24 July 2010

18th International Association of Astacology conference: Day 5

On the last day of the conference, everyone’s ready to go, having had enough of the undergrad food and residence rooms. But everyone is sad that they probably won’t be seeing some of their friends, old and new, for some time.

Impressions: Gatorade for breakfast. There is a blue crab genome project, and maybe a crayfish one. Some Engaewa burrowing crayfish look amazingly like thalassindean mud shrimp; I badly want to look at their neurons.

After the last few talks, there was a brief meeting announcing the award for best talk and best poster came out; congratulations to the four winners. The winners for the talks were David Strand in the student category and Jim Stoeckel for the professional category. (Alas, I cannot recall the poster winners. Something I ate didn't agree with me, and I was rather queasy right when they gave those awards. I didn't have the presence of mind to write down all the names.) For the record: A singing voice and Prezi is not a winning formula for a best presentation award. Congratulations to the winners.

Catherine Souty-Grosset, who had left before they tried to give her an award at last night's banquet, was present and received her award this time. They also handed over the “keys to the car” for the new president of the association, which includes a fossil crayfish. The fossil crayfish is kept by the I.A.A. president, held in a box guaranteed for life except against:

  1. Shark bites
  2. Small children

It was pointed out the incoming president Jim Fetzner (pictured above) has at least one of those.

Conference organizer Annie Allert is nicknamed “The General” for her organizational skills, but even The General succumbed at the end of the meeting, and it was touching to hear her voice when she told the delegates that they have friends in Missouri. So one last time, I salute The General and all the other organizers and delegates who made my first visit to the conference an enjoyable one.

Austria in 2012!

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