Presenting at one of the largest anatomy conferences in the world

Published on 2 September 2019

We catch up with one of our current students and one of our former students after they presented their research at one of largest anatomy conferences in the world

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A number of our current and former students and staff were recently invited or applied to present at one of the largest anatomy conferences in the world, the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) Congress.

Previously held every 5 years, the IFAA Congress attracts anatomists and associated academic disciplines from all over the world, with delegates from 78 countries in attendance.

The event offers people from across the field a fantastic opportunity to present, discuss and collaborate on ground-breaking research that is taking place across the globe.

We caught up with current student Katie Larner along with Personal Training and Online Coaching business owner (and former student) Larissa Kennel to hear all about their experience presenting at the event.

Can you please tell me a little bit about your role at the IFAA Congress?


“I applied and was successfully selected to present a poster on human spinal pathology, where I discussed what the most common research areas and spinal pathologies studied in published archaeological literature are, along with the methods used to capture this research.

The identification and recording of such diseases is important in fields ranging from osteoarchaeology through to clinical anatomy.”


“I applied and was successfully selected to give an oral presentation on student learning in anatomy, where I discussed the learning preferences of UK medical and anatomical sciences students. This topic is highly relevant to the learning and teaching in our field right now, as we experience expansion, reduction and changes in core curriculum content frequently.

We found that students prefer learning anatomy hands-on (through dissection and with cadaveric resources) and are in favour of engaging with interactive online resources.

It can be argued that we teach 'millennial learners' who prefer to be stimulated with hands-on work and interactive learning, and have a tendency to engage less with other learning resources.”

How was your presentation received?


“My presentation was a success and provided a great opportunity to talk to people outside the department about my research.

Over the course of the weekend I was engaging with other anatomists, not only at the conference itself, but also on Twitter.

Public engagement was an important theme throughout the conference and I was listed amongst the top contributors to the #IFAA2019 hashtag, which had over 300 participants and over 2000 tweets!”


“My presentation was very well received and sparked many discussions after it ended, with my international colleagues agreeing that they experience similar tendencies in their student cohorts.

I was also approached by medical education researchers from Johannesburg, South Africa, who were interested in collaborating with me to expand my research.”

How did you enjoy the congress?


“This was my first major conference and it was very daunting. However, everyone was very welcoming and the sessions incredibly informative.

I have learnt a lot in terms of new approaches to anatomical education, and there are some things I am excited to try and implement in the future.

During one of the sessions I made friends with individuals doing research into the use of art in anatomy and found their work to be very inspiring. We have made plans to keep in touch as there may be opportunities to take part in an online course they are creating.”


“I felt the congress was a great success and I enjoyed myself immensely.

I spent a significant amount of time, resource and money to be able to present at the event, so I was delighted to make a number of valuable connections throughout the weekend. 

There was a diverse offer of talks, workshops, exhibits and stalls that were engaging, educating and entertaining alike.

There was something on offer for everyone, and I return with a wealth of new knowledge and enthusiasm for my field of research.”

It was fantastic to see so many of our current and former students and staff presenting at this year’s event and we look forward to seeing the collaborations that will develop over the coming months.

“I have learnt a lot in terms of new approaches to anatomical education, and there are some things I am excited to try and implement in the future”

Katie Larner, postgraduate research student


Press Office, University of Dundee

Story category Student experience