Locust researchers represent at Entomological Society of America conference

The Global Locust Initiative Lab team attended the 2022 Joint Annual Meeting in Vancouver November 12–16th, 2022, along with a great showing of fellow locust and grasshopper researchers, many of whom are students recently brought into the fold of locust research through the Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute (BPRI).

Orthoptera networking event

Arizona State University’s Syeda Mehreen Tahir co-organized a member symposium with other BPRI students focused on phenotypic plasticity with nine live talks and five on-demand online presentations. The speakers covered topics from genetics to nutrition, coloration, and wing patterns, all in the context of phenotypic plasticity—the ability genotypes have to express different phenotypes when exposed to different conditions.

Conversations surrounding themes in phenotypic plasticitygained momentum in the Orthoptera networking event hosted by the GLI, BPRI, and The Orthopterists' Society. Attendees participated in a speed round of networking which sparked lively conversations and connections. Thirty-five people from a diverse array of backgrounds had the opportunity to share about their research, find opportunities for collaboration, and learn fun facts about new and old colleagues.

In addition to the symposium and networking event, there were many fantastic presentations. Graduate student, Sydney Millerwise

Sydney Millerwise presenting her research

gave a talk titled “Dietary macronutrient balance affects reproductive performance across locust lifespans” and Mehreen Tahir presented her first poster titled “The effect of flight on susceptibility to pathogens in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria”. Mira Word Ries presented on “Navigating the challenge of transboundary pests through global networks”, Dr. Arianne Cease presented “Generalist insect herbivore regulates carbohydrate and lipid intake to increase the efficiency of migratory fuel accumulation” on behalf of postdoctoral researcher Stav Talal as well as her symposium talk on how diet modulates gregarization in the Australian plague locust.

Mehreen Tahir standing with her poster and supporters

Overall the conference was a huge success with a fantastic showing of Orthoptera science. For a list of team talk titles and their speakers click here.