The first SaltGiant workshop (November 2018), hosted by the University of Palermo, has marked the beginning of the ENT Project. The workshop brought together, for the first time, the Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), the Principal Investigators (PIs) and some members of the partner organizations, during four amazing days.

The first day, after a formal introduction to the ENT Project, some PIs and Partner members performed talks about different topics related with the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). The more classical approaches familiarized us with what is known and which questions remain open in geosciences about this Messinian event. Other relations with the salt giant were more surprising for the newcomers in the field, such as the usefulness of the MSC’s research to study the likelihood of finding life in other planets. One of the goals of the Saltgiant Project is to point out the connections between scientific research and social sciences, as economy, geopolitics and history. Thus, conferences about natural resources economically valuable in the Mediterranean basin, such as gympsum and the Zohr gas field, were also given.

Our turn for introduce ourselves to the community arrived the second day. One by one, we presented our Master research and PhD Projects, to make the assistants familiar with our academic background and future work. After a traditional Sicilian dinner in Palazzo Asmundo (with live music included!), we spent the last two days attending to a Transferable Skills Course, where we learned tips and techniques to communicate our research accurartely and improve our scientific writing.  

This workshop has been a great opportunity not only to enhance our knowledge about the MSC; but also to meet each other, share nice evenings together and think about new projects in which we can collaborate during our PhD years. And, of course, to enjoy the tasty Sicilian cannoli.

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