For the past seven years or so, I’ve started the new year the same way, by attending the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB). Conveniently, the meeting is usually held in a somewhat warm (or at least not frigidly cold) location, and this year’s meeting in Tampa did not disappoint. Aside from the great location and weather, the SICB program also featured a host of great talks and posters.
In addition to keeping up with research pertaining to one’s own interests, conferences are also great opportunities to communicate science more broadly, both to other scientists as well as the public. To this end, several blogs work on covering presentations on specific topics, including Anole Annals, for which I am a semi-regular contributor. For Anole Annals, researchers coordinate together to *try* to cover all the presentations relating to anoles at any given conference. At SICB I had the opportunity to cover three great presentations as a roving reporter for Anole Annals:
Dan Nicholson discussed whether a tropical anole evolves when colonizing novel islands in Panama.
Dan Warner presented a poster on his research examining a population of brown anoles found well north of any other in the southeastern U.S….at an abandoned greenhouse in central Alabama.
Daisy Horr, an undergraduate researcher at Trinity University, discussed how bark anole behavior varies across several different social contexts.
I also covered a couple of presentations addressing urbanization for the Life in the City blog which focuses on evolution in urban environments.
I was excited to branch out to learn about how insects deal with urban environments by hearing about Dustin Johnson’s work on how living in cities alters the thermal limits of ants and Angie Lenard’s research examining how warm city nights may impact growth and development of butterflies.
My own presentation, “Turn Up the Lights In Here: Impacts of Artificial Light at Night on Anoles” was covered by several blogs, including by Anthony Gilbert on Anole Annals and Angie Lenard on Life in the City. And yes, that was a Kanye pun in the title.
Post-meeting, I took off for a quick lizarding trip to Miami with Josh Hall a PhD candidate in Dan Warner’s lab at Auburn University, and Tim Mitchell, a Warner lab alum. We caught a set of representative female anoles at several sites to examine reproductive cycles during winter. All in all, SICB was a great break from deskwork during the winter as both a chance to take a quick shot of fieldwork and get inspiration by seeing all the cool work at SICB!