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Entomology 2020: Attendees Share Early Reactions to On-Demand Presentations, Posters

Entomology 2020

Entomology 2020, the Entomological Society of America’s Virtual Annual Meeting, is underway. Explore the full online program.

Entomology 2020, the Entomological Society of America’s Virtual Annual Meeting, began Wednesday, featuring scores of on-demand symposia, presentations, posters, and infographics from all corners of insect science. More than 3,000 entomologists have begun exploring the research being shared there and connecting via video chats and live workshops.

Entomology Today asked some of those participants to share some of their favorites from the conference so far, and their comments offer a glimpse into the wealth of knowledge available among the 2,400-plus presentations and posters on the slate. See what they have to say below, and see more commentary on Twitter via the hashtag #EntSoc20.

And, if you haven’t already, you can still register for Entomology 2020 and get in on the action. Livestream presentations begin Monday!

Urban dragons: Odonata communities in the city
“Catalina’s presentation title caught me; I mean, who doesn’t like dragons? She’s from my home country (México) and, like myself, she was able to get into the Annual Meeting thanks to the wonderful people of @EntoPOC. Her presentation is easy to follow and breaches a subject of contemporary interest: the effect of urbanization. If dragonflies are your jam, then come and check it out!” Damián Villaseñor-Amador

Ticks in museum collections: Reptile specimens are an untapped resource
“Carrie’s fascinating talk explains how preserved reptile specimens (with their accidentally preserved ticks still attached) can help answer research questions in acarology on everything from biogeography to epidemiology. After watching this talk, my brain is spinning with ideas—I can’t wait to try to team up with a herpetological collections manager to look for ticks!” Ashley C. Kennedy, Ph.D., BCE

Does the spokesperson matter in online natural history science communication?
“Maybe, like me, you’re giving more talks online through pre-recorded videos. And maybe you wonder whether it matters to your audience if they can see you or if seeing your slides is enough. Selina Ariel Ruzi and colleagues did a study on this topic, which is making me rethink what I’ll be doing in 2021 for my talks.”  —Jennifer A. Henke

poster gallery

Entomology 2020 attendees can browse the virtual poster gallery by thumbnails or search by title or common or scientific names. View the Entomology 2020 Poster Gallery.

Poster Gallery
“Usually at meetings, I find it a bit challenging to take in the posters in the exhibit hall. The exhibit hall can be a distracting environment between the general noise and frequency of catching up with colleagues in person. I am truly enjoying taking in the posters via the poster gallery in the online meeting! The ability to consume the content in a quiet and unhurried way is allowing me to get much more out of the posters, and the audio narration still gives each poster a personal feel. I also appreciate that the posters are available beyond the time of a typical meeting. The online poster gallery might be something to consider retaining for future meetings!” —Rayda Krell, Ph.D.

Multiple pesticide exposures affect the nutritional quality of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) royal jelly
“I was particularly interested in learning the outcome of this collaboration between two high-profile honey bee research groups. Priya did an excellent job describing the use of a multi-omics approach to examine the impact of pesticide exposure on the nutritional composition of royal jelly in treated versus untreated colonies. Cool stuff happens when the East Coast and West Coast work together! I recommend that you check out the entire symposium.” —Scott O’Neal, Ph.D.

The evolutionary divergence of wing shape across Bombycoidea reveals two distinct strategies for maneuverable flight
“Brett’s talk combines entomology with neurobiology and biomechanics in a really engaging way, presented in a phylogenetic context. Brett explains the relevant physics in a clear and accessible manner. The photos and graphs are lovely, and the narration is fantastic. This is your chance to find out which moths are the fighter jets of the natural world and which moths are the bowling balls.” —Sandra R. Schachat

Management of western bean cutworm in Nebraska
“Really interesting presentations by Andrea Rilakovic and Rachel Leigh Abbott on the pesticide applications. Their results will probably help other scientists and extension entomologists in the Great Lake Regions and in Canada to adapt their strategies to manage the western bean cutworm, a major corn pest.” —Julien Saguez, Ph.D.

The red lines between us: How historic segregation in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, USA, affects the distribution of data in iNaturalist
“This poster reminds us of the importance of accounting for how socioeconomic factors may affect data collection in community science efforts. I look forward to seeing more statistical analysis of this data.” —Anupreksha Jain

From Rum Stills to Cotton Gins and Head Lettuce to Head Lice: The Remarkable Development of Spinosad for All
“I really enjoyed the spinosad journey symposium, a successful partnership among industry, academia, and government. I am impressed by the fascinating stories about the development of such an important pest control tool. Furthermore, Gary Thompson’s attitudes on promoting a restrictive IRM program focusing on long-term sustainability solutions, his passion for his work, and the way he pushed others to think differently are very inspiring. Highly recommend!” —Débora Montezano, Ph.D.

“The past, present, and future of these natural and nature-inspired products has had a transformative impact on pest management and the story is revealed in an instructive way by each speaker. Honoring the late Gary Thompson with some of his greatest discoveries and achievements was the perfect way to reflect on a titan in the agricultural pest management world.” Scott H. Hutchins, Ph.D.

Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section Student Competition 10-Minute Papers
“The P-IE student presentations offer an exciting range of topics on insect and weed control. Some examples: Claire Donahoo talks about parasitoids of the brown marmorated stink bug in Oregon, Kristen Bowers provides a data on host range of Brazilian peppertree thrips, and Felicia Amenyo talks about the effects of temperature on biocontrol agents of air potatoes. Just a small sample of the diverse and intriguing topics in the biocontrol sessions!” —Mark G. Wright, Ph.D.

Bacterial community analysis in Amblyomma maculatum ticks from southeastern Virginia
“The microbiome of Gulf Coast ticks has been historically understudied, but Alex and colleagues are quickly closing that gap! Their study compared the microbial communities between siblings, generations, and life cycle stages of Amblyomma maculatum. In this talk, Alex gives the results from that study and discusses how hosts are a likely driver of observed differences.” Ashley C. Kennedy, Ph.D., BCE

A survey of the threatened damselfly, Ceriagrion citrinum Campion, 1914 (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) and associated dragonflies and damselflies in four forests in Nigeria
“Ekpah’s presentation details a survey of Nigerian rivers for a rare and threatened damselfly. His slides are easy to read, and he explains the odonate fauna in detail. It was an interesting opportunity to see what river systems in Nigeria look like and to explore what fauna they hold. Ekpah is funded by the @EntoPOC fund!” —Jessica L. Ware, Ph.D.

Pathogen-mediated Ecological Interactions: From Microbes to Complex Ecosystems
“This symposium gathers a multidisciplined group of researchers who present fascinating results and hypotheses related to interactions among plants, plant pathogens, and their insect vectors. Of particular interest was the presentation by Saskia Hogenhout on effector proteins of phytoplasma, which provided an incredibly interesting and useful review of the subject and presented new unpublished results on phytoplasma virulence factors. I’m looking forward to the panel discussion on Friday, November 20.” —Rodney Cooper, Ph.D.

Elevated CO2 and greater nitrogen inputs impact the bird-cherry oat aphid’s fecundity when reared on wheat
“Eva’s presentation is clean and direct: slides are contrasting, the content interesting, and voice modulation on-point. She explains to us how carbon dioxide and nitrogen have opposite effects on aphid fecundity. And talking about aphids: Did you know that bird cherry-oat aphids in Australia are all females?” Damián Villaseñor-Amador

Balancing the risks and benefits of allowing weeds to persist in organic agriculture
“Nick provides a succinct but well-explained framework for how weeds may indirectly support crops. When the data does not support some of their hypotheses, he offers possible reasons for the deviations and future research directions to investigate them.” —Anupreksha Jain

The immune and circulatory systems interact to fight infection throughout the insect lineage
“Yan Yan delivers a really great talk about the functional integration of insect immune and circulatory systems. I am always interested to see what is coming out of the Hillyer lab, but this one was especially cool because of the broad range of insect orders and families that were examined. Definitely worth a look, even if insect immunity is not your thing!” —Scott O’Neal, Ph.D.

Constrained sex allocation in mated females of a haplodiploid thrips: An outcome of a paternal‐sex‐ratio (PSR) element or a maternal fitness effect?
“Alihan’s talk provides a nuanced view into one of the most fascinating aspects of insect biology: haplodiploidy. It turns out that thrips are a great system for studying this topic. Alihan outlines a series of elegant experiments that lead to a really cool finding about the interplay between maternal fitness and sex ratios. Plus, the visuals are wonderful.” —Sandra R. Schachat

Effects of ground temperature on survival and energy usage of overwintering queen bumblebees
“Sarah examined how bee overwintering depth varies, discussing climate change implications. Her slides are well laid out, and her descriptions are concise and clear. She gave good background information when introducing her questions, and the talk left me wanting to know more about her system in general, as bees are not freeze tolerant.” —Jessica L. Ware, Ph.D.

What is the best method to manage wireworm and click beetles? Make your choice…
“This year, in the P-IE Section (@PIE_Entsoc), we have the chance to have several interesting on-demand student presentations on how to manage wireworms, using natural enemies (entomopathgenic nematodes and fungi) or insecticides. I was especially impressed by @EmilyLemke15 and @KendalSingleton (@GriesLab), who present their results on pheromone and light trapping.” —Julien Saguez, Ph.D.

Entomology 2020Learn More

Entomology 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting

November 11-25, 2020


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