i. What were your goals for the course in Peru? To what extent did you realize these goals? Please give specific examples if possible. We’d also like to know the extent to which COVID-19 affected your ability to realize your goals.
The objectives I had for the course were, first, to improve my understanding of ecology with a focus on functional traits, as I commented in my presentation, I am passionate about Andean flora in a taxonomic approach and to know how high mountain ecosystems like the Puna work causes me a lot of intrigues, therefore, another of my goals was to improve my skills to measure the functional traits of plants and learn much more about applied methodologies. I can say that despite the course disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have successfully met most of my goals.
ii. What did you learn about yourself during this course?
The course helped me to have more confidence in myself and, in a certain way, to advance towards what I want, at the same time I realized that I must improve in many things on a personal and professional level and for this reason now I have new objectives in which ones should I work.
Sharing time with different people from different countries, including isolation time at the hotel for the COVID-19 pandemic gave me a better perspective on the world and science.
I understood that despite being experiencing a world-class pandemic, the world does not stop, much less science and that sometimes continuing to work is the only way to move forward. I learned a lot from each of them, especially how to be a better and more productive researcher despite difficult times. Sharing this time with them was very inspiring.