ECM Forum Online 2020: a view from twitter

Posted on July 29, 2020   by Kimberley Ndungu

On the 16—17 July 2020, the Early Career Microbiologists’ (ECM) Forum hosted a virtual poster and video session on the ECM Forum LinkedIn group. This two-day activity was dedicated to showcasing early career research and building networks.


The first event session focused on environmental and applied microbiology. To start off this session, the first video by Amy Pickering, (University of Edinburgh) on reducing plastic waste in microbiology laboratories, sparked a great discussion on the positive changes researchers could make to become more sustainable.

Despite concerns around contamination, Amy and her team found autoclaves to be efficient in decontamination.

Next in this session, we had two poster presentations, the first being from Enriqueta Garcia-Gutierrez (Quadram Institute).


Mary Agopian (McGill University) presented work from her project, which aims to identify antibiotic-producing isolates found in artic beach sediments.

An advantage of the event being online was that those who attended were able to engage in discussion with others they wouldn’t normally have the chance to meet.

The second session of the day was ‘Genetics and Genomics’. Emily Warman’s (University of Birmingham) animated video took us through the interesting properties of AT-tract promoters.


The final presentation of the day came from Rebecca Weiser (Cardiff University), which was followed by a discussion on the potential of Burkholderia phages.


Throughout both sessions, each presentation received a lot of engagement with plenty of follow up questions and suggestions, demonstrating another advantage of online events.


Day two started with ‘The Infection Forum’ session. Following on with the theme of phages, Meaghan Castledine’s (University of Exeter) video focused on phage therapy, specifically looking at its potential to overcome antibiotic resistance.


The first poster presentation of the day came from Raphael Galleh (University of Sheffield), who shared his work on novel inhibitors of Periodontitis-Associated Sialidases.


The final session of the event was microbiology physiology, metabolism and molecular biology and was kicked-off with a video from Javier Martinez-Perez (John Innes Centre).


Next Blessing Oyedemi (University of Nottingham) shared her poster, which explored the possible realities of natural inhibitors of R-plasmid mediated antibiotic resistance.


The final poster of the event by Omololu Fagunwa (University of Huddersfield) explored the ways in which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals could be accelerated with microbial science.


This was a great way to round-up the event by highlighting how important microbiology is to our future!

The first online ECM Forum event was a success and a great environment for members to discuss their work together; thank you to all that contributed and attended. All the videos and posters are still available to view for members of the ECM Forum on the LinkedIn page.