First quadrennial meeting of the International Heteropterist’ Society, New York (1998)
The first meeting of the International Heteropterists’ Society occurred at the American Museum of Natural History in New York July 14-18, 1998. The following report outlines the business outcomes of the meeting and an account of the scientific presentations of the attending members.
The broad objectives of the Society were identified by the founding member’s as 1) the promotion of systematic, biogeographic and biological studies of Heteroptera, and 2) the cultivation of cooperative research among heteropterists throughout the world. It was envisaged that the Society would act in a similar fashion to existing taxon-based societies, such as the Coleopterist’s Society.
It can be safely reported that the meeting provided the foundation for achieving the Society’s objectives. The meeting brought together 55 people from 20 countries, all with a common dedication to the study of the true bugs. This was not only expressed in the formal presentations, but also in the many informal meetings, establishment of contacts, enhancement of existing associations, and the uniform recognition for the need for consolidation of existing information about Heteroptera. The study of the true bugs will undoubtedly be advanced by the collective will of the members of the Society. On a lighter note, it was a great opportunity to place a face to a name, and make new friends. In this regard Toby Schuh (and the Museum and his staff) must be given special thanks for providing a casual atmosphere where all the participants were (or at least appeared to be) relaxed. Michael Schwartz applied his knowledge of the venue in offering invaluable assistance to make the meeting a success. It was encouraging that there was a substantial attendance by students, and the “old guard” of heteropterology (I refrain from naming them for fear of being accused of ageism).
The founding group of the Society, Toby Schuh, Tom Henry, Wenjun Bu, John Polhemus and Gerry Cassis, met on July 14 to discuss the business objectives of the meeting and to establish the processes by which these objectives could best be achieved. The primary business objectives were to 1) endorse the formation of the Society by the members, 2) endorse the Societies’ bylaws 2) elect the Societies’ officers, and to 3) organise the next international meeting of the Society. The founding group acted as a steering committee which established an open democratic process.
The meeting commenced on July 15 with an introduction of the key business issues by the founding group. Toby Schuh offered a brief historical treatment of how the concept of the Society came together, what were the goals, and a proposition of the Society’s by-laws. The founding group had established a draft set of by-laws. Tom Henry needs special recognition for his efforts in this regard. The by-laws were presented to the member’s for their consideration, so that they could be emended and ratified during the meeting. John Polhemus, who prior to the meeting, had acted as the defacto Treasurer, reported on the financial position of the Society. He reported that the Society held income, from membership dues, of $US3,300 and that expenditure was $US400. John was already on the investment trail and the Society’s finances will no doubt be in great hands. John successfully pried life membership dues from your Secretary – so I warn you beware of the entrepreneurial skills of your Treasurer! The nomination and election processes of the officers and executive of the Society were also outlined, and their role and responsibilities are given in the by-laws. There was also a call for nominations for the location of the second meeting. Tom Henry rounded off the business meeting by outlining some of the immediate goals of the Society, again as conceived by the founding group, which were 1) to develop a Bulletin Board available through e-mail, 2) to create a world list of Heteropterists, including addresses, interests, and certain biographical information, and 3) to further expand, improve, and maintain the International Heteropterists’ Society Homepage on the World Wide Web. The opportunities for integration and consolidation of existing information have never been greater, and it was envisaged that the Society would be best served by establishing products and services on the Internet. Tom Henry, through considerable effort, and a significant in-kind contribution from the US Department of Agriculture, was able to present the makings of the Society website to the assembled members. At the time of the meeting this included 1) an introduction and goals of the Society, 2) Membership and Member’s List, 3) the schedule of the first meeting, 4) the Heteroptera Bibliography, and 5) Links. Like all websites, it will ultimately judged by its content, and here the onus falls on the membership. The website will reside on the USDA server, and Tom Henry and George Venable are thanked by the membership for their grand efforts.
At the conclusion of the meeting the following business outcomes were achieved. Firstly, the bylaws were amended and ratified by the membership. Thanks are given to Ernst Heiss and Izya Kerzhner for their careful reading and suggestions in this regard. The by-laws as endorsed by the membership are available on the International Heteropterists’s Society website (http://entomology.si.edu/entomology/ihs/minutes.html). Secondly, the following officers were elected: Dr R T Schuh – President, Dr J Gracia – President-Elect, Dr J T Polhemus – Treasurer, Dr T J Henry – Editor, Dr G Cassis – Secretary, Dr I Kerzhner -2002 Program Chair, Dr Wenjun Bu – Assistant Program Chair. There were two nominations for the second meeting of the Society in 2002, Tianjin, China, and St Petersburg, Russia. The latter was supported by the membership as the site of the second meeting. Wenjun Bu and Professor Zheng are thanked by the membership for their offer of holding the second meeting. It was a difficult decision and there is no doubt that one day China will host the world’s heteropterists, as it did so successfully during the 1992 International Congress of Entomology in Beijing. Many of us still fondly remember our Chinese colleagues wonderful generosity – who can forget the “eat-a-bug” restaurant we attended during the Congress! We thank Dr Kerzhner for his nomination and hope that our second meeting achieves even greater heights than the New York meeting. See you in St Petersburg!
An important business item emerged from the meeting that came from the membership and requires special mention. The heteropterists of the world have for a long time been served by Professor Carl Schaefer of the University of Connecticut, who has labored to our advantage on the Heteropterists’ Newsletter for many years. In many ways his efforts are a precursor to some of the aims of the Society, and a vote of thanks was offered. Paula Mitchell and Jane O’Donnell put together the following words which were endorsed by the membership. The Executive Committee would like to thank the member’s for these appropriate sentiments and hope that Carl will see the establishment of the Society as a natural progression of his original ideas.
Whereas, the Heteropterists’ Newsletter has, for many years, fostered
communication and camaraderie among heteropterists the world over;
and whereas, the community of heteropterists thus formed has expanded
to become the International Heteropterists Society;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: That the society recognizes and
appreciates the efforts of Carl Schaefer in editing and producing the
Ultimately the Society will succeed on the basis of the exchange and development of scientific ideas. The presentations at the first meeting underscored this point and were overall of an excellent standard, as could be judged by the high attendance of the member’s throughout all the sessions. The seminars were grouped into four areas, 1) behaviour and ecology, 2) faunistics and biogeography, 3) phylogenetic analyses, and 4) morphology and classification.
The first full day of the conference included eight talks on behaviour and ecology. Jeff Aldrich set the bar high by opening the proceedings with a superb presentation on the chemical ecology of the pheromones of milkweed bugs. The Heteroptera are characterised by complex glandular structures, and Aldrich has led the way in our understanding of how true bug pheromones work. Doug Tallamy and E. L. Monaco gave a detailed account on egg dumping in the tingid species, Gargaphia solani. These workers reported on aspects of maternal care in relation to juvenile hormone titres. The first session ended with an informative overview of parental care in Heteroptera by Rogelia Macias-Ordonez, with examples from the Belostomatidae, Reduviidae and Coreidae. Matija Gogala, is to sound communication what Jeff Aldrich is to chemical communication in true bugs, and he gave many of us insights into “bug-speak”, in his review of vibrational songs of terrestrial bugs. His talk was not only filled with plectra and stridulitra, but also into various behavioural ecological aspects. Patrick de Clercq gave an excellent presentation on the predatory behaviour of Podisus maculiventris and its value as a biocontrol agent, proving once again that the Heteroptera contribute positively to humankind’s agricultural endeavours. Paula Mitchell (and Eric Paysen) gave an overview of parasitism and predation of eggs of Coreidae, which highlighted the coreids as a group of significant biological interest.
The early morning of the second day of lectures (July 16) provided a conclusion of the sessions on behaviour and ecology. Undoubtedly, the lectures on the biology of the Heteroptera proved the need for the Society to include all aspects of Heteropterology. For the systematists amongst us it showed the true bugs are more than a collection of “hooks, barbs and knobs,” me to observing “our”animals. One of the Society’s objectives is to promote cross-fertilization of ideas and disciplines, and as the biologists require a historical context for their comparative work, systematists need to incorporate behavioural/ecological information in their decision-making. We still have a considerable way to go in understanding the classification of the true bugs, and their biology is even more obscure. The above lectures indicated a great deal of sophistication in terms of techniques and interpretation of biological information. It is hoped that at the second meeting of the Society and in the ensuing years that there is more integration between these disciplines.
The second theme of the conference was on faunistics and biogeography of the Heteroptera. The session opened with a compelling argument about insular biogeography of Hawaiian Nabidae by Dan Polhemus. Aside from the fascinating account of the radiation of the Nabidae (why the Nabidae?) on this intriguing archipelago, Dan was able to offer credible earth history explanations for the restricted distributions of Nabis, a genus that elsewhere is unremarkable and somewhat homogeneous. Wenjun Bu gave an account of the Anthocoridae of China, and at the same time showed that at least someone in the world understands this very difficult taxon. The flower bugs of China are very diverse and Wenjun gave us some insights into the hidden habitats of his country. John Polhemus gave an informative account of the Gerromorpha of New Guinea, and using cladistic biogeographic techniques, was able to give explanations that offer broader understanding into the zoogeography of a complex bioregion. Marie-Claude Lariviere, under duress (and at an rescheduled time), gave a detailed overview of the Heteropteran fauna of New Zealand. Although disharmonic, the kiwi true bug fauna is of great interest biogeographically, and Marie-Claude has done a great service in cataloguing it. We await her interpretation of its origins and new taxonomic discoveries. The study of biogeography is hampered by a lack of knowledge about the “true” distribution of species and the methodologies for analyzing data are still in development. Undoubtedly, the descriptive phases are essential precursors, but it is hoped that heteropterists take a cladistic approach, or at least offer testable hypotheses. Ad hoc explanations about the distribution of taxa are no longer profitable, so go forth and make cladograms and suffer through messy data.
The third theme was on phylogenetic analyses of Heteroptera. Steve Keffer’s talk on the phylogeny of Nepidae was a test case for how to conduct comparative morphological studies. His account of the male genitalia of the water scorpions was enough in itself, but he was also able to interpret his observations within a phylogenetic framework. It will be of great interest to see how congruent his data are with other character systems. Christian Fischer gave an enthusiastic and detailed account of the phylogeny of the Acanthosomatidae, a group that has received little attention since Kumar’s seminal work. It was encouraging to see phylogenetic procedures applied to taxonomic groups that have had no previous cladistic treatment in the literature.
The last day of the conference (July 17) included four more talks on phylogeny. Jocelia Grazia gave us a long needed treatment (why have they been so neglected in the past?) of the phylogeny of the Pentatomoidea. For so long the relationships of the pentatomoid families have been poorly understood, and apart from the novel but somewhat flawed methodological approaches of Gapud, no modern works of consequence exist. Jocelia proved beyond a doubt that there is plenty of data to work with. Toby Schuh provided his usual high standards in unpacking the family-group relationships of the Lygaeoidea based on DNA sequences and morphology. Tom Henry recently revolutionized our understanding and classification of the Pentatomomorpha, particularly the Lygaeoidea, and although based on an incomplete dataset, Toby was able to lend considerable support to some of Tom’s conclusions. We await with great interest the final result as the Lygaeidae sensu lato lays in ruins. Gerry Cassis gave an account of the scent-gland morphology of the Miridae and its bearing on the supra-generic classification, concluding that modifications are needed to the currently used classification. Paul Tinerella (and David Rider) gave an account of wing-coupling in the Heteroptera. Although this presentation was chiefly concerned with their observations, many of which were novel, they were only able to point to implications of their work. Again we await the completion of their study.
The fourth and final theme of the conference was on morphology and classification. Jane O’Donnell opened the session with a species-level review of the rhyparochromid genus Paradema. The presentation was polished and gave the “non-lygaeid” workers an understanding of the little known Antillocorini. Wanzhi Cai showed considerable promise as a student at the International Congress of Entomology in Beijing, and his talk in New York, suggests that he has not put down the tools of his trade since then. Our understanding of the classification of the Reduviidae is one of the “sore-spots”in Heteropterology, and the work of Cai offers hope. His talk was a highlight. Izya Kerzhner (and Fydor Konstantinov) like Gerry Cassis, applied the interpretation (or reinterpretation) of a new character system, the male genitalia, to the suprageneric classification of the Miridae. Izya proved that a good story doesn’t need a PowerPoint presentation, and on “butcher-paper” he highlighted the seemingly correct homologies for this complex character system, and that it had significant classificatory implications. Are the Miridae about to make sense? Harry Brailovsky gave a summary of his revision of the coreid subfamily Meropachydinae. Aside from alerting us to the ridiculous morphology of these bugs, Harry showed that he is the world expert on this group. Mohammad Jahavery outlined the egg morphology of some of the terrestrial bugs and gave some novel assessments in relation to classification. Again, such data need to be tested against other character systems.
There were seven posters presented, most of which were either morphological or taxonomic in nature. Christian Fischer presented support for a sister-group relationship of the Coleorrhyncha and Heteroptera, based on wing-coupling mechanisms. This is one more piece of evidence that supports the prising of the mossbugs from the “Homoptera.” Christian presented a second poster on the morphology of the spermatheca and classification of the Pentatomoidea. Manuela Oppenrieder and Christian Fischer presented a poster on midgut morphology and the classification of the Pentatomoidea. I think we should limit Christain to only five presentations in St Petersburg. Seriously, great effort Christian! Michael Schwartz gave a poster on Lygus. Michael deserves an award for an even attempting to solve the problem of Lygus, let alone coming up with a solution. So few of us are capable of tackling species-complexes, where the characters all seem to intergrade. Silvia Mazzucconi presented a poster on the taxonomy of the notonectid subgenus Notonecta (Bichromonecta), again a commendable effort, for a difficult taxonomic group. E. Infiesta and Marta Goula’s poster on Aelia and Eurygaster outlined the bionomics of these wheat pests in Spain. Eva Ribes, Marta Goula, and E. Mateos gave a faunistic account of the Heteroptera of a metropolitan park in Spain. Their poster indicates that in species richness terms, the Heteroptera have been underestimated in their contribution to total biodiversity.
A special lecture was given by Professor James Slater, on July 16. Professor Slater must be considered one of the most influential heteropterists, at least of this century. He could be superficially labeled as a specialist of the Lygaeidae, but he has brought much more to the discipline of Heteropterology. He was one of the first heteropterists to adopt modern approaches, such as phylogenetic methodologies. He routinely searched for new characters, which was a repeated theme in the conference. And he has influenced and trained many heteropterists who have adopted his approach. Curiously, he spoke about other heteropterists. It was a riveting presentation because for many in the audience, his targets were heteropterists who were known to them by name (and their work) alone. By providing insights into the nature of these people he revealed another aspect to their work. It was a “who’s who” with pictures. Cobben, Carvalho, Leston, China, amongst others, came to life. Some heteropterists in the room were revealed as young men and women. Aside from the human interest, it also revealed that today’s heteropterists are preceded by a group of dedicated and talented people. Hopefully, the member’s of the Society, will remember that and pass their knowledge to future students. Maybe we should have the China Prize for the best student presentation at the 2002 conference, or the Leston Prize for the craziest idea! Somehow, I think Jim was giving us a foundation stone for the Society. An edited version of his talk is available on the International Heteropterists’ Society website.
In terms of quality of the scientific presentations at the first meeting of the Society, the overall assessment must be positive. Considering the size of the society, and that it is the first meeting, the mix of papers was broad and informative. It was particularly pleasing that the meeting was attended by students. They must be promoted if Heteropterology is to be further advanced. The Society will undoubtedly retain a strong systematics flavour but it is hoped that biological aspects will be at least maintained if not enhanced at the next meeting. It must be remembered that one of the key objectives of the Society is to provide a clearing house and integration of information on the Heteroptera. It is hoped that the St Petersburg meeting will contain accounts of how we are progressing on this score. In terms of the business objectives of the Society the member’s attending the New York meeting have laid the other cornerstones. May we succeed.
– Gerasimos Cassis, Secretary
Minutes of the second quadrennial meeting of the International Heteropterist’ Society, St Peterburg 2002
The meeting was called to order by President Toby Schuh at 1200 on 19 July 2002 at the Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia. Total meeting attendance was 75 people. The officer slate for 2002-2006 was presented, seconded, and approved. The new Executive Committee will be composed of the following members:
President: Jocelia Grazia
Past-President: Toby Schuh
President-Elect: Ernst Heiss
Recording Secretary: Paula Levin Mitchell
Treasurer: Rich Packauskas
Editor/Website manager: Tom Henry
Program Chair: dependent on site selection for 2006 (Berend Aukema)
Meeting site options for 2006 were then considered. Three sites were offered, as follows:
- China: Nankai University
- The Netherlands: Wageningen
- USA: Smithsonian National Museum, Washington, DC
The membership voted to meet at Wageningen in 2006. This placed Berend Aukema as Program Chair, and completed the Executive Committee appointments for 2002-2006.
Treasurer’s report (John Polhemus): No dues notices were sent out for three years, until 2001. The following expenses in USD were approved by the membership:
- Consultant for website ($2700)
- Mailing costs for dues notices
Webmaster’s report (Tom Henry, presented by Toby Schuh): Discussion was solicited regarding the possibility of an IHS journal. Arguments in favor include prestige, and the advantage of having a dedicated outlet for heteropteran papers. Arguments against are that an editor and funds would be needed. A spirited discussion ensued. Various members observed that the treasury was inadequate now, and that we needed to consider whether another journal was really needed, and needed to consider the economics of such an undertaking. One suggestion was that publications elsewhere could be posted on the website, or that we could begin small (e.g., as an annual) and that the International Society of Hymenopterists has a journal so we could ask them for advice. Finally, President Schuh concluded that the finances needed for such a venture were currently beyond the capacity of the Society.
The question of a symposium at Brisbane was raised, but Gerry Cassis noted that the organizers were not encouraging symposia on particular taxa. An informal conference or gathering is planned instead.
The possibility of an on-line discussion forum was considered, but Toby Schuh explained that technical difficulties with the website currently prevent this. The website manager will try to implement this idea at a later time. The idea of a list-serve was also discussed, and posting annual publication lists on the website was suggested. The access status of the website was clarified. Presently, it is open public access except for editing and modification. Changes in webpage access were discussed. A subcommittee was appointed (Cassis, Schuh, Henry) to strengthen the website and increase communication. Suggestions were solicited from the membership.
The upcoming meeting was discussed, as to whether the program should be modified to allow more workshops or discussion time, or to have concurrent sessions.
In closing, President Schuh reiterated our thanks to Izya Kerzhner for a most excellent second quadrennial meeting.
Minutes of the third quadrennial meeting, Wageningen 2006
The third meeting of the International Heteropterists’ Society was held at the Wageningen International Conference Center (WICC) in Wageningen, The Netherlands, July 17–22, 2006. A total of 83 participants and 12 guests attended, representing 27 countries. This summary provides an informal overview of the professional presentations and other activities of the attending members; the formal minutes of the business meetings are presented elsewhere.
The first day of the conference was devoted to registration, followed by an evening “icebreaker” at the WICC Hotel. On Tuesday, July 18, members were welcomed to the opening session by Berend Aukema, Program Chair, and J. van Tol, President of the Netherlands Entomological Society. Dr. van Tol emphasized the importance of global cooperation among professional and amateur entomologists, and announced the completion of the final volume of the Catalogue of Palearctic Heteroptera.
President Grazia then introduced Jakob Damgaard, who presented a memorial to the late Nils Møller Andersen, providing biographical information and describing an impressive academic and professional career ranging across many disciplines, from paleontology to ecological phylogenetics to behavior. As a renowned specialist on Halobates and other Gerromorpha, Dr. Andersen was a pioneer in integrating morphological and molecular data and promoting computer based phylogenetic analyses, as well as the recipient of the 2004 Whitley Book Award. A biography of Dr. Andersen, including all his articles and taxon names provided by him or in his honor, is being prepared by Jakob Damgaard.
The Nils Møller Andersen Award, established by Annemarie Møller Andersen in 2005 in memory of her husband, honors our late colleague and recognizes young heteropterists by providing funds to attend the IHS Quadrennial Meeting. The five recipients of the 2006 Andersen Award – Dominik Chlond, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland; Dmitry Gapon, Zoological Institute R.A.S. St. Petersburg, Russia; Anna Namyatova, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia; Dr. Christiano Schwertner, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brasil; and Dr. Qiang Xie, Nankai University, Tianjin P.R.C. – were congratulated by the Awards Committee and received certificates.
The first business meeting (view minutes) and a coffee break followed the awards ceremony; Jakob Damgaard then moderated a series of three paper sessions extending late into the evening, assisted by Christian Fischer handling projection and computer tasks. The Tuesday paper sessions (view abstracts) began with a presentation by Toby Schuh on development of an on-line catalog of Heteroptera, followed by talks on systematics, morphology, ecology, and behavior, biogeographical overviews from various regions, and studies of flight activity, wing loading, and evolution of hemelytra. Contributions on reduviids, tingids, pentatomids, acanthosomatids, anthocorids, mirids, and lygaeids were presented. An afternoon tea break allowed participants to read poster presentations (view abstracts), browse book displays of several vendors, and order the very popular conference t-shirts; the dinner break permitted everyone to explore the outdoor cafes and restaurants of Wageningen, returning for five evening papers and the end of a long, hot, but tremendously successful first day. The week of the conference was accompanied by record-breaking temperatures in this part of the Netherlands; with no air conditioning in the conference hall, the meeting program performed efficiently as impromptu hand fans for the wilting but persistent conference audience.
Wednesday, July 19, was reserved for visiting collections. A few conference participants remained in Wageningen, having made arrangements to view the University collections, especially those of the late R. H. Cobben. Two groups of attendees and guests traveled by bus to the Zoölogisch Museum in Amsterdam or the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum in Leiden. The Amsterdam group spent a full day in the collections. The larger, Leiden contingent worked in the collection in small groups in several shifts, spending the remainder of the day enjoying the various attractions of the city, including the Hortus Botanicus, the oldest botanical garden in Europe; Leiden University; the incredible view from the Burcht hill fortress; and Leiden’s classic windmill, which must have been photographed – with the requisite canal view – by virtually everyone on the trip.
Wednesday evening the Executive Committee met at the home of Berend and Geertje Aukema, to determine a slate of nominees for officers to serve from 2006-2010.
Paper presentations continued on Thursday, July 20 (view abstracts). Morning session presentations focused on the Gerromorpha and Nepomorpha, including Hydrometridae, Gerridae, and Gelastocoridae. Two general papers on molecular systematics and wing development followed the coffee break, and the traditional group photo was taken on the Conference center steps. The participants circulated and signed cards to three colleagues who were unable to attend and deeply missed: Izya Kerzhner (Russia), Michail Josifov (Bulgaria), and Le-yi Zheng (Tianjin, P.R. China). Most of the afternoon session was devoted to mirid phylogeny. The closing session and second business meeting (view minutes) were followed by a tea break and poster session; more books and t-shirts were acquired, poster presenters avidly discussed their research, and preparations were made for transport to the Congress Dinner. Attendees departed on foot from the Conference Center and walked through town to the banks of the river, to discover with delight that the transportation arranged was a boat trip on the River Rhine!After a scenic and pleasurable cruise along the Nederrijn (Lower Rhine), we disembarked into an open field, wandered up a path to the road, and found ourselves at De Blaauwe Kamer (The Blue Room), a restaurant with an exceptional view, marvelous food (including delicacies such as eel, herring, and local shrimp), and an accordion player. After dinner, the business meeting concluded (view minutes) with the awarding of prizes for best poster and paper, and we returned by boat to Wageningen.
The two days following the formal conference were devoted to collecting trips. On Friday, July 21, participants traveled by bus to Hoge Veluwe National Park, in Otterlo, near Arnhem. This vast nature preserve comprises the largest national park in the Netherlands, and is also home to a world-class art collection, the Kröller-Müller Museum, with a superb assortment of modern sculpture, contemporary and impressionist paintings (the van Gogh collection is particularly extensive), and a beautiful sculpture garden, the largest in Europe. Free recreational bicycles and hiking paths allow visitors to explore extensively throughout the preserve. Our busload of entomologists, armed with maps, collecting permits and sweep nets, greatly enjoyed the opportunity to gather specimens in this vast and spectacular park. Many participants left Wageningen on Saturday, July 22, but a stalwart group remained for the second field trip, via public transport to the nearby nature reserve Laag-Wolfheze. See the Autumn 2006 Het News for a description of specimens collected on these trips by Bernard Nau and Sheila Brooke.
Heartfelt thanks to Berend Aukema, who organized virtually every aspect of the successful Third Quadrennial IHS Conference. We look forward to the Fourth Quadrennial Conference in Tianjin City, PRC, and hope to see you all there!
–Paula Levin Mitchell, Secretary
Minutes of the Fourth quadrennial meeting, Tianjin 2010
First Business Meeting
The first business meeting was called to order by Secretary Paula Mitchell at 9:20 AM July 13, 2010 at the BioStation Conference Hall, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. Old business on the agenda included approval of the 2006 minutes and a report by President Ernst Heiss summarizing IHS accomplishments since the last meeting, including the transition of the website to a new server and website additions such as posted abstracts of the 2006 meeting presentations and tributes to deceased colleagues. We remembered those of our colleagues who have recently passed away — Izya Kerzhner [May 2008], Michail (Mischa) Josifov [July 2008], Larry Rolston [November 2008], James Slater [November 2008], and Gordon Gross [June 2009]. The Nils Møller Andersen Award again continued to support young heteropterists for travel to the meeting, with five funded applicants in 2010; President Heiss expressed our deep gratitude to Annemarie Møller Andersen for her continued generosity.
President Heiss’ comments were followed by the Treasurer’s report. Rich Packauskas noted that the bank balance (as of 30 June 2010) was over $5,000 (precise amount = $5,280.92). This total represents a considerable increase over our funds balance in May 2006 ($2458.35), and includes dues that were received at the last meeting plus approximately $1500 transferred from an account held by previous IHS treasurer John Polhemus. However, Packauskas noted that virtually no dues money was collected from 2007-2010. The treasurer’s report was approved by the membership, and was followed by the Webmaster’s report, presented by Paula Mitchell standing in for David Rider. By 2006, a website transition was clearly becoming necessary, because the Smithsonian Institution server could no longer host the IHS. New webmaster David Rider, taking over from Tom Henry, accomplished the transition to North Dakota State University with all open-access files updated and transferred by February 2007. Members are encouraged to submit new material (photographs, tributes, recommended links, etc.) to the webmaster for posting. Membership and bibliographic database files still remain to be converted; this final aspect of the website transition awaits a decision on open vs. restricted access, appropriate format, and funding. New business was postponed until July 16, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:30.
Second Business Meeting
The second business meeting was called to order by Secretary Mitchell at 3 PM, July 16, 2010 at the BioStation Conference Hall, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. First item on the new business agenda was the location of our Fifth Quadrennial Meeting in 2014. Both Tom Henry (USA) and Jocelia Grazia (Brazil) had initially responded to President Heiss’ call for volunteers to organize the next meeting. However, Dr. Grazia subsequently offered to postpone the proposal of a Brazilian venue, stating by e-mail that she would be happy to host the Sixth Quadrennial meeting in Brazil if Tom Henry hosted the upcoming meeting in Washington, D.C. A slide show of the Smithsonian Institution complex of museums, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Washington, D.C. area was presented by Tom Henry, and the membership resoundingly approved the decision to meet there in 2014.
The second item of business was the selection of officers for 2010-2014. In the past, a complete slate of officers was presented by the Executive Committee to the membership for approval. This year, at the request of several members, the procedure was changed, and a formal, written-ballot election was held for the open post of President-elect. A voting member was defined as any heteropterist present who had either paid dues in the past or given a presentation at an IHS Quadrennial Meeting. The two candidates proposed by the Executive Committee were Wenjun Bu (Nankai University) and Christiane Weirauch (University of California Riverside); there were no further nominations from the floor. Wenjun Bu was elected, with ballots counted by Rich Packauskas and Wanzhi Cai. Other Executive Committee positions were either automatically filled or continuing, with the new slate of officers for 2010-2014 as follows:
Past President: Ernst Heiss
President: Gerasimos Cassis
President-Elect: Wenjun Bu
Secretary: Paula Levin Mitchell
Treasurer: Richard Packauskas
Editor/Webpage Manager: David Rider
Program Chair: Thomas Henry
The third item of new business related to the problem of dues. As noted by the Treasurer, very few dues payments were received after the Wageningen meeting, mainly due to the high cost of bank transfers from outside the USA. To streamline the process of dues collection, an annual invoice will be sent to members by the Treasurer, payment through Paypal will be explored as an alternative to bank transfers, and dues will be accepted by the Treasurer at all quadrennial meetings. For EU members, Ernst Heiss volunteered to act as a centralized collection point for dues payment in euros, saving European members the cost of euro-to-dollar bank transfer fees. A dues increase (the first in 12 years) was announced; annual membership will remain $10 for students, but will rise to $20 for non-students in 2011. Life membership will remain at $250 (single lump-sum payment) until December 31, 2010 and then increase correspondingly to $500 on January 1, 2011.
Finally, the webpage was discussed extensively. Suggestions from the Executive Committee regarding website offerings and benefits of membership were presented and ideas were solicited from the membership. The current version of the website is non-interactive, providing primarily historical information (e.g., past meetings, obituaries and tributes, photographs, and the Society’s bylaws). The Members Only section, formerly housing the bibliographic database and the annotated membership directory, is not presently operational. The bibliographic database, a cooperative effort with listings of members’ own publications and lifetime accumulations of literature citations contributed by many heteropteran specialists, was a significant member benefit in the years before Google and other search engines. The Executive Committee proposes to restore the bibliographic database, but as an open access offering rather than member restricted as before. An advisory committee (Berend Aukema and Tom Henry) has been appointed to assist the webmaster in restoring and updating this valuable resource.
The annotated membership directory provided visibility, and thus constituted another tangible member benefit. It was searchable by the public but password protected to add or change information. Webmaster Rider proposed (via e-mail) to replace the annotated membership directory with personal web pages for paid members, similar to those hosted on the Pentatomoidea website (except that IHS members in arrears with their dues would have their pages temporarily blocked). This would increase members’ professional information available online far beyond the limited search terms of the former directory. Gerry Cassis further suggested (also via e-mail) that we add laboratory web pages for “all the heteropteran labs in the world, highlighting PhD and postdoc opportunities”. Money from dues would be allocated for the maintenance of the website by the webmaster/editor and to keep these pages updated via password protected access (hence the dues increase). Additional suggestions were received from the floor and after the meeting (Laurence Livermore, Pingping Chen, and Mallik Malipatil), including updated links and summaries of Heteroptera databases, a members’ only section devoted to requests for material, an RSS news feed and biannual on-line newsletter, a members’ only shop, a section for posing photo ID requests (with a members section separate from a possible public section) and expanded outreach to heteropterists working outside systematics.
The meeting concluded with closing comments from outgoing President Ernst Heiss, thanking all who participated in a most excellent meeting, with special recognition to the Executive Committee members, both candidates for the election, the Program Chair and meeting organizers, the section organizers, and the dedicated Nankai University graduate students who contributed to the spectacular success of the Fourth Quadrennial Meeting.
Incoming President Gerry Cassis was unable to attend due to back injury, but sent an address (summarized by Paula Mitchell) thanking President Heiss and Program Chair Wenjun Bu and all his colleagues who helped with organization; contemplating the Society’s past and its future; remembering and toasting the contributions of our lost colleagues; and urging all meeting attendees, but especially the Chinese delegates, to attend the fifth Quadrennial meeting and forge further collaborations.
This final session of the business meeting adjourned at 4 PM.
Minutes of the IHS Executive Committee for Washington DC, 2014
Submitted by Paula Levin Mitchell, Secretary
A formal meeting of the IHS Executive Committee was called by President Gerry Cassis at 6 PM on July 22, in the Executive Conference Room at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Present were six members of the Executive Committee (Wenjun Bu, Gerry Cassis, Ernst Heiss, Tom Henry, Paula Mitchell, and Rich Packauskas) plus Laurence Livermore, Acting Webmaster.
Dues collection was discussed, and the decision was made to continue with PayPal (despite the cost) but also continue to maintain the US bank account for convenient deposit of dues received via cash and checks. Invoices and notifications of members in arrears will be sent out in future on a regular basis by the treasurer.
Toby Schuh and Brenda Massie have graciously offered to transfer ownership of the web address “heteroptera.org” to the Society at minimal cost. The myriad advantages of such a site were discussed, including ease of recognition, ease of transfer between incoming and outgoing officers, and even the possibility of offering heteroptera.org e-mail addresses to members as a service. The Executive Committee was unanimously in favor of accepting this offer.
Wenjun Bu raised the perennial question of what benefits do we offer to members; in other words, what do you get when you pay the dues? Various creative ideas for the website were floated, including a newsletter, a searchable membership list, expanded bibliographic listings, publications posted on the website, e-mail addresses for members (see above), online seminars (“webinars”), active forum discussion groups, a “student connections” section where opportunities for international exchanges and available lab opportunities could be posted, a repository of translations of papers, uploadable teaching resources, and FAQ pages (e.g., best primers). It was decided to focus initially on just a few goals, including the newsletter.
The slate of nominees for Society officers was developed, but not completed. Cassis and Bu will remain on the Executive Committee for 2014-2018, as Past President and President, respectively. Heiss (outgoing Past President), Mitchell (Secretary), Packauskas (Treasurer), and Rider (Web Editor) will complete their terms. Katrina Menard will replace Mitchell as incoming Secretary, and Scott Bundy will replace Packauskas as Treasurer. Laurence Livermore will move from Acting Webmaster to the elected Webmaster position. Tom Henry was asked to serve as the President-Elect and agreed. The necessity of a Web Editor in addition to a Webmaster was debated, and the decision was made to try to find a Web Editor to replace Rider, but to also expand responsibility for the web page to a flexible, open committee of contributors (analogous to the IT Committee that originally developed the new webpage concept). Suggestions for the Web Editor position, and for the contributors, included Wolfgang Rabitsch, Brad Balukjian, Petr Kment, Jane O’Donnell, and Dávid Rédei, all of whom would be approached by various Executive Committee members before the final business meeting. The need to attract younger members and more international members to serve on the Executive Committee was emphasized.
Paula Mitchell proposed scanning all issues of the Heteropterists’ Newsletter (which was the forerunner of the IHS) and posting them (sans outdated address lists) on the website. This proposal was approved, and discussion ensued as to whether we should fill the previously empty officer position of Archivist for this task. Jane O’Donnell was suggested as a possible nominee for Archivist.
Gerry Cassis raised the unfinished business of designing the Stål medal and developing selection criteria and procedures for implementing the award, now that the concept has been approved by the membership. He volunteered to take responsibility for this task and have a process in place in time for the next meeting.
An informal meeting of the Executive Committee was also called by Gerry Cassis at 1:15 PM on July 24 in the Executive Conference Room. Present were six members of the Executive Committee (Wenjun Bu, Gerry Cassis, Ernst Heiss, Tom Henry, Paula Mitchell, and Rich Packauskas) plus Laurence Livermore, Acting Webmaster, and Berend Aukema, IT Committee. A brief discussion was held to plan the final business meeting agenda and arrange for cash to be given to the Kerzhner award winners. Ernst Heiss noted that the 2018 meeting might coincide with the European Heteropterists’ meeting and this should be taken into account if the meeting were to be held in Europe. Tom Henry reported that Argentina was a definite possibility for 2018, with France possible for 2022. Argentina was later formally selected. He also noted the remarkable success of the Andersen Awards in recruiting young heteropterists to the profession: of the nine former recipients (2006 and 2010), six are in attendance at this meeting. The slate of officer nominees was confirmed, with the exception of Web Editor, as both Nikolai Tatarnic and Dávid Rédei expressed interest in the position. The possibility was raised of having both a Web Editor and an Associate Editor, as both positions exist in the bylaws, but this decision was left to the membership at the business meeting. The meeting concluded at 1:40.
Minutes of the IHS Executive Committee for La Plata, 2018
Submitted by Katrina Menard, Secretary
Officers in Attendance: Wenjun Bu (President), Thomas Henry (President Elect), Scott Bundy (Treasurer), and Katrina Menard (Secretary).
Before the meeting commenced on December 7th, 2018 Al Wheeler presented Thomas Henry with his Festschrift in Zookeys. Al gave a moving speech, which was followed with a very gracious acceptance by Tom and a strong applause.
With the official opening of the meeting, the Anderson Award winners were given their certificates and were also acknowledged with a group photo.
The Kerzhner awards were also given, with Marcos Roca-Cusachs winning for the student oral competition with his talk titled “Molecular phylogeny of the stink bug family Pentatomidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) and Leonela Olivera winning the poster presentation “Leptoglossus clypealis (Heidemann) (Heteroptear: Coreidae) a potential global invader: use of ecological niche modeling to predict possible current and future worldwide distributions”. Two hundred US dollars were given to each winner.
Another acknowledgement of the Honorary Members (Randall Schuh, Jocelia Grazia, Ernst Heiss) was given, asking the winners to stand and be noted and was followed by a strong applause.
Thomas Henry then presided and first described and then gave the first annual Stal Award to Randall Schuh. Randall then gave a thank you acknowledgement to the audience for the award, and whose acceptance led to a standing ovation.
Wenjun Bu then thanked the current officers of the society, the program organizers, and the members of the society for attending. This was followed by the transfer of presidential power from Wenjun to new president Thomas Henry.
A vote was held for the nominations for the following positions:
- Webmaster: Marcus Guidoti
- Web Editor: Pablo Dellapé
- President Elect: Christiane Weirauch
All nominees were voted in with a majority of the Quorum of the membership.
Following the vote of new officers, a spirited discussion was brought up by Thomas Henry about the possibility of an International Heteropterists’ Society Journal, which would be free for the memberships. Points brought up were the increased incentive for membership dues, the increased impact factor of having a society journal, and a discounted journal. Pablo Dellapé and Marcus also supported this idea. Christiane Weirauch suggested greater investigation to other society journals as models, like the Coleopterist or Hymenopterist Society. Jocelia Grazia advocated for greater physical presence in the form of printed newsletters or journals. A vote was taken to investigate the different options and cost models for the journal, which was accepted with a quorum of the membership.
In closing, the tentative nomination of Barcelona, Spain as the location for the 2020 meeting was brought forward, with Marta Goula and Marcos Roca-Cusachs being advocates and representatives of the scientific community in the city. Final confirmation of this location is pending.
Minutes of the IHS Executive Committee for Barcelona, 2022