EcolChange PhD Conference 2019 “EcolChange in World of Synergies”

Our Center of Excellence will have it´s annual conference in Voore puhkekeskus entitled: “EcolChange in World of Synergies“. It will also have several workshops. (link to conference home page). Registration is open until the end of October (link to registration).


Conference Day:  November 12th, 2019

General Aim and Outcome

The conference highlights the Centre of Excellence EcolChange activities of 2018/2019. In addition, all participants are kindly invited to stipulate enthusiastic contribution in the further development of Centre of Excellence EcolChange. Hereby, actively sharing their knowledge and experiences, and discussing cross-disciplined ideas in EcolChange relevant, specified topics during selected workshops is the key of success. Underlining the importance of Estonian Centre of Excellence EcolChange it will become a great chance to widen our research scope and meet domestic partners for future collaborations.

Target Audience

Primarily PhD students and junior scientists (incl. Post-docs) plus supervisors and other experienced scientists from EcolChange Centre of Excellence.

In addition: limited number of external PhD Students, junior scientists, and interested specialists/experts.

Program overview:

09:30 Welcome coffee

09:45 – 10:00 Welcome and introduction

10:00 – 10:30 Facts and figures of EcolChange 2019 Ülo Niinemets

10:30 – 12:00 Research Group Activities – Group Highlights 2019

Workshop preparation: grouping and gathering in workshop areas

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch Break

13:00 – 16:00 Workshop Session (parallel workshop subjects)

Individual Coffee break

16:00 – 17:30 Workshop Outcomes to all audience (prepared by each workshop group)

Wrap up, socialising, light dinner


Biogeochemistry Cycling in Ecosystems

“To Grow or To Adapt? Carbon Cycling Under Stress”

AIM We will look at different carbon cycling pathways in terms of different future climate scenario, to understand plant’s role under global change. Hereby, we brainstorm with junior scientists from different EcolChange fields on possible ways to cope with the future biotic and abiotic stress challenge in the context of plant management (identify or cultivate more adaptive species, more cutting-edge study on specialized metabolites).

OUTCOME We will briefly put together plant carbon cycling pathways under stress and conclude the possible ways of dealing with various stress in terms of plant management.

Communicating Science/EcolChange/Global Change to Society

“Communicating EcolChange – by who and to whom”

AIM We want to openly discuss a sample scheme of science communication – should it be organised or is it enough letting people do it on their own initiative? Should we follow the model of action groups to communicate as much as possible about everything, or do we have to be careful, whereas, what is too careful then?

OUTCOME Showing importance and preparing sensitivity, we will highlight relevant aspects of our open discussion briefly to the overall audience.

Open Data / Open Science

“Open Science – from state supported projects to piracy”

AIM Open Science is aimed to make research more accessible, which is accomplished through free distribution of publications, raw data, software, data production procedures and even physical samples. The implementation of Open Science principles makes research more efficient, visible and transparent, increases reproducibility, stimulates collaboration and, therefore, benefits the society as a whole. In the workshop we will take a look on several successful applications that are heavily based on Open Data, and will discuss problems that emerge in the transition between “Closed” and Open Science.

OUTCOME We will outline Open Science principles and supply them with with real-life examples, and briefly discuss benefits and challenges that come along with Open Science advance.

Big Data

“Handling Big Data in Eco Sciences”

AIM Ecology, together with many other sciences, has entered the world of big data as a result of rapid growth in data volumes worldwide. Growing amounts of data from remote sensing, automated sensor networks, global community data resources or citizen-science initiatives create exciting opportunities as well as many challenges related to data management and analyses. In this workshop, we explore these new opportunities and challenges, and look for the common approaches that may be useful in several branches of EcolChange.

OUTCOME Brief take-home messages about big data storage, management and analyzing solutions shall be provided to overall audience by workshop attendants.


“Centre of Excellence EcolChange Mid-Terms – Critical Review from Student’s perspective”

AIM Centre of Excellence EcolChange is now almost in its project mid-terms, worth to internally critically review. This session aims to become an open discussion forum rather a workshop about past, present and future of EcolChange from a student’s perspective. Sample questions that may be addressed: how PhD student were, are, or would like to be involved in further development of EcolChange. What are pros and cons of being part of EcolChange ? How see PhD students EcolChange benefits and what might become improved in the future?

OUTCOME At the end, it is intended to share generalised impressions with the overall audience.

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