The workshops will be a fantastic opportunity for the delegates to gain skills and insight from experts. There will be two sessions of parallel-run workshop sessions, both taking place from 14:40 to 15:30. There will be two panel discussions, and three different workshops. Please note, there will be a different panel discussion on each day. Please see the details below. Sign-up for the workshops is necessary as numbers are limited. Students from all three cohorts who are registered for the conference should have received a link to sign-up. If you have not received this link, please email

Relating science research into policy – Day 1

Panel discussion

Dr Erik van Sebille (Imperial), Prof. Georgina Mace (UCL), Prof. Mike Hulme (KCL), Dr Rosie Woodroffe (ZSL)

Interested in Science Policy? Come along to our panel discussion, where four scientists will share their personal paths from science into the policy world. This is ideal for students who either want to work in science policy as a career, or want to know how to ensure their science has real-world impact).

Erik van Sebille is an oceanographer at Imperial College, investigating the time scales and pathways of the global ocean circulation. After receiving his PhD in Physical Oceanography in 2009 from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, he has gone on to work in Europe, the USA, Australia and now the United Kingdom. His current work focuses on how plastics are transported around the ocean, where they end up and what repercussions this may have for global ecosystems and communities. Passionate about science communication, Erik has appeared on international television, radio and in newspapers, including CCN, BBC, NBC, ABC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, TIME magazine, AP, and Reuters.

Georgina Mace is Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, and Head of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London. Previously, she served as Professor of Conservation Science and Director of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), President of the British Ecological Society, Director of Science at the Zoological Society of London, President of the Society for Conservation Biology, and as a member of the Science Committee of Diversitas. Her research interests lie in measuring the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change. This led her to develop the criteria for IUCN’s Red List of threatened species, a tool that has become hugely influential in Conservation Science. Georgina also works on the biodiversity elements of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, where she examines trade-offs amongst ecosystem services.

Mike Hulme is Professor of Climate and Culture at King’s College London, where his research explores the numerous ways in which climate change is represented in public, political and scholarly discourse. He has vast experience working at the interface of climate change science and policy, having previously served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and conducted research for the UK Government, the EU Commission and the United Nations. Mike’s book Why We Disagree About Climate Change was chosen by The Economist magazine in 2009 as one of its science books of the year.

Rosie Woodroffe is a Senior Research Fellow working at the Zoological Society London, where her research falls at the complex interface of conservation biology, disease ecology, and animal behaviour. Named as one of the most influential UK conservationists by the BBC, Rosie explores the ecological drivers of human-wildlife conflict and searches for technical solutions to such challenging conflicts. A strong proponent of using science to inform policy, Rosie has throughout her career advised both government and organisations, including the British government, IUCN, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Getting the family-work-life balance right in academia – Day 2

Panel discussion

Prof. Vivienne Jones (UCL), Dr Rob Francis (KCL), Dr Elizabeth Boakes (UCL), Alex Steele, PhD student (UCL)

Four panellists at various stages in their academic career, from PhD student to professor, will discuss the challenges of balancing their academic careers with the demands of a full home life, encompassing family, children, commuting and hobbies. Can it be done? Join us to get their insights, advice and to join the discussion.

Vivienne Jones has had a non-standard career in academia.  She started her career as a Research Scientist after being awarded her PhD in 1986 and had twins in 1995.  Viv returned to UCL after 6 months of maternity leave and then worked part-time (70%) from 1995-2010 in a Research role until she was awarded a full-time academic contract at UCL.  Since then she has been promoted to Professor of Environmental Change.

Rob Francis is Senior Lecturer in Ecology at King’s College London. He joined KCL as a lecturer before completing his PhD and has been here for 12 years. Rob is married with two kids, aged 7 and 2. As a non-Londoner with no family support and a long commute, he is familiar with the challenges involved in successfully maintaining an academic career in London whilst also having a decent family life.

Elizabeth Boakes is a postdoctoral research assistant at the Centre for Biodiversity and Environmental Research at UCL and has three children aged between 3 and 7. Since having children she have worked 2 days a week. Until recently she has been researching geographic range change in the avian order Galliformes. As the only active researcher on the project, working part-time had the advantage that the only person to suffer was her own publication list! She is now working as a postdoc within a team which is also a feasible although different experience.

Alex Steele is a member of Cohort 1 of the London NERC DTP. He is a vulcanologist and met his wife, Maria, while doing fieldwork in Ecuador between 2009 and 2014, before he started his PhD. They have a young child, Elisa, born in August 2013. Elisa has dual nationality (British and Ecuadorian), and is now three years old. Maria and Elisa moved to London to live with Alex when he began his PhD in September 2014. They spend the majority of the time in the UK but typically return to Ecuador for two months each year to visit family.

An introduction to publishing in journals – Days 1 & 2


Ross Hildrew (Elsevier)

In this workshop you will learn about how to structure and write a manuscript, how to select the right journal to submit to, and also how to best respond to reviewers’ comments during the peer review process. We will also discuss authorship and authorship disputes, and how to avoid other common publication ethics issues that sometimes occur. This workshop is aimed at early career researchers who have never published or have only published a few papers before.

Popular science writing – Days 1 & 2


Prof. Mark Maslin (UCL)

Modern scientists need to communicate to a wide range of audiences. Central to this is being able to write clearly about your science. Prof. Maslin’s workshop provides an introduction to how to write popular science so everyone can appreciate your work.

Towards the perfect figure – Days 1 & 2


Prof. David Horne (QMUL)

A consideration of what makes a good diagram or map, with tips on improving the graphic presentation of your data. The workshop will involve discussion of examples of good and bad figures in scientific publications. Participants are encouraged to bring examples of their own work for critical evaluation and feedback.