Halloween 2015 saw the return of the Wales Ecology and Evolution Network (WEEN) meet at Gregynog Hall, mid-Wales. WEEN’15 united masters, PhD and Post doctoral researchers from Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities to share their work under the broad umbrella of ecology and evolution. During the two day packed programme, which was heavily aquatic based, we were enlightened about an exciting range of research from animal behaviour to molecular conservation. The keynote speaker, Dr Ines Fürtbauer, from Swansea University, deserves a particular mention for her presentation focusing on stress endocrinology and the basic reproductive- and life-history traits in wild female Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis).
Alex Stewart was the first CRIPES member to present his research on the effects of host stress and ambient temperatures on the adaptive host immune response against Saprolegnia, a parasitic fungal-like infection of fish with major economic importance. Mike Reynolds talked about the effect of flow rate on parasite transmission in shoals of fish. This data gave insight into how parasite transmission dynamics are affected by changing environmental conditions, and can also be applied for advising the optimal conditions aquaculture and the aquarium trade can maintain stocks to reduce parasite epidemics. Our final CRIPES member, Somoye Oluwaseun, presented his previous research on the impacts of malaria control measures in Imota, Lagos, Nigeria.
The WEEN’15 Croquet Olympics and a compulsory fancy dress Halloween party really broke the ice, with Swansea taking home the crown for best dressed and Aber Uni throwing the best ecology dance moves. Thank you to each university representative for organising a fantastic conference and setting the bar high for next year’s event. For more information about WEEN, and to see photos from this years event please visit our Facebook page by clicking here.