Kim, Kim and Eva all report that the conference was highly enjoyable. The science was great, the venue was nice, and food was remarkably good for a conference (which is pretty important in our books). The Australians take their coffee very seriously and Kim Hoke was amazed that every average coffee shop chosen at random could make a spectacular flat white, latte, etc. Eva made everyone try TimTam cookies and even coerced Kim Dolphin into doing a Tim Tam slam in a public place.
When asked about some favorite talks Eva mentioned two in particular:
(1) Lindy McBride on how mosquitoes detect different odors off people's skin. "Lots of really stellar science and cool approaches, and one of the take homes was that different people are more/less attractive to different mosquitoes. Very enlightening because it put some science to what I think we all know from experience (especially those of us who have spent time in tropical rain forests ...). "
(2) Dave Schulz (a colleague and friend) talking about his single cell sequencing data. "Dave works on STG neurons in crabs and has the ability to identify single neurons of specific types. By sequencing them and clustering based on gene expression he has found that neurons of the same type actually DO NOT cluster very well. This is super cool/scary because usually when you do single cell sequencing you're trying to identify the neurons based on gene expression and he is basically showing that may in fact be a super problematic approach. Also, the man loves a heat map as much as I do. "