Stories from the International EcoHealth Conference, 2014 in Montreal, Canada

10460739_10152198566952413_6892060768781955889_nWritten by Kate Bishop-Williams, Research Assistant, IHACC at University of Guelph Recently I had the great pleasure to reconnect with colleagues, peers and a few “academic celebrities” from around the world at EcoHealth 2014.

I was fortunate enough to arrive in Montreal early enough to participate in an incredible pre-conference workshop. Facilitated by a number of fabulous CoPEH Canada members, we did a water-walk through Montreal’s downtown core to experience both the Green Alleyways and the Old Port first person. We looked at the impact of both of these locations and investments the city has made on human, animal and environmental health, mental health and well-being and societal impacts. The conversations throughout the day were rich and enlightening!

Throughout the conference I attended plenary panels, poster presentations and discussions, oral presentations and key note speeches. Each of these were important and interesting, and impactful in their own ways.DSC_0878

The EcoHealth 2014 conference was my first opportunity to attend poster-driven sessions. In this design researchers presented the high-level results of their projects in only 3-4 minutes. Once the 3 presenters in a room had an opportunity to present, the session became highly engaging and interactive as a chance for discussion and a way to draw connections between the presented topics. Although new to me, this style of presenting quickly became my new favourite session to attend.

On Thursday August 14th, I was able to present my own work from my MSc degree. This project looked at the impact of heat stress resulting from heat waves on human health in rural communities in Southern Ontario. In particular, I looked at the ways which heat waves impact the rate of admissions to rural hospital emergency rooms in Southern Ontario, as a follow up project to looking at the impacts of heat stress on dairy cow on-farm mortalities. While presenting my poster I handed out small infographic cards to interested visitors. These 4”x6” cards showed the highlights of the research in a clear and easy to ready format which allowed me to make connections with individuals who will be good contacts for my PhD work with IHACC.

Although I accomplished quite a bit while in Montreal, it was not all work and no play! Montreal was a great chance to reconnect with friends from IHACC who live all over Canada, and a chance to visit with colleagues from the 2014 CoPEH Canada Field Course in June.

Here’s to looking forward to EcoHealth 2016 in Melbourne, Australia on December 5-7!10509655_10152205232007413_7106986355895233536_n