2008 Annual Meeting Wrap-up Reports

Program Committee Final Report

The scientific program at the 2008 ESA Annual Meeting (AM) featured 1,782 scientific presentations (1,240 oral papers and 542 posters).  During the 4-day meeting, we offered 69 symposia (6 Program symposia, 1 late-breaking symposium, 20 Section symposia, 2 international symposia and 40 Member symposia) and 109 contributed sessions. Within the contributed presentation category, there were 22 Ten-minute paper sessions, 8 poster sessions, and 36 student competition sessions. 

As this was the first AM since the renewal of the society, there were a number of fundamental changes in the meeting.  Most notably was the dedication of Monday afternoon to section meetings to the exclusion of other competing scientific sessions.  The sectional meetings, while structured quite differently by the sections, were very well received by the attendees.  Additionally, sections were only guaranteed 3 section symposia each, the other eight were competitive among the sections and newly formed networks.

The other new addition to the AM was the inclusion of two international symposia, one held in conjunction with several speakers in Europe, the other comprised almost entirely of remote presentations (only two were on-site) from nine different countries on 5 different continents.  While there were a few minor technical issues, these symposia were very effective and demonstrate the feasibility of future off-site sessions.

By virtually every measure, the 2008 ESA Annual Meeting in Reno ran very smoothly.  The ESA staff, Tri-Societies staff, Conference Exchange staff, Prestige AV staff and our volunteers made this meeting successful. On behalf of the 2008 Program Committee, we thank all who contributed to this meeting.

Submitted by Ric Bessin, Doug Johnson, and Grayson Brown, 2008 Program Co-Chairs


There were 532 posters accepted for presentation at the 2008 ESA Annual Meeting held in Reno, Nevada. On Monday, 150 student competition posters were displayed. On Tuesday and Wednesday, 382 regular posters were displayed. The direct involvement this year of the Tri-Societies meeting contractor staff with poster-board numbering and management of the poster floor was extremely valuable and should be continued.

Submitted by Bob Peterson, 2008 Poster Session Chair

Student Competition for the President’s Prize

We had 421 students participate in the 2008 Student Competition for the President’s Prize. There were 265 ten-minute presentations divided into 22 sessions and 156 posters divided into 14 different sessions.  There were 66 judges for the oral presentations and 42 judges for the posters. In addition, there were 44 moderators that assisted with the oral presentations. A breakdown of the number of presentations and displays by section is provided in Tables 1 and 2, respectively.

Table 1. Ten Minute Oral Presentation for the President’s Prize, by Section


No. of Papers










Table 2. Display Presentations for President’s Prize, by Section


No. of Posters










The winners and runners-up were listed in a Powerpoint presentation at the awards ceremony. This information will also be posted on the ESA Website.

We provided each judge with a folder containing judging sheets and student abstracts for each session.  Head judges were in charge of providing us with the final results.0 We worked with these judges to input all scores into an Excel spreadsheet.  Overall, the system was well received. A few judges asked for a simplified judging sheets in the future. The size of the oral presentations and poster sessions was ideal. In most sessions we were able to have 10-13 students competing for the President’s Prize. 

Submitted by Clint and Carol Pilcher, 2008 Student Competition Co-Chairs

Integrative Physiological and Molecular Insect Systems (IPMIS) Section

The Integrative Physiological and Molecular Insect Systems (IPMIS) Section of the ESA hosted five very successful symposia at the 2008 annual meeting in Reno.

Sunday: Lignocelluse Degradation by Insects and their Gut Symbionts with Potential Applications to the Biofuels Industry symposium was attended by around 50 members. Organizers were Jian-Zhong Sun, Kelli Hoover, and Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes.

Tuesday the two-part symposium “Metamorphosis of Entomological Chemical Ecology: a Tribute to Wendell Roeloffs” was also very well attended, as was the “Tick Genomics and Beyond – New Advances in Tick-borne Disease Systems” symposium on Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, section symposia featured the “Interacting Genomes in Bark Beetle Ecology”  and the “Application of New Methodologies to Insect Physiology Research: the “-Omics” Revolution” followed by a reception honoring Michael Chippendale.

IPMIS is fortunate and proud to have organizers and participants to provide such interesting and successful events. Additionally, 42 IPMIS 10-minute papers were contributed throughout the meeting. Three student paper sessions offered 36 excellent oral presentations. Student IPMIS posters numbered 64.

Other fine symposia featuring IPMIS topics included “Frontiers in Molecular Insect Science”, a two part (morning and afternoon) session, organized by Qisheng Song, Yonping Huang, and David W. Stanley. The student debate symposium on Sunday, “The Impacts of Genetically Modified Organisms in Entomology”, organized by Anne Nielsen and Roxanne Burrus was also of particular interest to our section.

The Section Meeting featured invited speakers including May Berenbaum and John Hildebrand, and winners of ESA recognition awards were invited to present their research: Walter Leal, Margaret Gehtz, and Joe Lewis gave enlightening and inspiring talks. Attendance was excellent, at one point a head count numbered 190!!

New additions to committee posts for IPMIS include Richard Mankin as representative to the Annals of the ESA editorial board and Andrew Li as the new IPMIS member of the Founders Memorial Lecture Award Committee.

Submitted by Meg Allen, 2008 IPMIS Vice President