14 Sep 2017
Olivia Pabois was awarded an SCI/RSC Rideal Travel Bursary to attend UK Colloids 2017. Here she tells us how attending the conference enhanced her presentation skills.
‘I am a second year PhD student working under the co-supervision of Drs Cécile Dreiss (KCL, London, UK), Isabelle Grillo and Yuri Gerelli (ILL, Grenoble, France), at both KCL and the ILL. I attended the UK Colloids 2017 conference, in Manchester, from the 10th to the 12th of July 2017, which covered all areas of interfacial and colloidal science and I had the opportunity to showcase my work for the first time. I was offered a place to give a 20-minute talk about my project through a competitive selection process (50% of submitted abstracts were rejected).
‘I presented my work in the ‘Biocolloids and biointerfaces’ session. Regulating fat digestion, and addressing the severe health problems associated with obesity, has become a pressing issue. A thorough understanding of the interfacial mechanisms involved in lipid digestion is thus required to develop therapeutic strategies. Therefore, my PhD project aims at firstly understanding the interfacial and bulk behaviours of bile salts, and secondly slowing down lipid digestion using food emulsifiers that compete with bile salts for adsorption at interfaces. As part of this project, I have been combining a wide range of expertise and techniques, including neutron reflectivity, small-angle neutron scattering, interfacial techniques, like the Langmuir trough, Brewster angle microscopy and ellipsometry, as well as in vitro lipolysis studies.
‘This experience was rewarding both scientifically and culturally. From a scientific point of view, I learnt how to get the main messages across in a very clear and concise way (20 minutes) to a very large audience, and I gained valuable feedback and questions that benefited my work. From the different talks, which covered a very broad range of themes (e.g., biocolloids and biointerfaces, colloidal physics, wetting, formulation science and engineering), I particularly discovered new techniques and gained inspiration. Taking part in this international conference was also a great opportunity to interact with the colloid community, to network with attendees, both student peers and more senior academics, and to exchange my experience, which is invaluable in my future career research prospects.
‘I am thankful for the support of my collaborators and supervisors and for their contribution to the project. I am also grateful to the RSC/SCI for the Rideal Travel Bursary awarded, which allowed me to attend this international conference.’