Tin Hang (Henry) Hung

BES Events Committee and PhD student at Oxford University

“I read about an opening for committee positions when I was in my second PhD year at Oxford University. Perhaps like many others, I was completely disoriented when I began my PhD in a country I’d never set foot in before. That’s when I decided to step out of my comfort zone and told myself: If I couldn’t find my path on my own, why don’t I try something completely new?

“I deeply believe that there are many routes for members to impact the Society, and I think of myself as a passionate science communicator. I resonate with the BES’s very own mission, ‘Advancing ecology and making it count’, and Esther Ngumbi, who spoke at an Annual Meeting about how ‘Science isn’t done until it is communicated to the public’.

“In the Events Committee, we shape the structure and themes for our Annual Meetings and oversee most of the BES events. We get to interact with the 19 Special Interest Groups and see how these specialists contribute to the broad ecological community and even the public. We meet lots of delegates to learn their personal stories, understand their backgrounds and challenges, and feed them back them to the BES. It’s especially in these times of turbulence, that we need to make sure all voices are heard. I can’t be more grateful to be part of the Events Committee, where we always strive to facilitate a transparent and inclusive BES for all – making everyone count, making ecology count.

“I also represented the Events Committee at the Early Careers Working Group and got to co-chair the Early Careers Day at the 2020 Annual Meeting. I met many new members, most of them junior PhD students. They shared a lot about the struggles of balancing their study and every other aspect of their life under the pandemic. Many of them told us how they felt more empowered because BES provided a platform for them to share similar stories with each other.

“I’m now nearing the end of my PhD, and the biggest tip I could’ve given to my younger, confused self is: take time to broaden your horizon, meet great people and gain new insights. I think this may not only apply to early-career ecologists but to all of us, especially when it’s all too easy to forget there’s a much bigger world out there. I’d definitely recommend considering joining a BES committee.”

Next: Marianne Freeman