It is not only the countless natural and cultural treasures of the French Riviera that entices people to visit this region, but in addition to the prestigious festivals of Antibes and Cannes there is an increasing number of international conferences that brings thousands to this sunshine empire, the world-famous capital of Côte d’Azur,Nice. Nice’s “bohemian” district is crowded with VIP luxury shops: Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier… whereas the old town offers a multitude of historic mosaic pieces. Around the thousand-coloured walls enclosing the narrow alleys, the white window frames and arcades, adventure seekers can breathe a particular atmosphere. Near Place Masséna, Acropolis Convention Center can be found in this Janus-faced environment where from the laboratory associated with the name of Professor Kai Kaarniranta I had the chance to deliver a presentation at the EVER Conference as a returning participant to demonstrate our most recent results also published in Redox Biology (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231718306050?via%3Dihub ). Owing to the vicinity of the place (our accommodation was near the old town) and for my own curiosity, I visited the port of Nice on a few occasions, as well as the “la promenade des 100 antiquaires”, “the promenade of 100 antique traders”, where I had a real “kirputtori” feeling, I could immerse in a quest for truly desired “treasures”. While the agenda of the EVER Conference (www.ever.be) was highly tense, and I would not claim myself to be a real “conference tourist”, I still perceived the call of the unique and many-coloured Maritime Alps, lying just a short hour away – besides, obviously, the deservedly famous beaches of Nice, which always dazzle the strollers in the promenade –, and therefore on a leisure afternoon I hit the road to unveil the natural beauties of the mountains near Côte d’Azur alongside the cultural and architectural traditions of the small villages I passed by during this short (30–40 km) trip. By showing you the photos taken in these places, let me share some of the images reflecting the two kinds of faces of Côte d’Azur: both grandeur, gleam and undisturbed nature.
My name is Napaporn Leadprathom (Meaw). I come from Burapha University Thailand, the small tropical country in Asia. I got post doc research scholarship from Erasmus Mundus action 2 (SWAP and Transfer project) to do the research about microplastic in freshwater ecosystem for 6 months. I’m interested in microplastic because it’s a pollutant with emerging concern and there are many gaps in research about microplastic. I have done many surveys on microplastic in Thai coastal area, but in here I focus on microplastic testing with aquatic animal in laboratory.
I lived in University of Eastern Finland Joensuu Campus from Dec 2015-May 2016. During that time, I tried to feed daphnia with fiber microplastic and observe the uptake and depuration behavior of daphnia. In Aquatic Ecotoxicology lab, it is very easy to do the test with daphnia, because the facility is well preparation. So that it is very convenient to do the thing as I plan, even if I did not have an experience with daphnia before.
I and my colleagues from Aquatic Ecotoxicology lab in University of Eastern Finland Joensuu Campus
Continue reading A time with microplastic, daphnia and winter in Finland
Last autumn, I had the pleasure of doing fieldwork among lawyers in Montreal during my 3.5 months-long research visit at Teluq/University of Quebec. I went there as a postdoctoral researcher working on a grant so I used my own equipment (i.e. computer, mobile phone, recorder). While this research visit was a wonderful experience both professionally and personally, it was then when I fully realized how much responsibility in terms of the security of the research data and equipment I carry when working abroad and particularly when doing a fieldwork in a foreign country. This involves for example file encryption, protection of data connections, administration of access rights, processing and handling of confidential information as well as archiving and destroying of documents. I was encouraged by my colleagues to share some of my experiences as the issue might be relevant for other researchers who are planning a mobility period.
Research ethics during fieldwork
In my own fieldwork, the issue of handling of confidential information and research data, file encryption and protection of data connections became particularly relevant. Firstly, the fieldwork involved interviewing some people who knew each other and who sometimes recommended each other to me for an interview (i.e. snowball sampling). While the interviewees can contact each other to discuss the interview, I had to be particularly careful not to confirm or deny the interviewees’ inquiries whether I have met their colleagues. Otherwise, I would violate the issue of confidentiality. Continue reading Research ethics in practice during fieldwork and in research collaboration
One of the key objectives of the Finnish universities is to reach a high international level in rankings. Several indicators for achieving this status have been determined, but clearly the main door is opened with the help of impactful and scientifically relevant collaboration. This sounds like an easy problem to be solved. Academics travel to conferences and meet colleagues, and they have good access to virtual communication. They have plenty of opportunities to join international research groups. However, all researchers are not on the top in this sense. We may need to work more and especially work more with our international collaborators. Again, an easy task! Let’s go abroad!
Currently, several associations provide a variety of possibilities to apply for research scholarships for longer and shorter periods, but faculties nevertheless suffer from low staff mobility rates. I do not know the reasons behind this accurately, but I would like to shortly review the advantages and to encourage all academics to get on the move!
Colleagues often claim that there is an increasing number of digital tools to keep in touch with fellows abroad, and to work with shared documents across the world. This is correct and evidently makes our work easier. However, alongside the vital research needs, to become an international researcher, we need a wide and strong network of contacts having a good understanding of cultural and local priorities. By obtaining a good understanding of the academic and everyday life of our collaborators, we may strengthen our status as persons to be taken seriously. In addition, as important as how many fellows we know in different countries, is how well we are known within academic communities. Becoming actively visible in several ways is a significant part of our international growth, for every one of us! Continue reading Why on the Move?