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FoodTraNet Summer School:
Reunion in Almeria!

By Lidia Molina, UM-4I.

Welcome to Almeria

After all these months Foodtranet team reunited again in the Spanish city of Almería. ESRs, supervisors, and collaborators needed to update the status of their FoodTraNet projects.

The agenda for the summer school was a busy one (see here ). The first day of the summer school consisted of presentations informing about the progress of the project, social media impact, secondments and collaborations. All ESRs got the chance to present the most recent results and publications achieved during the second year of PhD. The day continued with a walking tour through Almería discovering the history of the city and the most unexpected facts and tips. Were you aware that sangría is not a typical Spanish drink? It is tinto de verano instead! And you should not forget to choose a tapa when ordering a drink, it is included! After the tour, we walked to a restaurant to end the day with a traditional spanish dinner.

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Walking tour in Almería

From pestides to Cabo de Gata Natural Park

The second day of the summer school started with two lectures provided by Prof. Fernández-Alba (EURL-F & V) and Dr. Paula Medina (EFSA). The speakers discussed the analytical strategies used to detect pesticide residues and the current legislation related to these contaminants (MRLs). Luckily, we were able to visit the laboratories focused on pesticide pollutants at the University of Almería. After seeing all kinds of instruments and technologies for pesticides analysis we headed to Cabo de Gata Natural Park. There, we soaked up the nice weather, beautiful landscapes, fauna, and flora.

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ESRs and supervisors visiting the lighthouse in Cabo de Gata

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      Exploring natural ecosystems in Cabo de Gata Natural Park

Experimental greenhouses

Although Almeríaa is known for being the region with the driest conditions in Europe, it is very successful in greenhouse agriculture. Actually, the extreme weather conditions make these greenhouses so special. During the third day, we visited the greenhouse system where the different crops could benefit from abundant sunlight, groundwater, and wind (smart ventilation system). The crops are kept under specific conditions to answer research questions from different projects proposed by the University of Almeria.

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Visit to experimental greenhouses

In the afternoon, ESRs attended to several lectures and a workshop in data visualization at the Experimental Station of Arid Zones, CSIC. During the workshop, we could try open access tools to interpret and visualize the data from our Foodtranet projects.

ESRs competing in science and sports

During the forth day, all ESRs attended to a lecture about public engagement and outrich by Dr. Vicky Edkins (WRG Europe). It is well known that some concepts are clearer when you apply them to real scenarios. For this reason, Dr. Vicky Edkins organised a collaborative activity where the ESRs were divided into groups to prepare a small speech for an specific audience. All ESRs were really enthusiastic and active, but in the end only two groups were entitled as winners. However, that was not the only competition of the day.

After lunch, ESRs went for a competition in the sea, but this time in kayaks! ESRs were divided into couples and were all working out to see which team was rowing faster and getting the best pictures. This resulted in a very fruitful and fun activity. The day ended with a social dinner at Elterrao restaurant, with incredible views and delicious spanish food. During the dinner, the winners were awarded with a diploma and small gifts. Congratulations!

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ESRs with best presentations

Closure

Last day of the summer school consisted of two final lectures by Dr. Carmen Ferrer (EURLF &V) and Francisco Díaz (EURLF &V) and a closure ceremony. All in all, a very enriching and fun summer school!

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Foodtranet team at Experimental Station of Arid Zones (CSIC)

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