Attending EOU2019 was a great opportunity to promote my work and networking with the most relevant European ornithologists.

EOU2019 was more important than usual for me. After the end of my thesis and a few months working out of academia, it was essential for me to get back to a conference, and the EOU is one of my favourites. As an ECR, for the development of my scientific career, I need to share experiences and results, catch up with colleagues and look for potential postdoc applications. Networking is essential at this stage of my career!

Unfortunately, the first steps of a scientific career sometimes match with a precarious economic situation. You do get student benefits anymore because you are no longer a student. If you are also looking for a new position you cannot get bursaries or funding from an institution and probably, as in my case, you have no salary either. On the other hand, attending conferences may be the perfect way to find that new position or collaboration that may just boost your career. So, alternative funding sources such as the BOU’s member travel awards play a relevant role for the ERCs as me.

EOU2019 was great for all my purposes. The scientific programme was varied: from population to molecular ecology, all the cutting-edge disciplines were quite well represented. At Cluj I had the opportunity to present in the oral session of ‘Physiology’ and share the main results of my thesis about the consequences of urban life on the oxidative stress of urban House Sparrows. At this conference urban ornithology was quite well represented: a symposium about threats and opportunities that the city brings to avifauna, a couple of oral sessions about the interaction between birds and humans, and the characteristics of city life for birds, as well as a round table for getting together people interested in urban ecology. Inspiring talks and a lot of people with common interests to chat!

The city of Cluj was a perfect place for a conference. The sessions took place in two historical buildings of the Babes-Bolyai University in the city centre, wihtin walking distance of the many hotels and hostels. Nearby there were plenty of cafes, restaurants and pubs. So this cosy city made it easy for delegates to socialise together outside of the conference itself.

This conference has opened new horizons for me, new perspectives to reflect and enrich my proposals and to meet with long-standing and new colleagues. The conference has given me, in a nutshell, precious support for my infant career. So, I am very grateful to BOU for supporting members such as myself to attend EOU2019.