A postcard from the Goldschmidt Conference in Barcelona

UGA/Skidaway Institute graduate student Kun Ma, from Jay Brandes’ lab, was invited to present some of her research at the prestigious Goldschmidt Conference in Barcelona, Spain. She sent us this “postcard.”

Time surely goes by fast when there are so many exciting presentations about fascinating sciences going on, it’s already day three of the Goldschmidt Conference in Barcelona! This is my first major international conference, and almost 4,000 geochemists from all over the world are attending. I’m taking full advantage of the conference by going to presentations of topics that are of interest to me and workshops for early career scientists.

I presented my poster yesterday, on measuring the rates and efficiency of light breaking down organic matter in seawater. I had very nice conversations and discussions with fellow scientists about what I do, and had a great chance at practicing my poster presentation skills, which requires keeping it short and interesting, but at the same time more interactive and gives me the opportunity to explain my work in more details.

Kun Ma (right) discusses her poster with another conference participant.

After my presentation was done, I got to relax a little bit and went to a wonderful little restaurant called Kalamata, it was recommended to me by a local. And when I asked the Spanish waitress what she would have if she were eating there, she said that their gnocchi pasta was awesome, so I tried that, and she was right! It was made from potato and was swimming in a yummy truffle sauce (salsa de trufa)!

Gnocchi Pasta

The conference is held at the Centro de Convencions Internacional, and it is a very short walk from La platja de Llevant, a newer beach in Barcelona that is less crowded, so it was ideal for sunbathing and relaxing.

La platja de Llevant

In my case, it was a great way to start the day before the conference. This is also the first time I’m at the Mediterranean Sea, and I was very excited to wet my toes in the warm blue water!

I also went to the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona) today.

Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

The museum has a wonderful collection of specimens, plants, animal, fungi, and rocks and minerals. It is free to Goldschmidt delegates and right across from the convention center, a few hundred steps away.

I haven’t had the chance to explore Barcelona much yet, but I happened to stay very close to the Torre Glòries (the Agbar Tower), one of Barcelona’s most famous buildings and an architectural icon.

Torre Glòries

I thought the coolest thing about it is that all the window blinds of the façade open and close in response to temperature, so that the energy consumption for AC is greatly reduced!

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