In the Evolution meeting last week at Portland, I was fortunate enough to be selected as a finalist to compete for the W.D. Hamilton Award.
This is the first talk I ever give in a large conference! My advisors, friends, and roommates helped me a lot in preparing for this talk. They gave me many valuable suggestions on how to clearly explain every slide and coherently tell a story. It is amazing how things seem obvious to me could have so many different interpretations and could easily cause confusion.
The talk was in a very big hall – it was a little intimidating. But the audience was very friendly and I knew that many of my friends are sitting there, which made me feel comfortable. I felt the whole talk went smoothly as planned, and I enjoyed the feeling of telling my story to a group of curious audience. At the poster session that night, somebody came to me and said, “I am a fishery biologist, has nothing to do with pollination, but I understood every thing in your talk.” This remark truly made me feel great!
Although I did not get the final award, I had an honorable mention from the SSE (Society for the Study of Evolution) Hamilton award committee. And what’s more, a journalist from Science News was interested in my research and she wrote a small piece of news about it, https://www.sciencenews.org/article/hawk-moth-flowers-pollination-conflict