One of the perks of the job is the opportunity to travel and learn about other peoples and cultures. These include trips to international meetings, natural history collections, and field work around the world. Recent trips have been to Vitória, Brazil; Guangzhou, China (2 times, both lab & field work); Korea (International Congress of Entomology); Sarawak (2 times, field work); Hungary (meeting); Brussels & Tervuren (museums); Perugia, Italy (lab work).
In July-August I was invited to visit the Universidade Federal de Espírito Santo in Vitória, Brazil to identify the platygastroids caught in their intensive sampling of the state and to participate in an identification workshop for students. Hosts were Celso Azevedo, Marcelo Tavares and Tânia Mara Guerra, and other visitors included Lubo Masner, Matt Buffington, Steve Heydon, Isabel Torres, Daniel Aquino, Eduardo Shimbori, Massimo Olmi, Valmir Costa, and more. Got to catch up with former student Alexandre Aguiar who is now a professor there at UFES. Beautiful time, and warm weather even though in the middle of "winter." Afterward, visited Londrina and a few days on the beach in Rio de Janeiro: que beleza!
Here's a short video of our recent trip to Borneo. It highlights the upstream route to Mentawai Ranger Station and hiking on Headhunters Trail to Camp 5. With me on the trip were Chris Darling (Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto), Andy Polaszek (Natural History Museum, London), and my grad student Elijah Talamas (seen in the video).
At the invitation of two of the organizers, Donat Agosti and Lyubomir Penev, Luciana Musetti, Joe Cora, and I attended the meeting of the pro-iBiosphere project at the Julius Kühn Institute, just across the street from the Botanical Garden. Gave a couple of presentations on our biodiversity databasing work, and Joe got to catch up with his fellow computer jockeys from Pensoft Publishers. The meeting was in May, and it was asparagus season. I had no idea how many different ways you can cook Spargel!
Dr. Xu Zaifu generously hosted my visit to the bustling city of Guangzhou from 13 October - 3 November, 2012. While there I was able to work on his platy collection from all across China, in particular comparing his material of the genus Oxyscelio with the keys and descriptions of Asian species recently completed by postdoc Roger Burks. In addition to lab work, we had the opportunity to spend one weekend (too short!) collecting in Nankunshan National Forest Park (南昆山, picture below) about an hour or so northeast of the city. Beautiful, even that late in the year! The picture above was taken at Baiyunshan in Guangzhou with two of Zaifu's students, Xiao Hong (left, her nickname) and Jiao Kexin (on the right).