Living Deltas Hub 2nd Annual Research Meeting

 

Living Deltas held its second Annual Hub Research Meeting at the HHI Hotel in Kolkata between the 1st and 5th March 2020.  We were lucky to get the meeting in before the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit (at the time of the meeting it was still classed by the WHO as an epidemic).  However, a number of our delta colleagues were sadly unable to join us from the Mekong delta, the UK and from Bangladesh due to restrictions imposed by the viral outbreak.  These friends were much missed.  The meeting opened on the Sunday morning with a meeting of the Hub with members of our external Advisory Board and we were delighted to have Nina Laurie, Advisory Board Chair, Kay Heuser, UKRI Representative and Katharine Vincent, AB member join us from the UK and South Africa respectively.  Living Deltas marked its first birthday with a beautiful cake baked by the HHI Hotel and kindly provided by our friends and hosts Sumana Banerjee and Tuhin Ghosh of Jadavpur University.  Nina Laurie did the honours and cut the cake in the absence of the PI and Deputy PI, Andy Large and Andy Henderson, who had left Newcastle on Friday evening, but who finally arrived in Kolkata at 3am on Monday morning.  While a hotel bed between each flight was restful, it didn’t help either the Advisory Board meeting or the Executive Board meeting which followed.  The fact that at that time we were all still Zoom amateurs meant poor connection to Doha and less-than-effective input from ‘the two Andys’.

“What is very clear is that the Living Deltas Hub has convened a fascinating group of people with wide ranging experience and lots of disciplinary background”  
Katherine Vincent

The Research Meeting kicked off on Monday morning and continued until early evening on Thursday.  Much was discussed and we made good strides in integrating Work Packages and informing others of our quite different approaches to research and the varying spatial and temporal scales we research, and developing common understandings of challenges faced on the deltas.  Topics covered included delta health, risk and resilience, coastal tipping points, participatory research, oral histories, household surveys, modelling, the SDGs and much, much more, and Work Packages were able to visit their emerging workplans and construct roadmaps for planned activities throughout 2020.  While these have since been mothballed, pretty much immediately after the meeting, we remain hopeful that we can somehow make progress against these before the end of the calendar year.

 

While we had a birthday cake, for quite a few of our newest members of the Delta Family Monday 1st of March marked their first day in the job, and we welcome one and all to the Hub!  You may also be relieved to hear that the Delta Family graciously left the two Andys some of the Hub birthday cake to mark their late arrival.

 

Meetings of this size and complexity (we had 60 Hub members attending at Kolkata) cannot take place without a huge amount of hard work over many weeks and months.  We would like to thank in particular our friends at Jadavpur University, Sumana Banerjee, Tuhin Ghosh and Sourav Das for months of arrangements and hard work (the meeting took place in the Kolkata wedding season which added a layer of complexity to everything).  Thank you to Libby Wood and Tamara Gilbert for their constant hard work and organisational skills and to Iain Garrett for underpinning this with some super Hub comms materials.  Particular gratitude is due to Sujoy Sen Roy, Sibayan Bhunia and Sujit Mondal from H4 Holidays, and to all the staff at the HHI Hotel Kolkata and from HHI in particular Palash Banerjee and Raisa Chakraborty.  We were delighted also to have other esteemed colleagues from Jadavpur University attend our Reception Dinner - Prof Rabindra Nath Bhattacharya, Prof Manoj Kumar Mitra, Mr Dipanjan Ray Chaudhuri, Mr Atikur Rahman, Mr Samit Pahari and Dr Abhra Chanda, as well as Mr Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata and a good friend to the Hub.  Finally, we were honoured on the last day of the Annual Meeting by the presence of our friend Shri Prabhat Kumar Mishra, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Environment Department of the Government of West Bengal, accompanied by the department’s Senior Scientific Officer Dr. Dipanjana Maulik. Mr Mishra delivered a hugely powerful speech to the Hub regarding delta life and the numerous emerging challenges to this in the Sundarbans.

 

Since its inception the Hub has grown in numbers and the event was a great place for its new Early Career Researchers to meet other members and to benefit from their expertise. PDRAs and RAs have joined us from many of the Co-Investigating research organisations and will be playing a vital role in the research as a diverse cohort of investigators with the talent and motivation to become future research and academic leaders in their field. Covering roles such as water quality and ecological monitoring, laboratory support in palaeoenvironmental research and sustainable development governance and policy to name but a few.

“This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to meet many of our colleagues across the Hub beyond our own Work Packages (WPs), and to learn more about the aims of the Hub in its entirety and across each WP and how this might be achieved. Every WP led a session and activity centred around the aims of their WP which was not only great team bonding but really helped to understand what each WP was up to and how we might work together. I particularly enjoyed WP1 exercises on river memories (particularly the chance to do some colouring in) and thinking about how to translate research effectively for those who live and work in delta ecosystems, which is paramount to the success of the Hub! “
Heather Moorhouse

 

I am an ECR in WP3 whose focus is on water quality, bio-monitoring and fieldwork assessment of delta wetlands. During the Kolkata meeting, we planned fieldwork activity which will now have to be altered in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Our job now is adapt and work around this challenge, which I have every confidence will happen, even if it differs to our original strategy.


>>
read Heather's Scoping trip blog

The Kolkata meeting was a magical experience. It was my first day on the job, and my first time in Asia. I’ve made so many friends from all corners of the world, and I can’t wait to visit our partners in the delta regions again soon. The meeting was a fantastic way to learn about the history of the Living Deltas project, and to understand the goals of each work package and how they interlink. The meeting was really important for us as a work package to grow as a team, and we did that by talking science, planning fieldwork, and having fun (who remembers John of Wales, the migrant worker?!). I drew a lot of inspiration from the diverse range of presentations and discussions. My work has tended to focus around ecological processes. I now have the opportunity and contacts to develop future research projects which more fully integrate the social with the ecological side of mangrove forest evolution.
Cai Ladd

 

 

>> View Cai’s mapping on WP4

“About the meeting, it was a very good and fruitful experience as chance to meet and discuss with the old and new members of Hub. They are very smart and erudite, and they are my motivation to study more on deltas issues :)”

 

Ly Ha Bui (ECR)

Vnu-Central Institute For Natural Resources And Environmental Studies

 

After the first annual conference of the Living Deltas HUB project, 08 members of the research team under Work Package's 1+ 4  organized a preliminary field trip to the Ganges coastal plain – Brahmaputra-Meghna belongs to Khulna state, Bangladesh.

 

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.

Message us

Mail List

Subscribe

* indicates required
Email Format

Message us

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.

Living Deltas Hub 2nd Annual Research Meeting

The Kolkata meeting was a magical experience. It was my first day on the job, and my first time in Asia. I’ve made so many friends from all corners of the world, and I can’t wait to visit our partners in the delta regions again soon. The meeting was a fantastic way to learn about the history of the Living Deltas project, and to understand the goals of each work package and how they interlink. The meeting was really important for us as a work package to grow as a team, and we did that by talking science, planning fieldwork, and having fun (who remembers John of Wales, the migrant worker?!). I drew a lot of inspiration from the diverse range of presentations and discussions. My work has tended to focus around ecological processes. I now have the opportunity and contacts to develop future research projects which more fully integrate the social with the ecological side of mangrove forest evolution. Cai Ladd

>> View Cai’s mapping on WP4

“About the meeting, it was a very good and fruitful experience as chance to meet and discuss with the old and new members of Hub. They are very smart and erudite, and they are my motivation to study more on deltas issues :)”

 

Ly Ha Bui (ECR)

Vnu-Central Institute For Natural Resources And Environmental Studies

 

After the first annual conference of the Living Deltas HUB project, 08 members of the research team under Work Package's 1+ 4 organized a preliminary field trip to the Ganges coastal plain – Brahmaputra-Meghna belongs to Khulna state, Bangladesh.

Living Deltas Hub 2nd Annual Research Meeting

Living Deltas Hub 2nd Annual Research Meeting

Living Deltas held its second Annual Hub Research Meeting at the HHI Hotel in Kolkata between the 1st and 5th March 2020.  We were lucky to get the meeting in before the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit (at the time of the meeting it was still classed by the WHO as an epidemic).  However, a number of our delta colleagues were sadly unable to join us from the Mekong delta, the UK and from Bangladesh due to restrictions imposed by the viral outbreak.  These friends were much missed.  The meeting opened on the Sunday morning with a meeting of the Hub with members of our external Advisory Board and we were delighted to have Nina Laurie, Advisory Board Chair, Kay Heuser, UKRI Representative and Katharine Vincent, AB member join us from the UK and South Africa respectively.  Living Deltas marked its first birthday with a beautiful cake baked by the HHI Hotel and kindly provided by our friends and hosts Sumana Banerjee and Tuhin Ghosh of Jadavpur University.  Nina Laurie did the honours and cut the cake in the absence of the PI and Deputy PI, Andy Large and Andy Henderson, who had left Newcastle on Friday evening, but who finally arrived in Kolkata at 3am on Monday morning.  While a hotel bed between each flight was restful, it didn’t help either the Advisory Board meeting or the Executive Board meeting which followed.  The fact that at that time we were all still Zoom amateurs meant poor connection to Doha and less-than-effective input from ‘the two Andys’.

The Research Meeting kicked off on Monday morning and continued until early evening on Thursday.  Much was discussed and we made good strides in integrating Work Packages and informing others of our quite different approaches to research and the varying spatial and temporal scales we research, and developing common understandings of challenges faced on the deltas.  Topics covered included delta health, risk and resilience, coastal tipping points, participatory research, oral histories, household surveys, modelling, the SDGs and much, much more, and Work Packages were able to visit their emerging workplans and construct roadmaps for planned activities throughout 2020.  While these have since been mothballed, pretty much immediately after the meeting, we remain hopeful that we can somehow make progress against these before the end of the calendar year.

 

While we had a birthday cake, for quite a few of our newest members of the Delta Family Monday 1st of March marked their first day in the job, and we welcome one and all to the Hub!  You may also be relieved to hear that the Delta Family graciously left the two Andys some of the Hub birthday cake to mark their late arrival.

 

Meetings of this size and complexity (we had 60 Hub members attending at Kolkata) cannot take place without a huge amount of hard work over many weeks and months.  We would like to thank in particular our friends at Jadavpur University, Sumana Banerjee, Tuhin Ghosh and Sourav Das for months of arrangements and hard work (the meeting took place in the Kolkata wedding season which added a layer of complexity to everything).  Thank you to Libby Wood and Tamara Gilbert for their constant hard work and organisational skills and to Iain Garrett for underpinning this with some super Hub comms materials.  Particular gratitude is due to Sujoy Sen Roy, Sibayan Bhunia and Sujit Mondal from H4 Holidays, and to all the staff at the HHI Hotel Kolkata and from HHI in particular Palash Banerjee and Raisa Chakraborty.  We were delighted also to have other esteemed colleagues from Jadavpur University attend our Reception Dinner - Prof Rabindra Nath Bhattacharya, Prof Manoj Kumar Mitra, Mr Dipanjan Ray Chaudhuri, Mr Atikur Rahman, Mr Samit Pahari and Dr Abhra Chanda, as well as Mr Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata and a good friend to the Hub.  Finally, we were honoured on the last day of the Annual Meeting by the presence of our friend Shri Prabhat Kumar Mishra, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Environment Department of the Government of West Bengal, accompanied by the department’s Senior Scientific Officer Dr. Dipanjana Maulik. Mr Mishra delivered a hugely powerful speech to the Hub regarding delta life and the numerous emerging challenges to this in the Sundarbans.

 

Since its inception the Hub has grown in numbers and the event was a great place for it’s new Early Career Researchers to meet other members and to offer their expertise. PDRAs and RAs have joined us from many of the Co-Investigating research organisations and will be playing a vital role in the research as a diverse cohort of investigators with the talent and motivation to become future research and academic leaders in their field. Covering roles such as water quality and ecological monitoring, laboratory support in palaeoenvironmental research and sustainable development governance and policy to name but a few.

Living Deltas Hub 2nd Annual Research Meeting

Living Deltas held its second Annual Hub Research Meeting at the HHI Hotel in Kolkata between the 1st and 5th March 2020.  We were lucky to get the meeting in before the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit (at the time of the meeting it was still classed by the WHO as an epidemic).  However, a number of our delta colleagues were sadly unable to join us from the Mekong delta, the UK and from Bangladesh due to restrictions imposed by the viral outbreak.  These friends were much missed.  The meeting opened on the Sunday morning with a meeting of the Hub with members of our external Advisory Board and we were delighted to have Nina Laurie, Advisory Board Chair, Kay Heuser, UKRI Representative and Katharine Vincent, AB member join us from the UK and South Africa respectively.  Living Deltas marked its first birthday with a beautiful cake baked by the HHI Hotel and kindly provided by our friends and hosts Sumana Banerjee and Tuhin Ghosh of Jadavpur University.  Nina Laurie did the honours and cut the cake in the absence of the PI and Deputy PI, Andy Large and Andy Henderson, who had left Newcastle on Friday evening, but who finally arrived in Kolkata at 3am on Monday morning.  While a hotel bed between each flight was restful, it didn’t help either the Advisory Board meeting or the Executive Board meeting which followed.  The fact that at that time we were all still Zoom amateurs meant poor connection to Doha and less-than-effective input from ‘the two Andys’.

The Research Meeting kicked off on Monday morning and continued until early evening on Thursday.  Much was discussed and we made good strides in integrating Work Packages and informing others of our quite different approaches to research and the varying spatial and temporal scales we research, and developing common understandings of challenges faced on the deltas.  Topics covered included delta health, risk and resilience, coastal tipping points, participatory research, oral histories, household surveys, modelling, the SDGs and much, much more, and Work Packages were able to visit their emerging workplans and construct roadmaps for planned activities throughout 2020.  While these have since been mothballed, pretty much immediately after the meeting, we remain hopeful that we can somehow make progress against these before the end of the calendar year.

 

While we had a birthday cake, for quite a few of our newest members of the Delta Family Monday 1st of March marked their first day in the job, and we welcome one and all to the Hub!  You may also be relieved to hear that the Delta Family graciously left the two Andys some of the Hub birthday cake to mark their late arrival.

 

Meetings of this size and complexity (we had 60 Hub members attending at Kolkata) cannot take place without a huge amount of hard work over many weeks and months.  We would like to thank in particular our friends at Jadavpur University, Sumana Banerjee, Tuhin Ghosh and Sourav Das for months of arrangements and hard work (the meeting took place in the Kolkata wedding season which added a layer of complexity to everything).  Thank you to Libby Wood and Tamara Gilbert for their constant hard work and organisational skills and to Iain Garrett for underpinning this with some super Hub comms materials.  Particular gratitude is due to Sujoy Sen Roy, Sibayan Bhunia and Sujit Mondal from H4 Holidays, and to all the staff at the HHI Hotel Kolkata and from HHI in particular Palash Banerjee and Raisa Chakraborty.  We were delighted also to have other esteemed colleagues from Jadavpur University attend our Reception Dinner - Prof Rabindra Nath Bhattacharya, Prof Manoj Kumar Mitra, Mr Dipanjan Ray Chaudhuri, Mr Atikur Rahman, Mr Samit Pahari and Dr Abhra Chanda, as well as Mr Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata and a good friend to the Hub.  Finally, we were honoured on the last day of the Annual Meeting by the presence of our friend Shri Prabhat Kumar Mishra, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Environment Department of the Government of West Bengal, accompanied by the department’s Senior Scientific Officer Dr. Dipanjana Maulik. Mr Mishra delivered a hugely powerful speech to the Hub regarding delta life and the numerous emerging challenges to this in the Sundarbans.

 

Since its inception the Hub has grown in numbers and the event was a great place for it’s new Early Career Researchers to meet other members and to benefit from their expertise. PDRAs and RAs have joined us from many of the Co-Investigating research organisations and will be playing a vital role in the research as a diverse cohort of investigators with the talent and motivation to become future research and academic leaders in their field. Covering roles such as water quality and ecological monitoring, laboratory support in palaeoenvironmental research and sustainable development governance and policy to name but a few.

This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to meet many of our colleagues across the Hub beyond our own Work Packages (WPs), and to learn more about the aims of the Hub in its entirety and across each WP and how this might be achieved. Every WP led a session and activity centred around the aims of their WP which was not only great team bonding but really helped to understand what each WP was up to and how we might work together. I particularly enjoyed WP1 exercises on river memories (particularly the chance to do some colouring in) and thinking about how to translate research effectively for those who live and work in delta ecosystems, which is paramount to the success of the Hub! “
Heather Moorhouse

 

I am an ECR in WP3 whose focus is on water quality, bio-monitoring and fieldwork assessment of delta wetlands. During the Kolkata meeting,  we planned fieldwork activity which will now have to be altered in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Our job now is adapt and work around this challenge, which I have every confidence will happen, even if it differs to our original strategy.


>> read Heather's Scoping trip blog

 

 

The Kolkata meeting was a magical experience. It was my first day on the job, and my first time in Asia. I’ve made so many friends from all corners of the world, and I can’t wait to visit our partners in the delta regions again soon. The meeting was a fantastic way to learn about the history of the Living Deltas project, and to understand the goals of each work package and how they interlink. The meeting was really important for us as a work package to grow as a team, and we did that by talking science, planning fieldwork, and having fun (who remembers John of Wales, the migrant worker?!). I drew a lot of inspiration from the diverse range of presentations and discussions. My work has tended to focus around ecological processes. I now have the opportunity and contacts to develop future research projects which more fully integrate the social with the ecological side of mangrove forest evolution.

Cai Ladd

View Cai’s mapping on WP4

 

“About the meeting, it was a very good and fruitful experience as chance to meet and discuss with the old and new members of Hub. They are very smart and erudite, and they are my motivation to study more on deltas issues :)”

 

Ly Ha Bui (ECR)

Vnu-Central Institute For Natural Resources And Environmental Studies

 

After the first annual conference of the Living Deltas HUB project, 08 members of the research team under Work Package's 1+ 4 organized a preliminary field trip to the Ganges coastal plain – Brahmaputra-Meghna belongs to Khulna state, Bangladesh.

Living Deltas Hub 2nd Annual Research Meeting

Living Deltas held its second Annual Hub Research Meeting at the HHI Hotel in Kolkata between the 1st and 5th March 2020.  We were lucky to get the meeting in before the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit (at the time of the meeting it was still classed by the WHO as an epidemic).  However, a number of our delta colleagues were sadly unable to join us from the Mekong delta, the UK and from Bangladesh due to restrictions imposed by the viral outbreak.  These friends were much missed.  The meeting opened on the Sunday morning with a meeting of the Hub with members of our external Advisory Board and we were delighted to have Nina Laurie, Advisory Board Chair, Kay Heuser, UKRI Representative and Katharine Vincent, AB member join us from the UK and South Africa respectively.  Living Deltas marked its first birthday with a beautiful cake baked by the HHI Hotel and kindly provided by our friends and hosts Sumana Banerjee and Tuhin Ghosh of Jadavpur University.  Nina Laurie did the honours and cut the cake in the absence of the PI and Deputy PI, Andy Large and Andy Henderson, who had left Newcastle on Friday evening, but who finally arrived in Kolkata at 3am on Monday morning.  While a hotel bed between each flight was restful, it didn’t help either the Advisory Board meeting or the Executive Board meeting which followed.  The fact that at that time we were all still Zoom amateurs meant poor connection to Doha and less-than-effective input from ‘the two Andys’.

“What is very clear is that the Living Deltas Hub has convened a fascinating group of people with wide ranging experience and lots of disciplinary background”   Katherine Vincent

The Research Meeting kicked off on Monday morning and continued until early evening on Thursday.  Much was discussed and we made good strides in integrating Work Packages and informing others of our quite different approaches to research and the varying spatial and temporal scales we research, and developing common understandings of challenges faced on the deltas.  Topics covered included delta health, risk and resilience, coastal tipping points, participatory research, oral histories, household surveys, modelling, the SDGs and much, much more, and Work Packages were able to visit their emerging workplans and construct roadmaps for planned activities throughout 2020.  While these have since been mothballed, pretty much immediately after the meeting, we remain hopeful that we can somehow make progress against these before the end of the calendar year.

 

While we had a birthday cake, for quite a few of our newest members of the Delta Family Monday 1st of March marked their first day in the job, and we welcome one and all to the Hub!  You may also be relieved to hear that the Delta Family graciously left the two Andys some of the Hub birthday cake to mark their late arrival.

 

Meetings of this size and complexity (we had 60 Hub members attending at Kolkata) cannot take place without a huge amount of hard work over many weeks and months.  We would like to thank in particular our friends at Jadavpur University, Sumana Banerjee, Tuhin Ghosh and Sourav Das for months of arrangements and hard work (the meeting took place in the Kolkata wedding season which added a layer of complexity to everything).  Thank you to Libby Wood and Tamara Gilbert for their constant hard work and organisational skills and to Iain Garrett for underpinning this with some super Hub comms materials.  Particular gratitude is due to Sujoy Sen Roy, Sibayan Bhunia and Sujit Mondal from H4 Holidays, and to all the staff at the HHI Hotel Kolkata and from HHI in particular Palash Banerjee and Raisa Chakraborty.  We were delighted also to have other esteemed colleagues from Jadavpur University attend our Reception Dinner - Prof Rabindra Nath Bhattacharya, Prof Manoj Kumar Mitra, Mr Dipanjan Ray Chaudhuri, Mr Atikur Rahman, Mr Samit Pahari and Dr Abhra Chanda, as well as Mr Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata and a good friend to the Hub.  Finally, we were honoured on the last day of the Annual Meeting by the presence of our friend Shri Prabhat Kumar Mishra, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Environment Department of the Government of West Bengal, accompanied by the department’s Senior Scientific Officer Dr. Dipanjana Maulik. Mr Mishra delivered a hugely powerful speech to the Hub regarding delta life and the numerous emerging challenges to this in the Sundarbans.

 

Since its inception the Hub has grown in numbers and the event was a great place for it’s new Early Career Researchers to meet other members and to benefit fro their expertise. PDRAs and RAs have joined us from many of the Co-Investigating research organisations and will be playing a vital role in the research as a diverse cohort of investigators with the talent and motivation to become future research and academic leaders in their field. Covering roles such as water quality and ecological monitoring, laboratory support in palaeoenvironmental research and sustainable development governance and policy to name but a few.

This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to meet many of our colleagues across the Hub beyond our own Work Packages (WPs), and to learn more about the aims of the Hub in its entirety and across each WP and how this might be achieved. Every WP led a session and activity centred around the aims of their WP which was not only great team bonding but really helped to understand what each WP was up to and how we might work together. I particularly enjoyed WP1 exercises on river memories (particularly the chance to do some colouring in) and thinking about how to translate research effectively for those who live and work in delta ecosystems, which is paramount to the success of the Hub! “
Heather Moorhouse

 

I am an ECR in WP3 whose focus is on water quality, bio-monitoring and fieldwork assessment of delta wetlands. During the Kolkata meeting, we planned fieldwork activity which will now have to be altered in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Our job now is adapt and work around this challenge, which I have every confidence will happen, even if it differs to our original strategy.


>> read Heather's Scoping trip blog

 

 

The Kolkata meeting was a magical experience. It was my first day on the job, and my first time in Asia. I’ve made so many friends from all corners of the world, and I can’t wait to visit our partners in the delta regions again soon. The meeting was a fantastic way to learn about the history of the Living Deltas project, and to understand the goals of each work package and how they interlink. The meeting was really important for us as a work package to grow as a team, and we did that by talking science, planning fieldwork, and having fun (who remembers John of Wales, the migrant worker?!). I drew a lot of inspiration from the diverse range of presentations and discussions. My work has tended to focus around ecological processes. I now have the opportunity and contacts to develop future research projects which more fully integrate the social with the ecological side of mangrove forest evolution.

Cai Ladd

 

>> View Cai’s mapping on WP4

 

“About the meeting, it was a very good and fruitful experience as chance to meet and discuss with the old and new members of Hub. They are very smart and erudite, and they are my motivation to study more on deltas issues :)”

 

Ly Ha Bui (ECR)

Vnu-Central Institute For Natural Resources And Environmental Studies

 

After the first annual conference of the Living Deltas HUB project, 08 members of the research team under Work Package's 1+ 4 organized a preliminary field trip to the Ganges coastal plain – Brahmaputra-Meghna belongs to Khulna state, Bangladesh.

 

 

Living Deltas Hub 2nd Annual Research Meeting

Living Deltas held its second Annual Hub Research Meeting at the HHI Hotel in Kolkata between the 1st and 5th March 2020.  We were lucky to get the meeting in before the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit (at the time of the meeting it was still classed by the WHO as an epidemic).  However, a number of our delta colleagues were sadly unable to join us from the Mekong delta, the UK and from Bangladesh due to restrictions imposed by the viral outbreak.  These friends were much missed.  The meeting opened on the Sunday morning with a meeting of the Hub with members of our external Advisory Board and we were delighted to have Nina Laurie, Advisory Board Chair, Kay Heuser, UKRI Representative and Katharine Vincent, AB member join us from the UK and South Africa respectively.  Living Deltas marked its first birthday with a beautiful cake baked by the HHI Hotel and kindly provided by our friends and hosts Sumana Banerjee and Tuhin Ghosh of Jadavpur University.  Nina Laurie did the honours and cut the cake in the absence of the PI and Deputy PI, Andy Large and Andy Henderson, who had left Newcastle on Friday evening, but who finally arrived in Kolkata at 3am on Monday morning.  While a hotel bed between each flight was restful, it didn’t help either the Advisory Board meeting or the Executive Board meeting which followed.  The fact that at that time we were all still Zoom amateurs meant poor connection to Doha and less-than-effective input from ‘the two Andys’.

“What is very clear is that the Living Deltas Hub has convened a fascinating group of people with wide ranging experience and lots of disciplinary background” Katherine Vincent

The Research Meeting kicked off on Monday morning and continued until early evening on Thursday.  Much was discussed and we made good strides in integrating Work Packages and informing others of our quite different approaches to research and the varying spatial and temporal scales we research, and developing common understandings of challenges faced on the deltas.  Topics covered included delta health, risk and resilience, coastal tipping points, participatory research, oral histories, household surveys, modelling, the SDGs and much, much more, and Work Packages were able to visit their emerging workplans and construct roadmaps for planned activities throughout 2020.  While these have since been mothballed, pretty much immediately after the meeting, we remain hopeful that we can somehow make progress against these before the end of the calendar year.

 

While we had a birthday cake, for quite a few of our newest members of the Delta Family Monday 1st of March marked their first day in the job, and we welcome one and all to the Hub!  You may also be relieved to hear that the Delta Family graciously left the two Andys some of the Hub birthday cake to mark their late arrival.

 

Meetings of this size and complexity (we had 60 Hub members attending at Kolkata) cannot take place without a huge amount of hard work over many weeks and months.  We would like to thank in particular our friends at Jadavpur University, Sumana Banerjee, Tuhin Ghosh and Sourav Das for months of arrangements and hard work (the meeting took place in the Kolkata wedding season which added a layer of complexity to everything).  Thank you to Libby Wood and Tamara Gilbert for their constant hard work and organisational skills and to Iain Garrett for underpinning this with some super Hub comms materials.  Particular gratitude is due to Sujoy Sen Roy, Sibayan Bhunia and Sujit Mondal from H4 Holidays, and to all the staff at the HHI Hotel Kolkata and from HHI in particular Palash Banerjee and Raisa Chakraborty.  We were delighted also to have other esteemed colleagues from Jadavpur University attend our Reception Dinner - Prof Rabindra Nath Bhattacharya, Prof Manoj Kumar Mitra, Mr Dipanjan Ray Chaudhuri, Mr Atikur Rahman, Mr Samit Pahari and Dr Abhra Chanda, as well as Mr Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to India, based in Kolkata and a good friend to the Hub.  Finally, we were honoured on the last day of the Annual Meeting by the presence of our friend Shri Prabhat Kumar Mishra, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Environment Department of the Government of West Bengal, accompanied by the department’s Senior Scientific Officer Dr. Dipanjana Maulik. Mr Mishra delivered a hugely powerful speech to the Hub regarding delta life and the numerous emerging challenges to this in the Sundarbans.

 

Since its inception the Hub has grown in numbers and the event was a great place for it’s new Early Career Researchers to meet other members and to benefit from their expertise. PDRAs and RAs have joined us from many of the Co-Investigating research organisations and will be playing a vital role in the research as a diverse cohort of investigators with the talent and motivation to become future research and academic leaders in their field. Covering roles such as water quality and ecological monitoring, laboratory support in palaeoenvironmental research and sustainable development governance and policy to name but a few.

This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to meet many of our colleagues across the Hub beyond our own Work Packages (WPs), and to learn more about the aims of the Hub in its entirety and across each WP and how this might be achieved. Every WP led a session and activity centred around the aims of their WP which was not only great team bonding but really helped to understand what each WP was up to and how we might work together. I particularly enjoyed WP1 exercises on river memories (particularly the chance to do some colouring in) and thinking about how to translate research effectively for those who live and work in delta ecosystems, which is paramount to the success of the Hub! “
Heather Moorhouse

 

I am an ECR in WP3 whose focus is on water quality, bio-monitoring and fieldwork assessment of delta wetlands. During the Kolkata meeting, we planned fieldwork activity which will now have to be altered in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Our job now is adapt and work around this challenge, which I have every confidence will happen, even if it differs to our original strategy.


>> read Heather's Scoping trip blog

 

 

The Kolkata meeting was a magical experience. It was my first day on the job, and my first time in Asia. I’ve made so many friends from all corners of the world, and I can’t wait to visit our partners in the delta regions again soon. The meeting was a fantastic way to learn about the history of the Living Deltas project, and to understand the goals of each work package and how they interlink. The meeting was really important for us as a work package to grow as a team, and we did that by talking science, planning fieldwork, and having fun (who remembers John of Wales, the migrant worker?!). I drew a lot of inspiration from the diverse range of presentations and discussions. My work has tended to focus around ecological processes. I now have the opportunity and contacts to develop future research projects which more fully integrate the social with the ecological side of mangrove forest evolution.

Cai Ladd

 

>> View Cai’s mapping on WP4

 

“About the meeting, it was a very good and fruitful experience as chance to meet and discuss with the old and new members of Hub. They are very smart and erudite, and they are my motivation to study more on deltas issues :)”

 

Ly Ha Bui (ECR)

Vnu-Central Institute For Natural Resources And Environmental Studies

 

After the first annual conference of the Living Deltas HUB project, 08 members of the research team under Work Package's 1+ 4 organized a preliminary field trip to the Ganges coastal plain – Brahmaputra-Meghna belongs to Khulna state, Bangladesh.