Friday, June 19, 2009

Report from Moscow: Susan

It was nice to be back at the Evolution meetings! This was my first in a few years (since Stony Brook) as I've mostly been hitting the taxonomic-based ones (ASIH, Parasitology). First, kudos to everyone at Idaho for putting on a great show. Logistically, I thought things worked out very well - the rooms were good-sized and once we learned our way between the buildings, it was straight-forward to flit around between sessions and get to most talks. I definitely found myself doing more flitting this year - perhaps that's a reflection of my expanding interests - I was in lots of co-evolution talks, but also saw several phylogeography talks, some methodological talks, and of course tried to hit as many lizard talks as I could! Some of my highlights were the two ASN Young Investigator Award talks (Luke Harmon and Jason Kolbe) and Matt Brandley's head-scratching report of a very old skink on Bermuda. It was fascinating to see Jonathan Losos deliver his summary of mainland anole radiation in about 5 breaths and very exciting to be one of the first to own his book. I went to the first half of Doug Schemske's symposium on the "Origin" 150 years later and he, Hopi Hoekstra, and Daven Presgraves all gave excellent talks that both included historical tidbits about Darwin, but also really cool new data. And finally, I have to give a big "shout out" to Robin Hopkins from Duke. After Erica Bree Rosenblum's talk (on white sands lizards - very cool stuff itself), I stayed for Robin's talk on phlox because I was too food-coma'ed out from lunch to move -- and it was one of the best I saw all week. She blended field data and molecular genetics for a really nice study of phenotype evolution in flowers. Sadly, I did not make it to the Appaloosa Museum - perhaps next time I'm out there.

The photo is of my grad student, Bryan Falk, and another AMNH student, Antonia Florio, resting in the grass at the end of a long day of attending talks.


Graham Coop said...

Robin's talk was definitely one of the highlights of the conference.

Glor said...

I'm bummed I missed the Schemske, Hoekstra, Presgraves trifecta due to moderating a concurrent session.