While I'm here at home working on thesis research instead of attending the conference, I'm going to try to catch some of the highlights of the meeting each day. How? Why, the internets, of course! ;)
For starters, there's the Evolution 2009 blog coverage page on the conference webpage. Already, there are links to photos from a pre-conference hike (err...), a cool discussion of how predation by snail-eating snakes seems to impose selection on a snail's favoring shells that spiral left instead of right, SJ Gould Award winner Eugenie Scott's lecture, and a few others.
There's also a schedule if you'd like to take the time and wade through it for any eye catching titles worthy of googling the author. While this usually isn't all that productive -- and not at all as informative as hearing some of the talks -- it can on occasion be fruitful!
For example, today I found this great little quote from Jeremy Fox's webpage, which I'm sure I'll use in future talks motivating biology students to become competent quantitative scientists:
I use mathematical models because ecology and evolution are complicated; it's impossible to develop rigorous hypotheses without mathematical help.Hey, give me break, I'm an applied mathematician - hearing biologists say things like this puts a big nerdy smile on my face!
- Jeremy Fox, Biologist
Moving along, there's also the FriendFeed page which takes a bit more wading through tweets and other posts on such intellectually stimulating topics as where to get the best coffee or beer near campus. Eventually though, you can find some of the more interesting "tweets" like this one
visit the Systematic Biology exhibit for an amazing (free) Timetree of Life poster #E09Which presumably refers to this poster (which is also available free to download from the web) from the TimeTree website. Here's an example from this site, which attempts to give you estimates of the time since two given taxa diverged. I thought I'd check it out with an easy one (chimps and humans) - here's part of the result:
The TimeTree project has also gotten some attention at the phylogenetics blog dechronization - check it out!
Ah, now if the Evolution 2009 organizers had only recorded all the talks and made them available on the web...
That reminds me, I should post something about the recent Computational Sustainability conference last week at Cornell. Unlike the big conferences like Evolution, this one was a bit smaller and the organizers were kind enough to actually record almost all of the talks and put them on the web!!! I'll probably post more later, but for now here's a link to the webpage: