Yesterday we registered for the big meeting and had the obligatory social (2 free drinks per person). Today I’ll be attending a group of talks on speciation and genomics—a topic that didn’t exist when I got my Ph.D.
So far the organization of the conference seems smooth and efficient: kudos to my friend Howard Rundle at Ottawa for running this immensely complicated conference, in which five different evolution societies meet: he European and Canadian societies for evolutionary biology, the American Society of Naturalists, the Society of Systematic Biologists, and my own home, the Society for the Study of Evolution.
Last night the estimable Larry Moran of Sandwalk took several of us around, including skeptics and scientists, for a food tour in nearby Quebec, centering on the indigenous dish poutine (look it up) followed by a visit to a local bakery. It was a lovely evening and I’ll post the photos on my return (advance warning: nobody is to “inform me” of the health dangers of poutine).
Here’s a photo of three generations of evolutionary geneticists (l to r): me, my first student Mohamed Noor, a professor at Duke, and his student Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos, a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland. Both Mohamed and Daniel spoke in the speciation-genomics symposium. The “thumbs-up” sign is Mohamed’s signature gesture (he’s an optimistic lad), one that he swore he’d abandon when he got tenure. He lied.