As promised, myself and a team of judges were hunting parasite cartoons at ESA 2015. And we found them! I’m just going to give you guys the Honorable Mention, the Runner Up, and the Supreme Grandmaster (=Winner) of ESA 2015 parasite cartoons.
Congratulations to Sara Weinstein – who talked about the role of invasive species (=rats) in the transmission of native parasites (=raccoon roundworm) – for being our Honorable Mention! Sara used several cartoons in her talk, but the crowning jewel was a line drawing of rats and raccoons foraging together in trashcans.
Our Runner Up is Alex Strauss, who won the contest last year! Alex clearly has a knack for cartoons (and great talks). During his talk about the relative roles of the healthy herds effect, the dilution effect, the “predator spreader” effect in a Daphnia-fungus system, he used a cartoon of a Chaoborus biting off a Daphnia‘s head! Obviously, that was awesome. (Update: Meg said that Eric Dagley is the artist of the Chaoborus cartoon – nice job, Eric! This doesn’t change our contest outcome – using other peoples’ cartoons was allowed.)
Nicholas Skaff gave a talk about the role of fine-scale wetland characteristics in the risk of West Nile Virus infection in humans. He had to explain several hypotheses regarding how wetland size, wetland connectivity, and wet/dry cycles might affect human infection risk. And to do that, he used some really helpful diagrams, which included cartoons of ponds, birds, frogs, fish, mosquitoes, sunshine, rain clouds…and probably other things, but I can’t read my own handwriting in my notes. So, congrats, Nicholas! You are the Supreme Grandmaster, and you’ve won a year of bragging rights!!
Stay tuned next week to hear about my favorite talks from the conference!