Being involved in research world, can often be isolating. Without exposure to variety points of view, we can miss new ideas and trends that might contribute to our research. No matter how great we are in conducting our research, I do believe that there is a power of being connected to other people in a live face to face setting.

Participating in the Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) 57 symposium, which was held in Perth, Australia was such an eye opening experience to me. Since my research revolves around estuary ecosystem, the theme of this symposium that focus on changing estuaries, coasts, and shelf system became a great platform for ideas and opinions exchange with fellow reseachers from all over the world. From my perspective, one of the most important benefits obtained through my participation in the symposium was that I could learn too many new things. Despite being different in field of study, status, and even background, I was so amazed on how kind people are, when they are willing to share their feedbacks and comments in improving my research. If any of you who are reading this article has the opportunity to attend any symposium and conference in the future, make full use of the chance. Trust me, there is always a lot of things to learn and experience.

Sharing session during ECSA 57 Perth, Australia. (Location: Pan Pacific Perth).

INOS Physical Oceanography team joining ECSA 57 Symposium. (Location: The Bell Tower).


Few days before the symposium start, my team and I got a chance to visit The University of Western Australia (UWA), which was the alma mater of my supervisor during his PhD years. How proud we were as a student to be able to walk around and see with our own two eyes the place he used to stay before. Although it was only for few hours, but we had a chance to learn about valuable research ideas and different methodological approaches. Coincidentally, discussion session with UWA fell on 31st August, which is the Merdeka Day for Malaysia.

Casual discussion between UMT and UWA. (Location: Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, UWA).

It was a memorable experience to celebrate Merdeka abroad. (Location: Kings Park).


As understood, all work and no play can make someone dull. Being in research world should be rewarding and exciting too. As I am growing older, I always appreciate things outside of my monotonous life. Being able to travel while working is such a huge gift to me. For me, travel simply teaches you how to be happy. A simple act of kindness, a beautiful scenery, and delicious food makes me appreciate my life more. And most importantly, this wonderful experience teaches me to be thankful for the countless bounties He blessed me with.

Taking a stroll at Swan River.

Lunch at Charcoal Chicken Express Cafe.

Greeting kangaroo at Caversham Wildlife Park.


Zuraini Zainol, PhD Candidate, Institute of Oceanography and Environment

I would like to express my gratitude to Postgraduate Management Centre, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu for funding my participation in ECSA 57 through the Tuanku Canselor Scholarship (BTC). And to my supervisor, Accoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Fadzil Mohd Akhir, for always reminding us to share our knowledge with others.