Conference round-up

Conferences are a great opportunity to let colleagues know about the work we’re doing, and also to see what research is going on in other labs. They’re a chance to catch up with colleagues that we usually only interact with electronically, and to meet potential new collaborators. This year’s conference season has been a busy one for the Lyman crew, with ten presentations at three meetings, and two student competition award winners at two meetings.

Here’s where we went and what we talked about this year:

Ecological Society of America (Austin, TX, August)

Terry Wheeler and Anna Solecki made the trip to the sweltering heat of Texas. The newly formed ESA Natural History Section was a busy group at this meeting, along with the Natural History Network, who shared a booth with the Section about the Natural Histories Project. Check this out for great conversations on the state of, and the future of, natural history. Terry gave a talk on the role of natural history collections in ecology and management as part of a symposium on Natural History, and Anna presented a poster on her joint project with fellow Lymanites Meagan Blair, Amélie Grégoire Taillefer, Sabrina Rochefort and Terry Wheeler on seasonal activity of subarctic flies in Kugluktuk, Nunavut.

Entomological Society of Canada (Halifax, NS, November)

Things were much cooler in Halifax in November, where a big influx of people from both the Lyman Museum and Chris Buddle’s lab ensured that McGill and the Northern Biodiversity Program would be front and centre. Meagan Blair gave a talk on ecological patterns of northern Scathophagid flies, and Postdoc Laura Timms looked at 50 years of change in ichneumonid parasitoids on Ellesmere Island. Katie Sim (co-supervised by Terry and Chris Buddle) gave a poster on population genetics and morphology of northern wolf spiders and Terry Wheeler presented some joint work with Anna Solecki and Jinjing Wang on the Chloropidae (grass flies) of Churchill Manitoba. Katie’s poster won the President’s Prize for the best student poster at the meeting. Congratulations to Katie and all the Lymanites. Chris Buddle’s lab also took home two second place awards in the student talk sessions, so McGill was definitely a force to be reckoned with at this meeting.

Entomological Society of America (Reno, NV, November)

Four days after ESC wrapped up, some of us were off again for the EntSoc meetings in Reno. Most people call this one “ESA” but given that we often go to both this meeting and the other ESA (Ecological Society of America) meeting each year we needed a quick’n’dirty way to distinguish the two in lab conversations, so “EntSoc” was born. Terry Wheeler and Laura Timms went to both meetings to give presentations on diversity of arctic chloropid flies and ichneumonids, respectively. Anna Solecki and Alyssa MacLeod also came along to EntSoc where they gave posters on phenology of subarctic Diptera, and the patterns of diversity and species turnover in alpine meadow Diptera, respectively. And once again, we came away with a prize – Anna won the President’s Prize in a poster competition in Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity. This is the fourth time in five years that a Lyman student has taken an award at the EntSoc meeting (Amélie Grégoire Taillefer for her poster in 2007, Julia Mlynarek for a poster in 2008 and for a talk in 2009, and Anna Solecki this year). Congratulations to Anna (and co-authors Meagan, Amélie and Sabrina!) for a very nice piece of ecological research.

Now that conference season 2011 has wrapped up, we can start turning some of these great results into manuscripts. Plus the abstract deadline for ESA is only three months away . . .


About terry wheeler

professor, museum director, entomologist, ecologist, naturalist
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