After several virtual exchanges, we held a very stimulating first RESONATE project meeting in Kostelec near Prague on 4th to 6th October. We planned this as a hybrid meeting, and met with around 30 people in Czech Republic, and around 40 people joining remotely. The online participation was apparently also more pleasant than an ordinary Teams meeting, as the interactions in Kostelec offered more diverse input than only monitor screens. However, especially the physical meeting part was extremely well received. It was crucial to establish good working relations especially with the young PhD and post-Doc researchers who got a fantastic intro into the project team. Breaks were used intensively for networking and creative thinking. A special highlight was the excursion, with interesting discussions in a local sawmill, where we could see recently salvage-logged wood with little bark beetle still crawling in it. In our further stops we were looking at two contrasting forest situations – a resilient mixed forest and a site with recent bark-beetle attacks. Finally, we visited a site in the forest at the EXTEMIT-K bark beetle roof experiment, an activity aiming at understanding the mechanisms of conifer tree-bark beetle interactions on the tree level under the hypothesis that drought stress predisposes the tree to bark beetle attack.
Now the project work will continue, but the project meeting was clearly a huge milestone for RESONATE. And we’ve really enjoyed the hospitality of our Czech colleagues, which included some visits at the excellent local brewery and generous catering at the castle. This let us return home with not only new knowledge created and great memories collected, but also some additional pounds.