The World Congress of Herpetology invited the world's herpetologists, as well as ichthyologists meeting with the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and the American Elasmobranch Society, to convene at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, from 8 through 14 August, 2012. The Department of Vertebrate Zoology was well-represented by the divisions of Amphibians and Reptiles (Kevin de Queiroz, Roy McDiarmid, Dan Moen and Jeremy Jacobs) and Fishes (Bruce Collette, Dave Johnson, Ai Nonaka, Lynne Parenti, Dave Smith and Inci Bowman).
Dan Moen, a VZ pre-doctoral fellow, presented a paper on his dissertation research titled “Convergence in jumping and swimming performance in assemblages of frogs from three continents” for which he received honorable mention in the Herpetologists’ League Graduate Student Research Award competition. Bruce Collette presented a paper, co-authored with Kent Carpenter (Old Dominion University), on “Red Listing Marine Species.” Maria del Rosario Castañeda (Harvard University and VZ Research Collaborator) presented a paper, with Kevin de Queiroz as co-author, on “Multivariate analysis of the morphological component of ecomorphology in mainland Anolis lizards (Dactyloa clade).” Roy McDiarmid was a co-author of three presentations on the biology of plethodontid salamanders: “Through the looking glass: Widespread declines in body size in Appalachian Plethodontid salamanders”; “Spatial, temporal and taxonomic variation in patterns of population decline in Appalachian Plethodontid salamanders”; and “It's a small world: geographic and taxonomic variation in the cutaneous microbiome of Plethodon salamanders.” Dave Johnson presented a paper co-authored with Carole Baldwin on “A beautiful perplexing larval fish specimen from the Florida Straits (Liopropomini?:Epinephelinae: Serranidae).”
Roy McDiarmid was a Participant/Discussant in the ASIH Graduate Student Workshop: Communicating Science to the Public. Lynne Parenti participated in a speed-mentoring evening in which graduate students in ichthyology and herpetology interacted with professionals in a series of three-minute sessions. This ASIH-sponsored event has proven a popular and effective way for students to enhance their scientific meeting experience.
Collections issues were addressed in the symposium “Technology and Innovation in Herpetology and Ichthyology Collections.” In “Establishing and maintaining tissue collections for DNA”, H. J. Walker (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) and Leo Smith (Field Museum of Natural History) presented data comparing some of the largest repositories of fish tissues in the United States. With the recent expansion of our tissue voucher collections from the Caribbean, Pacific and South America, the Division of Fishes, at 10,000 tissue samples, maintains one of the largest and most rapidly growing fish tissue collections.