24 November 2022

CMEC Research Retreat 2022


On the 7-11 November, CMEC left the usual surroundings behind to go on the annual Research Retreat. This year, the destination was set for Spain for a week of dedicated focus on research themes, projects, and social networking.

Group photo of CMEC at El Torcal National Park.
Group photo of CMEC at El Torcal National Park. Photo: Hannah Owens.

With a cancellation in 2020 due to Covid-19, and a downscaled trip to Sweden in 2021, a complete and well-planned Research Retreat was finally possible this year with the participation of no less than 29 people from CMEC, including affiliates and collaborators Associate Professor Damien Fordham, Associate Professor Anna-Sofie Stensgaard, and Professor Robert K. Colwell.

Focus on research themes

The Research Retreat 2022 was set in the city of Málaga in the region of Andalusia in Southern Spain close to Lake Viñuela being the first destination for a "walk’n’talk" after arriving at the hotel to ensure proper greetings amongst old and new colleagues.

The week’s program centered around the center’s key research themes speciation, movement, maintenance, extinction, and managing biodiversity with talks, workshops, and group discussions as the main activities.

Other activities during the week included discussions concerning new research projects, publications, and science communication training.

Finally, CMEC’s newest employees and students gave a presentation about their background, job responsibilities, and research areas, including Postdoc Harith Farooq, PhD student Katherine Pulido Chadid, visiting PhD student Yueyao Hu, Academic Officer Emma Emilie Andersen, and Administrative Officer Anne Marott.

Trip to El Torcal

During the retreat, a day was reserved for a one-day hike in the El Torcal de Antequera Natioal Park – a former seabed from the Jurassic located on top of a mountain. The fascinating landscape, dominated by the characteristic limestone formations, is not only famous for its beautiful views and several faunistic and floristic highlights, but also for the many well-preserved ammonite castings in the area bearing witness to the national park’s prehistoric environment.

Ammonite casting
One of the many ammonite castings at El Torcal de Antequera. Photo: Hannah Owens. 

This year’s Research Retreat was planned and organized by Professor David Nogués-Bravo, PhD student Rafael Schouten, Postdoc Ryan Germain, and Center Administrator Kamilla Krause Kristensen.