Ambassadors at ICP13 in Sydney

This year, three early career scientists were able to travel to Sydney for the 13th International Conference on Paleoceanography as Early Career Science Ambassadors thanks to support from EAG.

In this short series of posts, Zeynep Erdem (Royal NIOZ), Rehemat Bhatia (University of Bristol) and Eloise Littley (University of St. Andrews) talk about the conference and their experiences in Sydney.

What is ICP?

The International Conference on Paleoceanography (ICP) is a focused conference held once every three years, bringing together scientists who work in the field of paleoceanography and paleoclimatology from all over the world.  The aim of this meeting is to gather experts working on all timescales and with different approaches for interesting discussion on a wide range of topics. The first meeting was held in Zurich in 1983 and the latest one: “ICP13 Under the Southern Cross” was held in Sydney, Australia from the 2nd to 6th September 2019.  This one especially has importance since it is the first to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.


ICP has a structured tradition. There are no parallel sessions and all talks are by invited speakers in one auditorium. Other conference delegates present their research as poster presentations in a half day session. There are also various pre and post conference field trips, workshops and activities, this year including hiking trips, cave visits and surfing classes! ICP also has a number of social events during the week. At ICP13, the ice-breaker included a traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony from local aboriginal descendants which gave us an amazing introduction to this unique country. The conference dinner was held on Wednesday with a beautiful sunset cruise around Sydney Harbour and last but not least the famous Paleomusicology concert on Thursday where researchers show their talents on the stage. Thus, this conference is one of the best set-ups in the paleo-research community for networking and getting to know your fellow researchers. It particularly aims to encourage students and early career researchers to become involved in this “big family”.


The 13th ICP wasn’t the most attended meeting in ICP history but nevertheless about 400 participants from Hawaii to India presented their research and improved their connections. The meeting took place at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney with 30 impressive invited talks focusing principally on paleoceanography with approaches from modeling to deep-time paleo-reconstructions. The topics ranged from Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics to ancient DNA investigations in deep-time sediment samples. Therefore, ICP13 kept the tradition of being one of the most interesting and eye-opening conferences for paleo-investigators. ICP13 was also the platform at which we were able to commemorate the legendary Professor Wallace Broecker who left us earlier this year.


Who are we? What do we do? And what did we think about ICP13? Read the next posts in the series to hear more from Zeynep, Eloise and Rehemat’s experiences.