Tuesday December 12th, 7PM Mountain Standard Time (2 AM UTC)
The December Mini-conference series will feature a talk by Dr Rob Wiedenmann followed by the 2023 WAS Annual General Meeting. Agenda: First Presentation: "The Silken Thread: five insects and their impacts on human history" by Dr Rob Wiedenmann. Bio: Dr. Rob Wiedenmann was head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Arkansas from 2005 until stepping down from administration in 2014. He remained a faculty member at Arkansas until he retired in 2019, teaching the class, "Insects, Science and Society" that generated the idea for the book, "The Silken Thread". From 1994-2005, he was assistant/associate/professional scientist at the Illinois Natural History Survey and was the director (2001-2005) of the Center for Ecological Entomology. Rob received a B.S. (with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa) in ecology and evolutionary biology and a Ph.D. in entomology from Purdue. He spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher at Texas A&M. He served as President of the Entomological Society of America in 2013. He currently resides in Tigard, OR (where WAS Member-at-large Dewey Caron also lives).
Rob taught Biological Control at Illinois; at Arkansas, he led graduate seminars on Invasive Species, Professional Development, and Research Ethics. At Illinois, his research and outreach included invasive species, biological control of weeds, and parasitoids of lepidopteran stemborers; at Arkansas, his research interests included invasive species, biological control, and the invasiveness of biofuel crops. Summary: His book "The Silken Thread" is an examination of how 5 insects, a moth, a flea, a louse, a mosquito and the honey bee link the history of insects to human history of civilization and their empires, cultural exchanges among east and west and within societies, and human warfare. Insects are directly responsible for more human death and suffering than all the wars in our history. But two among the five, silkworms and honey bees have also brought unique products and economic benefits to humans. It is a fascinating story well documented and delivered by Dr Wiedenmann. Second Presentation: WAS Annual AGM - WAS business meeting lead, Etienne Tardif