Day 4: Full conference

Some nights when sleeping in a hot non-air conditioned room with your windows open you just can’t sleep. Last night was one of those nights unfortunately. But I still had to go to the conference. 

The keynote speaker today was awesome! Hal Herzog. He wrote Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Kill. His talk was about doing science well and communicating science well. He emphasized the importance of being skeptical of our own field and not overstating our results. My advisor Dr. Marguerite O’Haire (Magge) got mentioned a bunch for her awesome work. And Dr. Alan Beck from Purdue also got his picture up there. 🙂

The talks were good. I got to network with several big names and talk about future work. I did not win the poster competition but got told it was extremely close and likely I was a close second. Maggie did win the award as a New Investigator which was pretty awesome!

After the conference and general meeting we were wiped so we went back to the Airbnb. I helped Kerri by listening to her talk. Then took a nap.

For dinner we went to dinner at Baccara. So delicious. The sangria, the paella, the general vibe, a seat by the window. We ordered vegetable paella and it was delicious. So great. We went with 7 of us from the conference. 

After dinner it was home to pack, clean, and go to bed!

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Day 3.5: Conference evening

The conference dinner tonight was fabulous. Many courses. Free wine. Lots of different food. Great dessert. And great company​.

 I’ll just share some pictures. 

Spanish jamon (ham) in a variety of forms

Fish in 2 forms!


More fish

Awesome cake

After dinner we stayed out for one more drink at this cute bar by the beach. We had planned to go out dancing but we’re all just too tired. 

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ISAZ Conference Day 1

Today was the first full conference day at the International Society for Anthrozoology. This year was a small conference. Only about 150 attendees and only 2 simultaneous rooms for 2 days and 60 posters. It’s quite a bit different from the huge Animal Behavior Society and American Society for Animal Science conferences I went to last summer. It’s definitely more intimate though. 
The conference venue itself was gorgeous. It was held at Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona. This was the view from the conference venue. 

Pretty awesome. Also the poster session and all snacks were outside which was very cool (although hot for presenting!)

I had quite a few people interested in my poster. I like getting to talk to people about my research. I think it went quite well. 

Some of my favorite talks from the day were: 

– the keynote about pro sociality, bonds, and cooporation in chimps by Dr. Roman Wittig

– Outcomes for spouses of veterans with service dogs for PTSD by Kerri Rodriguez

– Development of a Cat Ownership Relationship Scale

– A systematic review of Animal Assisted Interventions for children with Autism – Dr. Maggie O’Haire
Clearly I love my lab and think we do great work. 🙂

Here is the schedule of talks for the morning in case anyone is interested. 

After a full day of conference I am back at the Airbnb to hopefully nap. Though it’s super hot and sticky and noisy. There’s no AC and not even any fans in the room. Today the air is pretty dead. 

The beach is hopping though. 🙂

I’ll update you all after tonight. First up- delicious dinner. Then going out for drinks and dancing. 

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2: A Gaudi Day & More

I spent today wandering around the city of Barcelona.

It’s very European with its narrow alleys and streets and old buildings. But it is very unique in some of its architecture by Gaudi. Kerri and I took a free walking tour  with Runner Bean tours specifically on Gaudi. 

We started in a square where Gaudi got his first commission where he got paid all of 7 euros for this light post. From the beginning he was very inspired by nature which is why I like him so much.

Then we went to 3 houses that Gaudi designed. 

This is nicknamed the house of bones. On top is supposed to be the dragon that Saint Christeropher slew. The small columns are bones and the balconies are skulls. 

Hopefully I can write more later. But I learned lots of cool things: Gaudi did asymmetry and abstract art, he invented the Quaternary Arch. In the last house he used pillars rather than walls to support the structure in able to have an open floor plan. He was very ambitious and conscious of light and ventilation. 

Finally we ended up at La Sagrada la Familia which really was as amazing as they say. It’s been being built for over 100 years (since 1892?) and still isn’t done. It’s a basilica. Has columns modeled after sequoia trees and is generally fantastic. I could say more but here are some pics. 

So amazing. Afterward we walked through Placa Catalunya and down La Rambla. Very pretty. We stopped for an awesomely delicious and hearty snack of a jambon cone (ham). 

Then briefly back at the Airbnb for showers before heading out for the welcoming ceremony. I think I looked pretty professional. 

We networked at the ceremony including with James Serpell and more. And then when out for gelato and a drink for Maggie’s birthday! Happy birthday to my amazing advisor!

Finally we took the longer but more scenic and populated walk along the beach home. Overall we walked 12.2 miles and 28,000 steps today so my feet are tired. Good night friends! Full day of conference tomorrow!

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