Updates from the Southwestern Association of Parasitologists

The Southwestern Association of Parasitologists met for their 54th annual meeting virtually on Zoom on Friday, April 23, 2021. The business meeting was held in the morning prior to presentations.

During the Business meeting, the membership discussed creating a new website with the capabilities of accepting online payment options for meeting registration and dues. Election results were announced with John Shea as President-Elect, Autumn Smith-Herron as Secretary-Treasurer, and Deb Clopton as SWAP representative to ASP Council.


Twenty-two Oral Presentations were given: 11 by undergraduates, 10 by graduate students, and 1 by a faculty member. Students award winners for their Research Presentations were as follows:

·David A. Becker Memorial Award for Best Student Presentation: Awarded to Kaylee Herzog for her presentation entitled “Host specificity and population genomics in marine tapeworms (Eucestoda: Trypanorhyncha).” Kaylee’s co-author is Kirsten Jensen. She is a graduate student at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

·Mark Dresden Award for Runner-Up Best Student Presentation: Awarded to Isabel Pen for her presentation entitled “The fauna of Tetragonocephalum (Cestoda: Lecanicephalidea) in species of the whipray genus Pateobatis.” Isabel’s coauthor is Kirsten Jensen. She is a graduate student at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

·Honorable Mention Graduate Student Presentation: Awarded to Allison Bryant for her presentation entitled “Mediterranean parasites in North America: Coccidia from introduced populations of the Mediterranean house gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus and other species of Hemidactylus.” Her co-authors are Matthew Bolek and Gabriel Langford. She is a graduate student from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK.

·Honorable Mention Undergraduate Student Presentation: Awarded to Emma Martinez for her presentation entitled “Investigating the immune response elicited by the ray species Urogymnus asperrimus 1 (Elasmobranchii: Batoidea) caused by the attachment of a species of Tetragonocephalum (Cestoda: Lecanicephalidea).” Emma’s coauthor is Joanna J. Cielocha. She is an undergraduate from Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO.


One student was awarded a Research Grant for their research proposal.

·Shea Sera (Creighton University, Omaha, NE) was awarded a research grant based on the proposal entitled, “Tenebrio molitor as a paratenic host for Chordodes morgani and Paragordius varius.” Shea is mentored by John Shea.

Officers

Joanna Cielocha, President

John Shea, President-Elect

Autumn Smith-Herron, Secretary/Treasurer

Heather Stigge, Past President

Deb Clopton, SWAP representative to ASP Council

We hope to convene in 2022 for the 55th annual meeting on the grounds of the University of Oklahoma Biological Station located on Lake Texoma, Oklahoma.


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