June 9-11th we traveled to the Touch of Nature Environmental Station, part of the Southern Illinois University System, for the Annual Midwestern Conference of Parasitologists. On the way, we took a scenic detour through the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge spotting Carolina Wrens and Chickadees, Redheaded Woodpeckers, a Black rat snake, racer, and eastern box turtles (as well as an undetermined number of ticks).
Olivia Choi, Jason Block, Alma Mendoza each gave oral presentations and all participants enjoyed excellent symposia and student presentations, a competitive silent auction, engaging poster session, enthusiastic banquet seminar on paleoparasitology, and opportunities for networking with other parasitologists.
Jason Block was awarded an undergraduate research grant that will support his independent project this coming academic year. Congrats Jason!