First Impressions of Entomology 2017 From First-Time Attendees

Stephanie Anderson, Tanner Peltier, and Mina Jeong

On Sunday, Entomology 2017 welcomed new ESA members at an afternoon reception, including Stephanie Anderson, Tanner Peltier, and Mina Jeong from Northern State University.

Among the more than 3,500 insect scientists in attendance at Entomology 2017, about 1,100 are experiencing their very first Entomological Society of America annual meeting. Many are new ESA members as well, and ESA extended a special welcome to them at the New Member Reception on Sunday evening.

Entomology Today visited the reception to talk to some first-time attendees and get their impression of the conference experience so far. Here’s what a few representatives of the future of entomology had to say:

Stephanie Anderson, Tanner Peltier, and Mina Jeong (pictured at top)
Northern State University
Area of research: West Nile Virus

Entomology Today: Why did you decide to come to the ESA annual meeting this year?

Anderson: Our professor highly encouraged us to come and present our research.

What are you hoping to get out of the conference?

Jeong: I would expect to build some network here and get to know people and hopefully help me to build my future career.

What has stood out to you from what you’ve seen here at the conference so far?

Anderson: I really liked leaning about all the different ways people are using CRISPR/Cas-9, because that’s just becoming a lot more widespread, and it’s crazy how different things they’re using it for, things you never would have thought of.

Peltier: I liked to see that undergraduate studies start off, but then they get to progress into your graduate studies or career, because there’s a lot that we can do but a very limited amount of time we can do it in undergrad.

Jeong: I was in a presentation and guy did a karyotype of different patterns in butterflies. That was pretty cool.

Matt Safford and Edward Hsieh

Matt Safford and Edward Hsieh
University of Illinois
Area of research: (Safford) habitat selection and interactions across trophic levels between insects and vertebrate predators; (Hsieh) honey bee nutrition and landscape ecology

Why did you decide to come to the ESA annual meeting this year?

Safford: This is the second year of my masters’ program so I knew I wanted to go before I graduated to get a chance to share my research and network.

Hsieh: This is only my first year, but I wanted to come and experience ESA, meet people, and connect with old friends.

What are you hoping to get out of the conference?

Safford: I’m getting ready to graduate next spring, so I’m hoping to make some potential job prospects and meet people who are potentially hiring.

Hsieh: I’m not as far along as Matt, but I’m looking forward to getting to know certain people in my area of interest better and seeing how far the science has progressed.

What has stood out to you from what you’ve seen here at the conference so far?

Safford: One of the awesome things is the sheer number of talks. Some of the small conferences I’ve been to have had one, maybe two, three rooms of talks at once, so it’s been awesome. I have pretty diverse interests in entomology, some that are more applicable to my long-term career path than others, but it’s been pretty awesome to have the opportunity to learn and hear so many different things right off the bat.

Hsieh: I’m largely interested in pollinators, so I spent most of my time in the pollinator seminars, but I also browsed around. It was also just the sheer number of people and different talks and also, unfortunately, the length that they had to reduce the talks to. I’ve always been used to the 15-minute length, but the fact that they have to cut it down so short; it’s unfortunate, but what can you do?

Ian Sandum and Pragya Chalise

Ian Sandum and Pragya Chalise
Virginia Tech
Area of research: grapes and berries

Why did you decide to come to the ESA annual meeting this year?

Chalise: It’s a very good platform to socialize with people from all over the place that you don’t get to meet otherwise, and we’re presenting our poster on the work that we’re doing at the moment.

Sandum: Obviously, any presentation you do looks good on a resume. But also the more people you know, the more later on down the road, if you continue going into a career in entomology, people will think, “Oh yeah, I remember that guy. He gave that presentation. I remember talking with him and I remember who his adviser used to be.” It’s just great to get a lot more connections.

What are you hoping to get out of the conference?

Sandum: As an entomologist, I’m very curious about what other people are doing, so I hope to attend some great talks and learn a lot. And I hope to give a good presentation!

What has stood out to you from what you’ve seen here at the conference so far?

Sandum: I appreciated the banker crop symposium presentations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: