Congratulations Alex for being one of the two recipients of the best presentation award! She presented the part of her MS work dealing with species descriptions, redescriptions, and experimental life cycle work of four species of philophthalmid trematodes. [Yes, we’re currently working on submitting that and other papers from her MS; and she’s currently doing her Phd at N. Carolina State with Skylar Hopkins.]
Anaí, Dan, and Ryan (and Alexandria as a bonus) fly to College Station, Texas for the first in-person American Society of Parasitologists meeting since before the pandemic. Anaí and Dan gave talks on their thesis work. Alexandria came in from North Carolina State to present part of her previous Masters work. The meeting was a success, conversations where great, and it was good to be back “in the flesh.”
Mizuki Sasaki, Osamu Miura, and Minoru Nakao honor Ryan by naming a newly described species of trematode after him: Philophthalmis hechingeri. Ryan had first recognized the redia and cercaria stages of this species from their first intermediate host snail in Japan in 2003. In 2007, he provided a description of those stages and gave it a provisional name (the latter because he didn’t have adult stages). Using molecular genetics, Sasaki et al. found that an adult Philophthalmus recently reported infecting the eye of a person was the same species that Ryan had described from the snail! They then experimentally got and described the adult stage, and named the species after Ryan for the original discovery and description.
Congratulations to Anaí, who was awarded SIO’s outstanding TA award for her excellent work last Fall TAing Introduction to Marine Biology, which is the gateway upper division class for the Marine Biology major. She also won UCSD’s Inclusive Excellence award for her outstanding work at SIO and UCSD involving Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Anaí impressed the judges with her talk, “Do host populations consistently differ in their levels or types of parasitism throughout their geographic ranges”, at the (virtual) annual conference of the Western Society of Naturalists. Stiff competition there! Congratulations!