This year ENTO18 was hosted by Edgehill University, which until I met Anne Oxbrough at INTECOL in 2013, I had thought was in London 🙂 It is actually in Ormskirk, for those of you not familiar with the geography of the North of England, about 19 km as the crow flies, or 26 km by road from Liverpool. I drove up with my colleague Heather Campbell and we were both immediately impressed by the campus; even the extremely large car park took on an eerie beauty at night.
Edgehill University Campus – water features and greenery and a very large car park
The greenery, much of it just planted, also meant that there were some interesting insects to find such as the Alder beetle Agelastica alni, which up until a few years ago was considered extinct in the UK. There was also very obvious vine weevil damage around the campus.
The Alder Leaf Beetle – very much not extinct
As you might expect with the large amount of water present, there were also a lot of ducks and other water birds which meant that one had to be careful where one trod. The campus also boasted some interesting sculptures including pig and a goat, the significance of which escaped me.
Zoological sculptures, sadly not insects 🙂
The theme of the conference was “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and sessions were based around the Royal Entomological Society’s journals.
A great set of journals, especially the one with the red cover
The talks were varied and almost without exception, excellent. Anne Oxbrough and her team had obviously done a great job in attracting a stellar cast both in the choice of keynote speakers and the shorter, but no less important, talks.
As usual, events like this don’t need a lot of text, the pictures tell the story.
Just some of the great keynote talks – note the presence of honorary insects
Some of my favourite short talks, including a couple by former students and another honorary insect subject
An unsolved conference mystery – why was this vine weevil wearing a coat? Photo by one of my former MSc students, Katy Dainton
One of my favourite talks
Entomological fashion icons
The traditional ceilidh – there are always some who sit and watch
Our new President, Chris Thomas FRS, never short of words especially with a glass of wine in his hand
Great to see one of my former MSc students, Liam Crowley, win the prize for the best student talk. Archie Murchie handing over the cheque.
Congratulations to two of the student essay winners, James Fage and Maggie Gill, both on the Harper Adams University MSc course.
An excellent conference dinner, although the vegetable terrine starter did not receive universal approbation 🙂
The very large deck chair! Entomologists never really grow up 🙂
Some personal highlights – meeting my beard twin, Mike Kaspari, a garish contribution to the entomological tee-shirt competition (I’m not sure there actually was one) and succumbing to the lure of the chair 🙂
I missed this but it looks fantastic – one of the post-conference workshops
Many thanks to Anne Oxbrough and her team and of course the Royal Entomological Society team, Kirsty Whiteford, Luke Tilley and my former student Fran Sconce – it was a great conference.
And finally, please support this great initiative organised by another of my former MSc students, Ashleigh Whiffin with the help of Matthew Esh and Richard Wright.