Isn’t part of the attraction of attending conferences and meetings the sheer pleasure of visiting other countries? I saw more than once that the location for ‘the next meeting’ was inspired by the exotic appeal of the venue.
There are few of us that never take the opportunity of these visits to do some sightseeing, if only for a few days. I was discussing with colleagues whether to attend a meeting in Chile, until I realized that many of us were also planning a short holiday for after the meeting. This made me re-evaluate these meetings and prompted me to be very critical of what I attend: flying half way across the earth simply adds (a lot) to that equation.
The shells of single-celled protists called foraminifera are popular tools to reconstruct past climates. The chemical composition of their calcite reflects seawater conditions: my research focuses on understanding this relationship. This will help to make reconstructions for past seawater temperature, pH, salinity, etc. more accurate, and thereby improve our understanding of the (long-term) behavior of Earth’s climate.