Members from the Chakrabarty lab attended two main meetings this summer to give presentations on the research we've been doing this past year. Fernando Alda and I started off the summer by attending the Evolution meeting in Portland, OR, from June 23rd to the 27th. Right before that meeting, though, I was able to attend a BAMM workshop led by Dan Rabosky at the Oregon State Campus in Corvallis. The workshop was an immersive two days event, but I walked away with a greater understanding the theory, math, and implementation of BAMM (and other packages, like FISSE). Local host, Brian Sidlauskas, also managed to give some of us a quick tour of the Oregon State Ichthyology Collection as well, which was a real treat. Thanks to Dan, Brian, and all of the others that made that workshop possible. After leaving Corvallis, I headed back up to Portland for the meeting. There were a lot of LSU students, alumni, and faculty at the meeting, and it was great to see everyone give talks and to catch up with old friends. Strangely, there was a Walking Dead event going on at the convention center concurrently, and the center was filled with a strange mixture of scientists, and people dressed up as zombies, Walking Dead characters, or random characters from a number of other series. No zombies interrupted any talks, but it was difficult to tell apart scientists from zombies at times... Evolution is always a good meeting, full of inspiring talks and great people. This meeting was no different, and Portland is a great place to visit, with a lot of good bars, restaurants, and things to do. Thanks to all of the organizers of the meeting for pulling off another great meeting.
Not too long after the Portland meeting, Fernando and I found ourselves at another meeting, this time joined by the entirety of the Chakrabarty lab (AJ Turner, Diego Elias, and Pam Hart). The meeting was the JMIH 2017 annual meeting in Austin, TX, commonly referred to as the ichs and herps meeting in near-Austin, TX. This was because the meeting was in the very northern reaches of the city, and quite far from downtown Austin. Despite this, the meeting was still a blast and there were still enough nearby restaurants and bars to keep people busy and happy. I was blown away by many of the student talks at this meeting, which were the highest caliber I've seen yet. So many good studies, with fantastic visuals provided by the wide-spread adoption of CT scans that many people are doing now. It even got a genomics guy like me excited for fish morphology. Overall it was a busy summer, but a lot of fun. I still have an upcoming meeting this October in Tahiti, so stay tuned for a posting on that.