While physical travels are mainly on hold for now, virtual excursions can provide the perfect opportunity to develop new and broaden existing collaborations with scientists in different disciplines around the world. Though COVID-19 prevents us from opening our university to large groups of foreign guests, we are keeping our international collaboration alive by organisation of online meetings and a virtual excursion to the Department of Molecular Sciences.
A virtual excursion to the Department of Molecular Sciences for scientists from Kazakhstan took place on June 7th. Approximately 40-50 scientists from seven top universities in Kazakhstan had the opportunity to see our beautiful Uppsala city and SLU via zoom. The head of our department, Professor Vadim Kessler, presented general information and facts about the whole department, and then, Associate Professor Galia Zamaratskaia and Professor Gulaim Seisenbaeva presented more specifically research within food science and inorganic/physical chemistry, respectively. Our laboratories were presented by Associate Professor Sabine Sampels, Professor Vadim Kessler, Professor Gulaim Seisenbaeva and PhD Johnny Östman.
“This excursion was very educational, informative and so much fun!” said Zhuldyz Sataeva from S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University. “It was great to see your laboratories and listen to the presentations of your research”, added Yuriy Balji from the same university. Professor Beikut Balgysheva from Department of Analytical Chemistry at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and Professor Nagima Dzhakipbekova from Department of Chemistry and Associate Professor Gani Iztleuov from Department of Ecology at M. Auezov South Kazakhstan State University underlined that they already have a well-functioning collaboration with SLU and expressed hopes that it will deepen in the future. Professor Gulzhahan Yeligbayeva from Department of Chemistry and Technology of Organic, Natural and Polymer Compounds at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University expressed her interest in collaboration on Chemistry and Technology of natural polymers and their derivatives. Many researchers from Kazakhstan showed interest in different aspects, which were discussed during the excursion, particularly hybrid materials for sorption of pollutants from aquatic medium and relationship between food and health.
“We hope that such events will increase interactions between the scientists from different countries and different disciplines and lead to more multidisciplinary research projects”, said Galia Zamaratskaia. “We have an experience in organizing not only international conferences but also international courses and summer schools for PhD students”, added Gulaim Seisenbaeva.
"We at the Department of Molecular Sciences hope that our collaboration with universities in Kazakhstan will be continued in the future to the benefit of both countries, and inspire many new research initiatives!"