EAG sponsored students Aline Mega, Maxime Daviray, Eric Vandenberg and Anisha Verencar

Experiencing EGU! part 2

In part 2 of this report, the four EAG sponsored students share further advice on presenting at EGU, maximising the networking opportunities and enjoying the city of Vienna. Part One of this blog report can be found here.

Preparation is paramount!

Aline: This was my third time attending EGU, and I’ve learned that preparation is key to fully benefiting from the event and enjoying the stunning city of Vienna. Personalised scheduling before the event is essential, considering all the talks, posters, and workshops simultaneously taking place. It’s important to prioritise sessions that align with your interests while also exploring related subjects for unexpected insights. Additionally, dedicating time to networking events, short courses, and education/outreach sessions can lead to professional opportunities and expanded networks.

Anisha: I stayed in Meidling during the conference, about half an hour’s journey from the airport. Having prepared extensively by scouring blogs and YouTube channels on Vienna’s transportation, I felt well-equipped for the adventure. This preparation proved invaluable, as all signage and announcements were solely in German. The ÖBB app became my trusted guide, helping me navigate the stations where I needed to board and disembark. Additionally, Google Translate was a savior in deciphering the labyrinthine metro subways, which appeared like a bewildering maze on my first day.

Presenting at EGU

Aline presenting her poster

Aline: I gave a poster presentation on my pH reconstructions from both the last interglacial period and the present. EGU is huge with scientists from various backgrounds, which is why it’s so amazing; you can gain insights that you wouldn’t have within your own bubble. I had the chance to discuss my data with scientists specialising in ocean pH variations, both in the present day and in other time periods, which provided me with new perspectives to enrich my research. With this input, I aim to develop a scientific paper that will form part of my PhD thesis next year.

Maxime: I presented the results of the seasonal monitoring we carried out for a year and a half in the Auray river estuary (Golfe du Morbihan, France) in a PICO format. I wasn’t familiar with this type of presentation at all: it involves producing a two-minute oral-teaser of your research to excite the audience as much as possible, before continuing into an hour-long session with an interactive screen to go deeper into your research with those who are interested. It was quite curious and interesting to prepare. It requires a great deal of synthesis. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped and very few people turned up for the closing session. I was aiming for an audience of ecologists to broaden my horizons as a geochemist, and I think that was a bit too daring ahah! Be that as it may, I’ve learnt a few lessons from the experience.

Maxime's PICO presentation
Eric's oral presentation

Eric: I gave a talk during the early Earth session on subduction-like primitive lavas from the Mesoarchean Whundo Group of the Pilbara Craton, where we collected samples back in 2022. I always find it insightful to test-run an idea to a broader audience during the final stages of writing a paper, as I did at EGU. The 8-minute presentation time is shorter than most conferences, but it does provide a good exercise in learning what information is essential for the audience to comprehend the story.

Anisha: In EGU 2024, there were ~35 sessions related to petrology, mineralogy and allied subjects under the GMPV programme. I presented my research as a poster titled ’Multiple melt extraction in Neo-Tethyan mantle and the Supercontinent heritage: insights from geochemical signatures of mantle peridotites from Naga Hills ophiolite, Indo-Myanmar ranges’. This session gave special emphasis to the mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical inferences obtained from mantle xenoliths and ophiolites to constrain their genesis and evolution. I chose to present in a slightly smaller poster format 5×3=15 sqft to be a decent size that is handy to carry in a sheet container and also look presentable on the board. I found the poster sessions to be engaging, allowing for one-on-one interactions with experts in various fields. These exchanges were invaluable, providing not only insights into current research trends but also sparking ideas for my own work.

Anisha at her poster presentation

Training and networking, connecting and reconnecting!

Aline: Beyond advancing scientific knowledge, EGU offers opportunities for career development. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in workshops dedicated to enhancing technical and soft skills, with my favorites this year being “Elevate your Pitch: Developing Engaging Short Scientific Presentations” and “Transferable skills: what are they and do I have them?”. These workshops helped me refine my ability to communicate my research effectively and recognise the skills acquired during my PhD that are valuable beyond academia.


Anisha: Networking opportunities at EGU were abundant. These interactions often extended beyond the conference halls, with discussions continuing over dinner. Numerous town hall meetings and division meetings were also hosted at EGU. For example, a town hall meeting, hosted by representatives from the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD), the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDPC), showcased insights into participation opportunities in IODP and ICDP missions, along with upcoming training initiatives for students involved in these programs. Additionally, the division meeting of GMPV on April 18, 2024, served as an effective networking platform, featuring the presentation of annual reports and divisional awards. Special networking opportunities were extended to early-career scientists, alongside announcements of upcoming workshops like the 5th Earth Mantle Workshop and details regarding future conferences such as the Ocean Science Meeting 2026, Connect 2024, and student programs like Excite, which were made across various sessions and exhibition booths throughout the conference.


Maxime: I was able to meet up again with the entire foraminiferist community that I had met once in Perugia (Italy) last summer for the FORAMS 2023 congress. I talked a lot with these scientists, which was very enriching. On Wednesday evening, we all met up at the geology department of the University of Vienna for a friendly barbecue. It’s an excellent way for PhD students to exchange ideas, get to know senior researchers and strengthen the international links that are essential to our work.


Eric: Although the turnout from my field was lower than expected, it was a pleasure to reconnect with a few familiar faces I had met at Goldschmidt. I also met some new people and hope to share some of my samples with them soon. I was also pleasantly surprised by the large contingent from my alma mater, the University of British Columbia. After living away from my home country for so long, it was genuinely refreshing to catch up with classmates from my undergraduate cohort who are now pursuing a PhD, as well as my former professors.

Exploring Vienna

Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral image credit: Aline Mega

Eric: Wien is a fantastic city to explore. Despite being focused on work during my downtime, I managed to experience some of the city’s beauty. The day before the conference started, my colleagues and I went to the amusement park in the Prater Wien, a sprawling park nestled between the Donaukanal and the Danube, and it was an absolute blast. I also squeezed in a few runs through the Innere Stadt. And let’s not forget the food and drink! Wien’s gastronomy scene is criminally underrated (at least overseas) – excellent schnitzel, amazing rindergulasch, outstanding apfelstrudel, and, of course, fantastic beer. Lastly, there are not many great, reasonably-priced places for lunch in the immediate vicinity of the conference center; I’d recommend taking the U-Bahn a couple of stops to Vorgartenstraße to grab ramen at Mochi Ramen Bar. Their tonkotsu broth is excellent!

Any final tips?

Maxime: Make sure you target a session in line with your research topic. The EGU is huge and it’s not easy to be visible; for a young researcher, it’s better to stay focused on your scientific community than to try to be original. Enjoy!


Anisha: I suggest future attendees restrict themselves to a few sessions which are extremely important. It is a wonderful experience to give an oral presentation, however posters are far more engaging. Unlike oral presentations, which many people might miss, posters allow researchers to visit your work at any time during the session, which increases the scope of your work being presented to a larger audience. Hence I suggest choosing poster presentations. For researchers from India, I specifically advise buying an e-SIM or T-SIM instead of an international roaming pack if traveling alone. The Wi-Fi at metro stations was weak and often nonexistent, so having sufficient data is crucial for navigating the city and using translation apps. Additionally, downloading handy apps like ÖBB and reading travel blogs beforehand will be immensely helpful. Also, take advantage of the cloakroom facility to leave your bag and poster container, allowing you to interact freely with other attendees. Lastly, don’t forget to carry an umbrella.