Today has been the final day of the International Congress of Entomology, held in Orlando Florida.
The first thing i must say, is this was a HUUUGE event! Far bigger than any other conference i have attended. There was a total of 6,682 delegates from 102 countries! Spread over a large venue, it really was a race to get to the different talks in time with 10’s of talks taking place at any one time it took most of a morning to plan each day! The topics were diverse across the entire diversity of insects (as you can imagine), and frustratingly, but maybe not surprisingly, many of the bee talks weren’t necessarily near the rooms where the parasite or microbiome talks were being done! That couldn’t stop me from being excited to be there though and see as many talks as i could! I should also mention that i was there, in part, because of the generosity of the ESA who kindly awarded me an Early Career STEP travel award to attend and present my work – THANK YOU ESA!
In the session hosted by Dr. Hollis Woodard, Dr. Quinn McFrederick, and Dr. Theresa L. Pitts-Singer. I presented my work looking for links between the population genetic structuring within a host species (bumblebees) and their gut microbial community structure. Its a rather large dataset and I was only able to present a select few of the findings. Nevertheless, it was well received and i’m excited to get it published soon! No doubt so is my supervisor on this project, Dr. Seirian Sumner!
Well, somehow in between all the talks and the running around i was able to meet some great new friends, many of whom i’ve read a lot of their awesome work! Also, i got the chance to catch-up with post-docs and supervisors of christmas past! A postdoc from my time at the University of Leeds, Dr. Adam Smith, is about to publish some bumblebee behaviour work we did together from our time at Leeds, which is fantastic! and Dr. Seirian Sumner will shortly become a reader at UCL!
Overall it was the most exhausting conference i’ve been to but certainly worth it for all the cool new science i got to see in addition to new contacts made and old ones renewed. And wheres the next one? back in Helsinki!