Tag Archive | Guelph

ESC conference wrapup


John Borden, a pioneer in Canadian chemical ecology research, steps up when the winner of his scholarship is announced.

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!

death from the skies

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!


John Huber and Alex Smith (who I first met in the jungle) in conversation.


Dr. Wild showing off some beautiful prints,


A meeting of the spider minds! Raphaël Royauté and Catherine Scott.


Check out the cuteness!


Crystal and Morgan brought insects to photograph, Alex brought his baby girl!



Morgan Jackson is honoured for all his great contributions to organizing the conference.


This is the moment when Thelma Finlayson gets a standing ovation in absentia!

Going to Guelph!


Due to an unexpected change for our plans for a scouting/survey mission to Honduras, Catherine and I have suddenly found ourselves in a position to attend the Entomological Society of Canada/Entomological Society of Ontario Joint Annual Meeting in Guelph! I am not sure that our abstracts will be fit in for talks, but I sure hope so. If not I will probably bring a really cool poster. In celebration, I walked outside the lab, and what should I find but a handsome Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, a species that our lab has studied in the past. Seems like these bugs have infrared sensors built into their abdomens that allow them to find the relatively hot maturing conifer cones on which they feed. This time of year, adults are seeking warmer sheltered locations in which to overwinter, and since they can’t go to Honduras, they often come indoors. I found this one perched on a still-warm hood of a delivery van outside.

Consider this blog post fair warning then, my eastern comrades, that like the Western Conifer Seed Bug, we are coming to Ontario in numbers, ready to rock your socks with some BC-style sciencing!