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Entries in conferences (4)


The best little conference around

Every year there’s a great secret shared by about 130 clever folks with an interest in the health of aquatic animals.  Its the annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop and this year it’s in charming Charleston SC March 28-Apr 1.  What makes this meeting so terrific is the breadth of topic matter and the diversity of folks who come.  There are sessions on finfish, elasmobranchs, molluscs and even corals, and also more thematic sessions like Aquarium animal health or fish surgery, and the people are a mix of state and federal science folks, hatchery people, DVM’s and of course academic researchers in fish health.  Its small enough that the agenda is filled without the need for concurrent sessions, and big enough to be interesting and diverse.  It really is one of the best meetings on the calendar if you like aquatic animal health.  Here’s the 2011 highight sessions and their moderators:

Emerging dsDNA Viral Diseases of Fish and Amphibians - Tom Waltzek

Keeping ‘em happy, healthy, and in those aquaria – Shane Boylan

Probiotics: a SCAT-er-gun approach – Sally Molloy

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the lab: shark health – Alistair Dove

Pondering the realities of antibiotic therapies -  Mark Gaikowsky

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and environmental health – Greg Lewbart

Seeing in toto: the ecology of disease – Karen Burnett

Coral Ecosystem Health – Cheryl Woodley

The Aquatic Detective: Unusual and Perplexing Case Reports

If you’ve got any interest in attending, contact Rocco Cipriano at the National Fish Health Labs and submit an abstract.  I’d love to see you there!


Science Online 2011

I was interested in meeting some other online science folks and I had heard through the twittoblograpevine®  that the Science Online 2011 conference registration was opening soon, so I marked my calendar with a reminder to register.  Come last Wednesday at 12 o’clock, sure enough off goes the alarm.  I sidle over to the site and register on my lunch hour, figuring that if I put it off I might just forget.  My registration goes through at 12.37pm and after its done I note that I am number 223 in the list of attendees.  What, what?!  223 people in 37 minutes?  Next thing I know, I get a Tweet that registration is closed, sold-out at the maximum 300 participants at 12.44.  Yikes!  Either online science folks are über-connected, or this is one seriously popular conference. I suspect a bit of both, but I never guessed that registering would be like 14yos trying to score tickets for a Justin Bieber concert.

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Outlook reminders, I am one of the lucky ones.  I signed up to teach a workshop on Prezi, my favourite presentation software (Powerpoint is dead to me).  And Research Triangle Park NC, I’ll see you in January 2011.  I am already working on some good Aussie sea shanties to contribute…


Tampa - brace yourselves...

Next week I will be in sunny Tampa for the 6th International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health, a great meeting that happens every four years covering the gamut of AAH from aquaculture to fisheries to aquariums and even marine mammals (they’re OK too, ‘spose).  The energetic Andy Kane from UF and the lovely and talented Sarah Poynton from Johns Hopkins are chairing the program and it looks to be a great set of folks attending. They’ve got me co-chairing a session about parasites in molluscs, which should be fun, and my own talk will be about metabolomics in whale sharks, a collaboration with colleagues at Georgia Tech.  What’s metabolomics, I hear you say?  Well, perhaps I’ll post about it while I’m there (you know, AFTER I make the powerpoint.  I should probably start that…).



The AGM for the Fish Health Section of the American Fisheries Society will also be there, so we’ll be mixing hundreds of science talks with some serious chit-chat about the state of fish health science in this country, which has evolved significantly of late, in part because of new disease epizootics (VHSV anyone?), the National Aquatic Animal Health Plan and the increasing role of veterinarians in fish health research (the more the merrier, I say).

Should be a great meeting.  Anyone got any “must hit” spots while I am there? or want to meet up for a cuban sandwich, or better yet, a couple of cervezas?


This week: Eastern Fish Health Workshop

There's a special conference every year that's one of the best kept secrets in the fish world; its the Eastern Fish Health Workshop and this year its in sunny Shepherdstown WV, home of the National Fish Health Research Laboratories, which (as a quirk of history) are part of the USGS's Leetown Science Center.  I've been going ever since I came to America in 2000 and I just love it.  Why?  Well, its a combination of things.  Its small, usually around 100 people, which means you can spend some quality time with your colleagues. There's no concurrent sessions, so you aren't forced to miss anything, and there's also no poster sessions, which I consider to be largely a waste of time.  It covers a great diversity of topics - fish health in aquaculture, wild fisheries, coral health on reefs, aquarium animal health, crustacean health and mollusc sessions, as well as thematic sessions like immunology and chemotherapy.  There's no more diverse such conference annually, probably because its not affiliated with a scientific society that would limit scope.  The only meeting that comes close is the ISAAH, in Tampa later this year, and that only runs every 4th year.  But the best thing about the meeting is the people.  Perhaps as a result of its breadth of subject, it attracts folks of broad vision and diverse interests and I just love that.  I always leave energised by the people I meet and topics we discuss.  Indeed, one of my biggest current projects - metabolomics of whale sharks (more on that in future posts) - was inspired by an EFHW talk by Andrew Dacanay a few years back.

This year's conference is especially important because its the 35th anniversary!

So, I'll be in WV this week and will try to blog some about the talks as they happen.  This will mean writing from the Droid, so forgive me if things come across a little stilted.  Its an a amazing device, but its no substitute for a real computer.  It also means I might not do any blogging on peer reviewed research this week.  I'd like to think I'll be studious and go back to my room for that stuff, but there's more to be gained by picking someone elses brain.  Perhaps I'll post some interviews instead.