Monday, December 18, 2017

Scientific Adventures in Kangaroo Land

Marta with IONS KOALA mascots: Koala from Australia and Kiwi from New Zealand
UL SPIE member Marta Lange recently participated in the international young scientists’ conference “IONS KOALA2017” in Brisbane, Australia.

IONS KOALA is the Conference on Optics, Atoms and Laser Applications (KOALA) held annually in Australia and New Zealand as well as an International OSA Network of Students (IONS) conference sponsored by The Optical Society (OSA).
Participants and organisers of IONS KOALA 2017

The conference took place at the University of Queensland (UQ), jointly organised by the students of UQ and Griffith University – all of them students and members of local OSA and SPIE Student Chapters. In total the conference was attended by 83 awesome participants from 12 different countries, 25 different institutions, and 24% of the participants were female.

Denise Zezell, Centre for Lasers and Applications, Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN-CNEN/SP), Brazil talking about the role of photonics for diagnostic and therapeutic methods in dentistry and medicine

Marta admits that conference like this is a great possibility for science students from all over the world to meet and discuss latest advances in their field, as well as make connections for future collaborations and research projects.

“I especially enjoyed prof. Denise Zezell’s talk in biophotonics applications in medicine, especially in dentistry. In addition, a really nice was the story on Optics Suitcase – the outreach project initiated by Prof. Steve Jacobs - that provides a nice kit for schoolchildren to get to know science and the use and importance of optics through real demonstrations. Also, the talks of other students about optics and biophotonics applications in medicine and biology really inspired me!”

Marta giving a talk about A quantitative and visual solution to evaluate when the regional anesthesia has become effective during human hand surgery using rPPG system in the OR
During the student talks Marta presented her research results about remote photo plethysmography methods of evaluating the effectiveness of regional anesthesia, this work is a part from her PhD studies in Biomedical Physics at Biophotoics Lab, University of Latvia.

“I always try to make my presentations as clear and as fun as possible. In such advanced field as biomedical physics it is extremely important to show the physical principle and its practical application. I use visuals and real life examples rather than long sophisticated formulas in my slides.  Behind every research project there must be a purpose and a need for society. I always try to make a story out of it.”

Conference Chair Sarah Lau awarding Marta Lange with Peoples’ Choice Talk Prize
The conference schedule was full of useful and interesting talks, poster sessions, meetings with postdocs and their experience stories, as well as wonderful workshops. The organisers had planned also a beautiful Social Day – a trip to Stradbroke Island with a ferry and a hike in the nature.
Lucile Sanchez (France), Marta Lange (Latvia) and Renebeth Bartolini Payod (Philippines) on the social day attending Stradbroke Island.

At the final conference dinner the participants enjoyed a lovely evening in the centre of Brisbane, exchanging the best moments of the conference, fun stories and making future plans for the next IONS KOALA 2018.

Participants and organisers of IONS KOALA 2017

“Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to University of Latvia, Student Union of Latvia (LSA) and OSA for the support and the possibility to attend conference IONS KOALA 2017.”

[C] Photocredit goes to  Erick Romero, UQ, IONS KOALA 2017 Team.


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