The Arctic expedition around the island of Spitzbergen, reaching as far as 80 degrees north, was wonderful. What a privilege it was to visit such a pristine and remote part of the planet- it is breathtakingly beautiful. We were fortunate to see a number of polar bears as well as seals, walruses, reindeer, Arctic fox and numerous bird species. We had a very full and diverse academic program, with a fascinating series about genetics presented by Prof Deon Venter from the Mater Hospital, Brisbane. The future has arrived with patients able to get their entire genome mapped fairly cheaply. As ever, the science is way ahead of the ethical discussion.
The post conference tour in Iceland was fantastic. We were awed by the dramatic scenery of craggy lava fields covered in soft green moss, spectacular waterfalls, steaming and bubbling pools and striking rock formations. We had great fun river rafting and driving snowmobiles over a glacier. Some went horse riding - Icelandic horses have developed a particular gait called the tölt, which gives a very smooth ride over extremely rough terrain. Rejkavik is charming with great shopping and terrific restaurants.
We are running the same conference in June next year. Book now so you don't miss out.