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European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2016

17 - 22 April 2016, Vienna, Austria

© Daniel Sperl

The EGU General Assembly is the largest, most prominent European geosciences event. It brings together geoscientist from all over the world and covers all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. At this year’s General Assembly 13,650 scientists from 109 countries participated, of whom 25 % were students and 53 % early career scientist (under 35 years).  Therefore the meeting provided a perfect forum especially for early career scientist to present and discuss their work, and to network.

Because of the high numbers of contributions with around 5,000 orals, 10,000 posters and 950 PICO presentations , it was betweenwhiles hard to decide where to go and to keep track of the program However, we attended a lot of interesting talks and poster sessions during this week at Vienna International Conference Center (VIC). Especially the poster sessions and events such as the “3rd International Young Geomorphologists Social Event” gave a really good opportunity to get in touch with other scientists working on the same topic or in related fields. In this way we gained great insight into the research interests of and new methods used by other colleagues, providing us with new ideas for further publications and a growing professional network.

Benedikt’s poster presentation took place in the session “Tropical Climate Variability and Teleconnections: past, present and future (CL4.06)” which was organized by Teresa Losada. To gain knowledge about past, present and future climate variability and teleconnections, the main focus based on historical and instrumental records, on paleo-climate reconstruction data and especially on global circulation model (GCM) simulation results with different timescales. Both GCM simulations of El-Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variations and variable parameter modification and paleo-climate reconstructions of past ENSO variations were presented. Through the combination of these different methodologies in the session fruitful discussions on ENSO variability evolved. Future cooperation with other young scientists, working in the same study area (Atacama Desert) are in prospect.

Daniel’s oral presentation was part of the session “Human-Landscape interactions in the Anthropocene” (GM6.1/BG7.5/HS11.13/SSS2.22). Within this session the remarkable signatures of mankind were presented in several talks and discussed afterwards. I contributed with a talk on the influence of forest conversion for agricultural use on sediment mobilization in the Chaco ecoregion in north-eastern Argentina. Within and after the session I discussed my work in depth with well-known soil scientists and geomorphologists mainly from Germany and Belgium. A result of these discussions was the idea to develop a model to calculate soil erosion rates. This idea will be put to effect during a stay in Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium, funded by an IPaK scholarship of the DAAD in summer 2016.


Daniel Sperl

PhD student

PhD project: “Fallout radionuclides as environmental tracers for soil erosion studies”

Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Working group Earth surface processes and cosmogenic nuclides
“Quantifying Aeolian soil loss after forest conversion in the Chaco ecoregion” - Oral

Benedikt Ritter

PhD student

PhD project: “Landscape evolution and earth surface processes in arid to hyperarid climates with special focus on the Atacama Desert“

Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Working group Earth surface processes and cosmogenic nuclides
“Shoreline dating of the former Quillagua-Llamara Lake, N-Chile – Implications of global teleconnections to the hydrology of the Atacama Desert” - Poster