2004 ESA Annual Meeting


November 14-17, 2004
Salt Lake City, Utah

Program Wrap-Up Reports

Please click on the following links to view each report, or simply scroll down:

The Scientific Program
by Rick Weinzierl and Carol Sheppard, Program Co-Chairs

The scientific program at the 2004 ESA Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City featured five program symposia, 21 Section symposia, and 39 additional symposia, along with over 1,170 submitted ten-minute papers and posters. Altogether, nearly 1,700 papers and posters were presented, and of those, more than 350 were student competition papers and posters. 

Program symposia presented at Salt Lake City were:

  • Mechanical Properties of Arthropod Structures: Engineering the Future

  • The Malaria-Fighting Mosquito: Challenges and Progress in the Most Daring Undertaking in 50 Years of Genetic Vector Control

  • Rhopalocera Erotica: A Passion for Butterflies: A Tribute to Richard Vane-Wright

  • Hemiptera-Microbe Interactions: The Integration of Ecology, Pest Management, Epidemiology, and Genomic Research: A Tribute to Sandy Purcell

  • The Well Bee-ing of Pollinators and Their Impacts on Agricultural and Natural Ecosystems

For the first time at an ESA meeting, presenters of all oral papers were given the opportunity to have their presentations recorded. Recorded presentations (streaming media format of PowerPoint slides and audio) are available on the web to all who registered for the 2004 meeting.

Noteworthy changes in the program in 2004 also included moving the student competition papers to Monday morning to allow presentation of all student awards, including the paper and poster winners of the competition, on Tuesday evening. Additionally, the Wednesday program featured the following seven, two-hour “synthesis symposia:”

  • Collecting Abroad: Laws, Permits, and Experienced-based Recommendations (Because There’s No Such Thing as a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card)

  • Collection, Importation, and Transport of Biological Control Agents: Current Regulations, Procedures, and Their Implications

  • Entomology: The Status and Future of our Departments and our Discipline

  • Legendary Orthoptera of North America: The Mormon Cricket and the Rocky Mountain Locust

  • The Science and Wonder of Periodical Cicadas

  • The Grant-Writing Workshop: Inside the Review Panel

  • West Nile Virus and the Study of Emerging Diseases

Finally, Wednesday's closing session and final business meeting differed more than a bit from those of previous years. Winning and runner-up posters and abstracts from the Student Competition for the President’s Prize were posted around the room, and the session ended with a challenge match between the winning Linnaean games team from the University of Missouri and an “Old Timers” team. And the students won! 

Overall, the scientific program and the events associated with it at the 2004 meeting were outstanding, and the new ideas implemented in 2004 are likely to become standard events in 2005 and beyond.

Poster Presentations
by Bob Wright, Poster Chair

There were a total of 621 posters submitted for presentation at the 2004 ESA meetings. On Monday, there were 157 student competition posters, and 62 regular posters. On Tuesday, 221 posters were submitted, and 181 posters were submitted on Wednesday. Ann Jorgensen of the Washington State University Department of Entomology was a student volunteer who helped with the changeover between sessions on Monday and Tuesday nights. The arrangement of posters on all sides of the exhibit area facilitated attendance at the commercial exhibits.

Student Competition for the President’s Prize
by Susan Weller, Student Competition Co-Chair

We had 344 students participate in the 2004 competition. There were 197 oral presentations divided into 15 sessions, and 157 display presentations divided into 13 sessions. There were 45 judges for the oral presentations (Table 1) and 39 judges (Table 2) for the display. In addition, 30 moderators (Table 3) kept the oral sessions moving along in a timely fashion. A breakdown of number of oral presentations and display by section are provided in the PDF version of the PowerPoint presentation given at the awards ceremony. The winners and runner-ups are also listed in this.

A new, simplified judging sheet was implemented for both displays and oral presentations. Judges used customized Excel files to record their scores, which were then automatically totaled on the head judge’s front page. The template was designed by Dr. Michael Ivie (Montana State University), and customized for each of the 28 judges’ sessions by Mr. Ian Foley (Montana State University). Judges were very pleased with the Excel files and the new judging forms. The only complaint was the number of posters assigned to the judges. Some sessions had the full 15 allowed, and one judging team said that they would not willingly judge posters again unless fewer posters were assigned per session. They suggested 12 as an upper limit for posters.

Table 1. Judges for Oral Presentations


Frank Arthur

Thomas Atkinson

Elaine Backus

Stephen Cameron

Raymond Carruthers

Charles Chilcutt, Jr.

Karen Clancy

Elizabeth Cowles

E. S. Delfosse

Robert Everich

Henry Fadamiro

Penny Gullan

Dale Gelman

Paul Flinn

James Harwood

Kevin Heinz

John Heraty

Saskia Hogenhout

Steven Juliano

Melody Keena

Paula Kleintjes

Jack Longino

Catherine Mannion

Debra Murray

Robert O’Neil

John Oswald

Megha Parajulee

Stephen Pernal

Dina Richman

Silvia Rondon

Silvia Rondon

Jay Rosenheim

Claire Rutledge

Michael Schauff

Glen Scoles

Guy Shelton

Rebecca Simmons

M. Alma Solis

James Throne

Jon Tollefson

Jeff Tomberlin

John Vandenberg

Rob Venette

Rob Wiedenmann

Wendy Wintersteen

Simon Yu



Table 2. Judges for Display Presentations

Jim Ballard

Carl Boohene

Jim Campbell

Catherine Duckett

Bob Davis

Jim Fisher

Maria Guadeloupe-Rojas

Sonia Gaul

Claudia Husseneder

Demian Kondo

Thomas Kuhar

Kirk Larsen

Michael Levin

Jeff Lord

Richard Mankin

Dan Miller

Ross Miller

Xinzhi Ni

Raju Pandey

Frank Peairs

Helen Puche

David Ragsdale

George Rambo

Rick Redak

John Reese

Rosemarie Rosell

Danielle Ross

Olav Rueppell

David Shapiro-Ilan

Bob Sites

Andrew Smith

Alton Sparks

David Taylor

Patrick Tobin

Astri Wayandande

Don Weber

Dan Young

Gabriella Zilahi-Balogh

Greg Zolnerowich


Table 3. Moderators for Student Paper Competition

Sandra A. Allan

Marianne Alleyne Carlos A. Blanco

Boris A. Castro

Laurence D. Charlet

Jason R. Cryan Wade French

Kristopher L. Giles

Les Greenberg

Matthew Greenstone

Russell L. Groves George E. Heimpel

John Immaraju

Rufus Isaacs

Rosalind James Walker A. Jones

Jonathan Lundgren

Michael R. McGuire

Joseph McHugh Theresa L. Pitts-Singer

Mary Purcell-Miramontes

Kenneth F. Raffa Jason Rasgon

Michael E. Rogers

Sonja J. Scheffer

Rosemary J. Smith Patrick W. Weddle

John W. Wenzel

James B. Whitfield

James B. Woolley  


Section A

Section A’s program this year offered rather more than the usual number of symposia: one to commemorate and celebrate the career of British entomologist Richard Vane-Wright was selected as a Program Symposium, under the title 'Rhopalocera Erotica' – a title that generated no dissent and encouraged a superb line-up that morphed into an afternoon section symposium to fill the day. Attendance ranged around 150 to over 200 people at various times.

Section A symposia built on a very well supported day and a half of the Entomological Collections Network (ECN) meeting involving many members who stayed for the full ESA program. We commenced with a session on Bee Phylogeny on the Sunday afternoon, with attendance between 70 and 100. After 'Student Monday Morning', section symposia resumed with a packed house (200 plus) for a debate on DNA barcoding, followed by the Vane-Wright tribute on Tuesday, and an overview of the Costa Rican Arthropods of La Selva (ALAS) project on Wednesday morning, attracting another full house.

Student oral presentations were the highest for years at 44, perhaps reflecting the recent outputs of the PEET (NSF) program. Three parallel sessions required substantially increased numbers of moderators and judges. Student poster numbers held up to previous years at 23. Attendances at the student presentations appeared higher than in previous years, numbering from 30 to capacity (>100). Judges strongly approved of the simplified forms and availability of an Excel spreadsheet.

The 10-minute section A papers were represented by 19 talks and 18 posters, a slight reduction compared to some previous years.  Although regular presentations ran concurrently with our symposia, due to increased number of symposia, attendance at the contributed talks ranged from 70 to >100 (room-full).

The preliminary business meeting for Section A had an attendance of 70, the final one about 10 less.  Attendance at the final business meeting may have been enhanced by following on from a special symposium on collecting permits organized by Michael Whiting and Peter Cranston to 'fill the gap' in the Wednesday afternoon schedule. Attendance at thus special symposium was surprisingly high, with never less than 100 participants (with commendable comments and discussion from the floor).

Scheduling worked well, as did retention of one 'home base' room for much of the meeting. Seating capacity of 150 was appropriate except for the very popular DNA barcoding debate – which lured at least 50 more than seating capacity.

Section B

Section B’s program this year offered four outstanding and well-attended symposia: Mechanical Properties of Arthropod Structures: Engineering the Future (selected as a program symposium, organized in conjunction with Section C), Juvenile Hormone: From Mode of Action to Receptors, Odorant Receptors and Plasticity of the Olfactory System, and Insect Neuropeptides and Neuropeptide Receptors in the Post-genomic Era. The organizer of the symposium on odorant receptors overheard attendees making arrangements for collaborations while enjoying the wine and cheese reception that followed, an event sponsored by Suterra. Another symposium, organized by Florence Dunkel and members of the Committees on International Affairs and Education and Youth, featured exotic edibles and focused on undergraduate collaborative research support programs. Attendance at the symposia ranged from 30 to 120.

The student competitions were represented by 14 ten-minute papers and 14 ten-minute posters. The new, simplified forms made the task an easier one for judges, as did the use of an excel spreadsheet for calculation of the judges' scores and ranking of the competitors' entries. Attendance at the student ten-minute paper competitions ranged from 20 to 100.

The 10-minute papers were represented by 28 presentations, with posters presented tallying 63. This year, no Section B paper sessions occurred concomitantly with any of our symposia. Attendance at the student ten-minute paper competitions ranged from 50 to 120.

The 8th annual Section B breakfast, organized as always by Elizabeth Beckemeyer, was enthusiastically supported on Monday morning, and the Section B preliminary business meeting was well attended. However, attendance was low at our final business meeting on Wednesday, as was the case last year. 

Scheduling most of the sessions, including business meetings, in the same room contributed to good attendance. We would recommend that Section B attempt to do this in future as well – the maximum attendance has been around 120 and so a room of that size would suffice for most Section B activities.

Section C

Section C members were very active at the 2004 annual meeting at the Salt Palace Convention Center in beautiful Salt Lake City. Two program symposia were organized or co-organized by members including: Mechanical Properties of Arthropod Structures: Engineering the Future; and The Well Bee-ing of Pollinators and Their Impacts on Agriculture and Natural Ecosystems. Section C symposia included: Advances in Management for Agromyzid Leaf Miners; A Symposium by Young Scientists: Stink Bugs – Biology and Management of a Re-emerging Pest Complex; Global Issues with Aquatic Insects: Research Trends and Societal Concerns; and The Biological Control of Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.): Multidisciplinary Approaches Enhance Success. Members also organized several symposia in areas of biological control, ecology, and insect behavior.

Section C members contributed 40.3, 41.9, 44.2, and 52.7% of the regular and student display presentations and regular and student ten-minute papers, respectively. The total number of presentations for Section C members was 522 of 1191 total submitted displays and papers. The preliminary and final business meetings were well attended. Section C members contributed greatly to the student competition through their enthusiastic service as judges and moderators.

Section D

Section D’s program this year included a very well-organized program symposium on malaria-fighting mosquitoes and several section symposia. These included one on forensic entomology and one on host-pathogen interactions. There were two symposia on acarology, held annually. Section D also featured the medical and veterinary highlights of the previous year, an annual symposium that is always well attended. A new feature this year was a short symposium (two speakers) on West Nile virus and the study of emerging diseases. Attendance at these symposia ranged from 75 (malaria-fighting mosquitoes) to 120 (forensic entomology).

The student competitions were represented by 12 ten-minute papers and 8 ten-minute posters. Attendance at the student ten minute paper competition was approximately 50-60. The excellently-designed forms were a great improvement and are likely to make it easier to recruit judges in future years. Also, the excel spreadsheet made the calculations of judges scores and ranking of entries a much simpler and probably more objective task. 

There were 38 10-minute papers and 42 posters presented.

Section D’s preliminary business meeting was well attended as is usually the case.  Fewer section D members attended the final business meeting on Wednesday. This is a normal trend.

It was very valuable to have most of the Section D sessions in the same or nearby rooms. This always contributes to better attendance.

Section E

No report received.

Section F

Section F had a successful 2004 meeting with 3 Section symposia, five 4-hour TMP sessions, and one 2-hour TMP session accomplished in an effective and timely manner.

Section F, Sub-section Fa, and Sub-section Fb members presented 45, 18, and 37 TMPs, respectively. Sub-section Fb members also presented 17 regular posters. Section F and Subsections Fa and Fb student competitors presented 18, 5, and 9 TMPs, and 20, 11, and 8 posters, respectively. A Section F graduate student, Matthew Rawlings of Oklahoma State University, was awarded the President’s Prize for his poster. 

Section F provided 12 regular session moderators, 4 student competition TMP moderators, 8 student competition TMP judges, and 9 student competition poster judges. These volunteers were essential for the success of all Section F and Subsections Fa and Fb scientific activities during the 2004 meeting.

Use of the CONFEX (Conference Exchange) System that uploaded all TMP sessions onto laptops and delivered the uploaded laptops to TMP session rooms resulted in significant improvement in efficiency compared with previous ESA meetings. CONFEX Section F sessions were problem-free, ensuring smooth, on-time sessions. Also, Grayson Brown played a key role in the success of AV room operations. 

Except for Sunday, Section F TMP sessions were all conducted in Ballroom D, a large room that was needed to accommodate the many attendees. Also, session attendees could only enter from the rear of Ballroom D, and there were two breaks scheduled during four of the five TMP 4-hour sessions, and one break scheduled during the 2-hour Wednesday final Section F TMP session. These attributes reduced traffic and noise disturbance during presentations, and attendees always knew where Section F and Sub-section Fa and Fb sessions were being conducted. This consistency added to success of the sessions.

Overall, Section F had a very successful and productive annual meeting. This success will undoubtedly continue in the future.