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University of Leeds hosts ‘Ice Age’ association

The fruitful relationship between academia and meetings professionals was highlighted once again when the University of Leeds hosted a group of experts on the ‘Great Ice Age’.

The 2020 Quaternary Research Association (QRA) Annual Discussion Meeting was held at the Michael Sadler and Parkinson buildings, University of Leeds, January 8-10th.

The event, which explored pressing issues around climate change, was organised by Associate Professor of Quaternary Environmental Change at the University of Leeds, Dr Natasha Barlow.

Barlow worked closely with the university’s convention bureau MEETinLEEDS, who helped put together the three-day conference.

The London-based association, which was established 50 years ago and has around 1,000 international members, was visiting the city, in West Yorkshire, England, for the first time.

More than 125 delegates attended the meeting, which looked at rising sea levels, feedback loops, and other issues that aid a better understanding of the threat of climate change.

Scientist believe understanding the last 2.6 million years of the Earth’s history (Quaternary or the Great Ice Age) is critical for mapping the planet’s sustainable future.

Barlow said: “With the current climate crisis, it couldn’t be more important to use the facilities and academic expertise at the University of Leeds to collaborate and provide a platform for fellow academics to share innovative research and relevant case studies to help us understand our evolving climate, and implications for the future.”

She continued: “I’d like to thank every single one of our keynote speakers and delegates, who attended the 2020 Annual Discussion Meeting and shared their invaluable knowledge. I’d also like to thank MEETinLEEDS for their outstanding support; from helping with booking rooms and sorting all of the registration, to organising the day-to-day logistics down to a tee.”

Harriet Boatwright, sales and marketing manager at MEETinLEEDS, added: “Not only is it a fantastic achievement for both the University of Leeds and the city as a whole to host the Quaternary Research Association Annual Meeting in Leeds for the very first time, but it has also been a brilliant opportunity for the fifty-plus members of Leeds Quaternary to showcase their research in the city they call home. We relish the opportunity to work closely with multiple departments and academics across the university, and we hope that the conference has left a lasting legacy on its delegates, both nationally and globally.”

Barlow is one of the fellows in the University of Leeds’ 250 Great Minds programme, launched in 2014, to support academics that have the potential to make a major contribution to the University of Leeds’ academic performance and standing.

A recent study by CUBO – a UK-based association of university business officers – found universities that host conferences can expect to boost their annual sales by around £2m.