2018 Summer Travel Grant Series: Presenting at the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science (International Political Science Association) in Brisbane, Australia

Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Soksamphoas Im
Graduate Degree Fellow
PhD in Political Science

The EWCA generous award of five hundred dollars USD has enabled me to travel to Brisbane, Australia to attend and present my research paper on “NGOs and Civil Society’s Public Diplomacy in Contemporary Southeast Asia” at the International Political Science Association (IPSA) 25th World Congress. The knowledgeable audiences who attended my panel session provided me constructive feedback on my paper project and encouraged me to revise and get the paper published in the future, given my very pioneer topic of research within the study of international relations in Southeast Asia. I learned a lot and was very inspired by these significant scholars. The conference was a success as I had the opportunity to meet and network with friends and scholars of the same discipline from across the globe. I attended the whole five days of the conference, July 21st-25th, 2018. Besides presenting my paper, I also had a window to attend other scholars’ presentations as well. Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Brisbane attending IPSA 25th World Congress. I will continue to strive for more learning opportunities like this, which is a wonderful way that I believe helps enrich both my knowledge and skill.

2018 Summer Travel Grant Series: Presenting at the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania 5th Congress in Wellington, New Zealand


Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Shreya Yadav
Graduate Degree Fellow
PhD in Marine Biology

This summer, I was lucky to be able to attend the Society for Conservation Biology’s 5th Oceania Congress, held in Wellington, New Zealand between 3-5th July. The conference was held at the spectacular national museum Te Papa, right on the waterfront. Apart from being able to wander the museum between presentations, on the second day we were all treated to the sight of a southern right whale frolicking inside the Wellington harbor — very distracting for a room full of conservationists!

On the final day of the conference, I presented my work on the ecological history of the tuna fishery in the Maldives, Indian Ocean. This is something I have been working on as a side project to my doctoral research this past year, and I was excited to be able to present it to this audience of ecologists, social scientists, and managers. The tuna fishery of the Maldives is unique in that its 1000-year existence has ensured that reef fishing has stayed light in these waters – in contrast to many other islands around the world where reef fish are in decline because of climate change-related and anthropogenic stress. The Maldives presents an interesting counter case study where it is tuna that has high cultural value, and my work investigated some of the reasons why this fishery might have developed in these islands over time. The talk went well, and many people were curious to know more, which made me happy. Even though the conference had a Pacific focus, I think many of the problems or issues in conservation are common across borders. I am currently working on writing this up as a research article for publication.

I am very grateful for the EWCA Summer Travel Grant for supporting my trip to New Zealand; it was a fantastic experience and I am really happy I was able to go!