This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Entomological Society of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting, this year held at the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS). Allison and I were invited to speak at the meeting and bring the BIObus along so everyone could learn how we promote insects, biodiversity and science to the public. QUBS was a beautiful venue, and since this was my first time visiting it, I was thoroughly impressed by it. QUBS property includes more than 3200 hectares including six small lakes, shoreline, forests and many buildings for sleeping, research, and conferences. The ESO attendees got a chance to tour the site with Frank Phelan the manager of QUBS who has been there for 40 years. I particularly enjoyed learning about their on-site library and herbarium. The biological station also has a wonderful dining area and kitchen where the staff prepared excellent food that we all enjoyed.
The theme of the conference was education and outreach and there was great variation in talks including talks by students and researchers from a range of topics such as Syrphid flies, Algonquin Park biodiversity, mimicry in ultraviolet and many talks on education, outreach and social media. I was inspired by Morgan Jackson’s talk on how to use social media as a scientist to bring forth science information to a general audience and to get people engaged in it.
The BIObus was the main event for Saturday afternoon. Allison and I brought with us our usual educational offerings including insect displays, guide books, live insects caught at QUBS that we put into viewing cages and a slide show of photos from our travels across Canada. For a remote location we did receive some public visitors including some kids so it was great to talk to them about what we do. Conference attendees also were able to learn about insect trapping methods as we had many trap types on display.
If you’re interested in learning more about entomology I suggest you join the ESO. Membership is free for Canadian students and amateurs. It’s a great way to connect with people actively working in this field.
Until next time,