MicroSeq2023, the fourth iteration of the MicroSeq online conference, ran 6-7 September, 2023. The conference is unique in the national conference calendar as it is organised and run by early career researchers (ECRs) for ECRs. The core aims of the conference remain: i) to bring together microbiological researchers across diverse disciplines using the common ground of sequencing technologies (which permeates microbiological research everywhere) and ii) to provide engagement and training opportunities for ECRs. It brought together 142 participants representing 42 institutions from seven states and territories in Australia, as well as New Zealand.
The ECRs and higher degrees by research (HDRs) provided us with a fantastic program of 34 talks which intersected a diverse range of microbiology disciplines including Clinical, Environmental, Public Health, Veterinary, Agricultural and the Food and Beverage industry. Participant engagement was fantastic, with ideas and analysis techniques being shared between fields of research which don’t traditionally overlap. In addition, many of our attendees were joining as first-time presenters or chairs.
Our plenaries were a highlight of the program. Dr Steven Robbins (University of Queensland), Dr Monica Kehoe (WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development), Dr Francesca Short (Monash University) and Dr Subir Sarker (James Cook University) provided engaging talks that not only provided insights across a range of research areas, but insights into Career Pathways, #ECRLife and Industry engagement.
Congratulations to our prize winners! Leah Roberts was awarded the Australian Society for Microbiology Award for Best Talk and Jonathan Mifsud won the Australian Society for Microbiology Award for Best Lightning Talk. The Microbial Genomics People’s Choice Award Medium Talk was awarded to Ben Vezina and Microbial Genomics People’s Choice Award Best Lightning Talk was awarded to George Bouras. The Australasian Society for Virology Best Virology Talk was awarded to Maria Jenckel, and the CSIRO Best Systems Talk was awarded to Md. Mozammel Hoque. Congrats to all the attendees who won prizes for best question (Guillaume Meric, Ben Vezina, Robyn Hall, Ellen de Vries, Camila Gazolla, Francesca Short, George Bouras, Myo Naung), selected by the session chairs. And finally congratulations to the winners of the GatherTown quest: Daniel McKnight.
We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, without which we couldnt give away such a diverse range of prizes. We particularly want to thank the Australian Society for Microbiology, who also supported registration support for members, as well as logistic support for the event.
MicroSeq2023 Organising Committee