BiTE to hone in on topics specific to their expertise or interests. Rather than seminars or large group discussions, the meeting was largely structured by the working groups. Working groups consist of 5 – 10 researchers with a unifying interest in some area of vector biology. Working groups had unstructured free time to meet, discuss ideas and work on projects within the scope of their topic and proposal. At the beginning and end of the meeting, group leaders presented to all attendees so that working groups could provide feedback to each other and collaborate.
Small group discussions were favorable to getting “science” done. While conferences usually are structured by talks, poster sessions and seminars, having working groups allowed for more in-depth discussion and each group produced results by the end of the workshop: most groups outlined a manuscript, some started meta-analyses or literature reviews and the eco-informatics group had improved our in-progress database that will host data sets related to vector traits and population dynamics.
Between productive work discussions, researchers had time to take hikes through the nearby and beautiful Great Windsor Park…
While others stayed inside, too protective of the precious group white-boards to let the guard down by going outside…
On the last day of the meeting, VectorBiTE attendees were able to broadcast the working group updates to our broader VectorBiTE community via a live online stream. The filmed working group presentations are still available on youtube: part one and part two.
To stay updated on working group projects and to get involved follow VectorBiTE on twitter, become a member and look out for next year’s application on our website where you can join us in 2018 when the meeting will be hosted by Stanford University. New for next year will be training workshops to learn skills and techniques that will help improve our research.
Thanks to the organizers for a fantastic meeting. Here’s to more VectorBiTE meetings to come!