….that is probably the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Thailand. But this year it was different, it was the place where the 18th International Bat Research Conference took place – and I love this bat conference! Every three years, international bat researchers come together in exciting places, share new research findings or establish new collaborations. What I appreciate most at this conference is that it always feels like a large family gathering – the gathering of the ‘bat researcher family’. I assume this is the case for any other taxon, but I just always thought that no matter where you are in the world, bat researchers are a great and supportive bunch of people!
This year, attending the IBRC was a bit different for me: I gave my very first keynote presentation! Thanks to Paul Bates and Pipat Soisook, I had the opportunity to talk about the topic I am mostly passionate about: Human Dimensions of Wildlife; and in this specific context of course about bats! While this was of course a quite nerve wracking first experience and Paul told me one day before with his big smile ‘I know how it feels. You always have the feeling the organisers have made a mistake. But it is no mistake‘, it was also a hugely rewarding experience and I enjoyed the conversations that came after the talk. Kop khun khrap for this opportunity!