ESC/SEQ JAM 2015 in Montreal

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This past weekend marked the beginning of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Société d’entomologie du Québec’s Joint Annual Meeting in Montreal. This three day event brought together a large number of insect researchers and insect enthusiasts from all across Canada. This was my second ESC/SEQ meeting in Montreal, and the second since I have been a student. As a blog administrator, I got a bit of an inside look at the current issues facing the society at the meeting of the ESC board meeting, which will be the subject of future posts. I also got quite a few bedbug bites from staying in a cheap hostel the night of the board meeting, but that is another, and terrible story.

Anyway, of course I brought my camera, and so here I give you the conference from my perspective.

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Here is the board meeting, which was also being shot by Louise Hénault-Ethier.

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On the opening day, the Gold Medal address was delivered by Jon Sweeney, reflecting mainly on his collaborators over the years and how the have helped shape his stellar career in entomology.

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Guy Boivin delivered the Heritage Lecture, which was an awesome mix of First Nations insect lore, followed by the early natural historians of New France. I learned quite a bit from this, and I hope Guy may write some more on the subject for the Canadian Entomologist.

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Sunday’s plenary session featured Marcel Dicke from Wageningen University, and was an absolutely fascinating story about herbivores, parasitoids and hyperparistitoids on mustards. The interactions he described kind of blew my mind.

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The first talk of the Graduate Student’s Showcase was by Christina Hodson from UVic. She described her work on a charismatic little psocopteran and its weird sex distorting elements.

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Holly Caravan of Memorial University delivering her lecture on fascinating social aphids, with some great background on other social insects.

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Jean-Philippe Parent of Université de. Montréal gave a riveting lecture on how to determine if an insect can measure time.

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Leanna Lachowsky of University of Calgary with a topic near and dear to those of of from the west: mountain pine beetle! This was a cool study on sex allocation in this troublesome forest pest.

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And finally, Paul Abram from Université de Montréal on stinkbugs and their parasitoids.

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After the great opening sessions, we all repaired to the Insectarium to enjoy drinks in the company of our favourite colleagues and study subjects!

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If you ever try photographing people in this space, you will quickly learn how much colour casts arise from the brightly painted walls. I did manage to capture this one of Louise as many of you will remember her, behind the camera!

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I caught this one of Cedric on the bus back from the Insectarium

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Big thanks to Sarah Loboda and Maxime Larivée for running so much behind the scenes. They provided to me my favourite shot of the conference as well! Not sure how they kept their wits about them, but I think it was because they both have such a good sense of humour.

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Monday’s plenary was delivered by Jessica Forrest, from University of Ottawa, talking about a whole range of issues with a population of montane bees in Colorado.

From here on, my trajectory through the conference will probably differ substantially from yours. I of course needed to attend the sessions in which my former labmates were giving talks, but even so I did not manage to catch them all! I present to you instead a slideshow of images that I took during the conference. I will say how impressed I was by the student presentations this year in the GSS and the President’s Prize sessions. ESC students are really on the ball at how to give effective talks, and I hope that the more senior among us are paying attention! Perhaps in 2017 we can have a Student’s Prize to award to the best regular session talk!

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