By Charlotte Weber,
Ongoing fisheries research is happening right now in Tromsø: Here is a prime example of collaboration between people, projects, and disciplines!
Yesterday, Melania and I got together with John Pope, who is currently involved in the running EU project MareFrame. We had agreed to collaborate on a paper, which we will present at the upcoming ICES MSEAS conference in Brest in May, and after several Skype discussions, we managed finally to meet again face to face.
John Pope is a mathematician who specialized in fisheries models. I, on the other side, am a biologists and marine conservationist. Our third partner in crime, Melania, has a law degree but specialized in social sciences and fisheries.
You can imagine, it was not the easiest thing for us as such a multidisciplinary team to agree on common goals and objectives, never mind results. But we sat, we discussed, we argued (a tiny bit), we listened to each other and tried to understand one another. It took some extra time for everyone to understand the disciplinary specialties of the other. For example, when John started with formulas and functions, I had the occasional question mark written on my face. But no matter what, we took the time to get everyone on the same page.
In the end, this collaboration was a journey and a great experience! It taught me the advantages and struggles of interdisciplinary work on many different levels. Yet maybe the most important lesson: just give it some time, plenty of whiteboards and many flip chart pages and you might look just as happy as us after a full day of work!