Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011 Larval Fish Conference

Because this was a relatively small conference I will keep it brief.

I spent much of this past week in Wilmington NC attending the 35th Annual Larval Fish Conference.  I had a great time Wilmington is a great city and the conference was very interesting.  Early life history is my primary interest so I was pretty interested in most of the talks.  There were a few talks focusing on otolith microchemistry as a means of tracking a shift to the marine environment by salmon and striped bass.  These were interesting but I had seen the striped bass talk previously.

There were also a few talks about modeling larval dispersal which I though was really cool.  I don't know what it is but projects combining biological data with physical data really grab my attention.  There were a few talks about eco-morphology and ontogenetic shifts in juvenile fish.  Most of these talks focused on the development of the jaw and all have come up with some interesting results.
There was a section on maturation, fecundity and egg development, which was interesting but seemed repetitive after a certain point.  What I did find interesting was a talk about the influence of maternal diet on the success of offspring.  This was tested with an experiment known as the "larval olympics" which is something I was familiar with from previous work but it was cool to see it brought up again.

There were a lot of talks focused on the match mismatch hypothesis, and there was a special section on cephalopod early life history.  While I have no real interest in cephalopods it was interesting to see what other people are working on, and really larval cephalopods aren't really that different from larval fish.

I liked the conference, I learned a lot.  I maybe didn't get as much feedback on my project as I would have liked but whatever.  The people I talked to at the very least seemed interested.  I think there were people from something like 14 different countries and 20 different states so it was great to see what people around the world are working on.

Now if I can only find a way to go to the conference next year when it is in Norway.

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