Well, after a hectic 6 day trip to Guelph and back for the ESC/ESO Joint Annual Meeting, I am back in the mid-fall world of Vancouver. The conference was a big success, and was very well-organized. What I particularly liked about how it was run was having the Graduate Student Showcase and President’s Prize sections with no competing symposia, the multitude of workshops and schmoozing opportunities, and the great food.
Highlights of the conference for me were:
1)The photography workshop with Alex Wild, which brought a great group of people together to learn more about insect photography
2) The social media workshop, hosted by Crystal Ernst and Morgan Jackson, two masters of the art of Twittering and blogging, explaining exactly how social media can enrich and accelerate scientific work.
3) Laura Timms‘ Heritage Lecture, which brought a unique analysis of the ups and downs of Canadian entomology, with reference to the politics and economy of insect science
4) Steve Marshall‘s Gold Medal address, in which he sought to redefine the taxonomic impediment in more friendly and hopeful terms
5) Having a 20 min slot at the Graduate Student Showcase to bring my screaming, insect-murdering birds to the entomological world! This was a great honour and I think the talk went down really well. I made the argument that these birds are in fact true professional entomologists, being that their whole lives are devoted to finding and exploiting insects!
6) Brian Brown‘s fascinating talk on phorid fly biology and using a Los Angeles as a biodiversity research field site
7) The conference banquet, where Alex Wild gave a great talk on how digital photography has the potential to be revolutionary in the way people get out and view nature.
8) Hanging out with fellow entomologists, making contacts and being social!