International Meeting for PhD students in Botany organized by the CER IEB researchers

Between 22-25 September 2022, the researchers of the Centre for Ecological Research Institute of Ecology and Botany (CER IEB), and members of the Hungarian Ecological Society (HES) organized an International Meeting for PhD students in vegetation ecology in Poroszló, Hungary. This meeting was first initiated by Milan Chytrý and Zoltán Botta-Dukát about twenty years ago, and it has been a very nice tradition since then. Every second year, PhD students in botany meet somewhere in Central Europe and they share their research plans and results, and they can get advice from each other and from senior scientists in a friendly atmosphere.

After a break of few years due to the pandemic, finally this nice event could be organized in person. We were very happy that this year, researchers from the IEB CER – Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Balázs Deák, and Orsolya Valkó – had the possibility to organize this event.

There was a huge interest as there were almost 70 participants, from 16 countries. The scientific program was very intensive, but also very interesting; the PhD students gave very impressive and high-quality presentations, followed by fruitful discussions. The venue of the conference was in Poroszló, in the Tisza-Lake Ecocentrum, which is a wonderful place for such an event. During the coffee breaks, we could visit the nice indoor and outdoor exhibitions and aquariums, which was a nice and refreshing activity. After dinner, there were two very interesting topical discussions about ‘How can we translate the scientific results into practice?’ and whether ‘Quality or quantity counts more in science?’, followed by a lively social program. On Sunday, Balázs Deák led a half-day long excursion, where we showed the participants the natural beauties of the Hortobágy National Park, the alkaline grasslands and wetlands, loess grasslands, and kurgans.

The event was co-organized by Centre for Ecological Research Institute of Ecology and Botany and the Hungarian Ecological Society and supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; we are grateful for its support. We are thankful to all the participants for their enthusiasm and active participation in all the events. We are thankful for all the colleagues from IEB who helped us in the organization, especially József Nagy, Attila Lengyel, and Miklós Kertész. We are thankful to the Hortobágy National Park Directorate for supporting the field trip.

Organizers: Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Orsolya Valkó and Balázs Deák