We like going to smaller conferences that focus on a specific area of research for a few reasons. Everybody seems to know each other and they are all pretty enthusiastic about their work and looking forward to tell everyone else about it. It makes for a good atmosphere and it is much more likely that they will come and have a look at our stuff and let us know what they think.
The other reason is these conferences can be in some pretty cool places. The sorts of towns you might never come across.
The ECROFI (European Current Research On Fluid Inclusions) conference this year was held in Leoben, Austria, hosted by the University of Leoben. A flight to Vienna followed by a wonderful train ride through some spectacular low mountain scenery lands you in a beautiful small town with nearly a 1000 years of history.
Leoben is an iron mining town and known as the gateway to the Styrian iron road. The main square, 'Hauptplatz', is surrounded by lovely baroque facade buildings with a beautiful 16th century church and an intriguing restaurant, Arkadenhof Schwarzer Adler, (there since 1550 I think?) serving all manner of Austrian delectables - mainly schnitzel of various varieties and shapes. There are also many delightful cafes, although why nearly all of them displayed inch thick menus of bizarre icecream sundae concotions featuring such oddities as spaghetti and pistacio sundae will remain a mystery.
Fluid inclusion geologists are a great bunch, my Dad seems to think their upbeat relaxed outlook is because they always manage to find remote exotic locations to perform their research. It's hard to argue with that, the sterile lighting of most labs is not conducive to a cheery demeanor. However, I wonder if it could it be the geologists relationship with good beer which was served everday of the conference at 4:30pm courtesy of the conferences main sponsor The local Gosser Brewery....delicious and refreshing it was to.
Nearly all of the conferees already have one or two of our stages, either the THMSG600 (arguably the most successful geology stage of all time), MDSG600 (motorized geology stage) or high temperature TS1500, but we had a couple of interesting new products to showcase.
The CAP500 stage has been developed in collaboration with Prof Jean Dubessy at the University of Nancy and Prof I-Ming Chou at USGS in order to study synthetic fluid inclusions in capillaries relative to temperature and pressure.
The TS1400XY developed with Prof Bob Bodnar's group at Virginia Tech to investigate high temperature melt inclusions and quench cooling. (You can read an earlier blog post on this here.)
The next meeting of the fluid inclusion geologists is PACROFI and is hosted by The University of Windsor in Canada.
Many thanks to Ronald Bakker and the organizing comittee at ECROFI for all your help and giving us the opportunity to show off our equipment.
Posted by Vince Kamp