Articles

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A new home for an old Blog

Welcome to the new home of the ESC Blog!

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Nearly 350 million years ago, insects evolved the ability to totally transform themselves, and proceeded to take over the planet in a way that no other group of organisms has since. These new holometabolous species had stumbled upon the process of complete metamorphosis, a complex physiological process that is controlled by hormonal regulation, connected to outside stimuli, and constrained by natural selection, and which provided them the opportunity to further divide and conquer ecological niches while avoiding having adults compete directly with larvae for resources and space.

Today, insects with the ability to rearrange and reassign the majority of their cells into a new phenotypic expression are considered by many to represent a perfect allegory for rebirth, a new chance to make a difference, and a new opportunity to take on the world in ways they couldn’t before. While we here at the ESC Blog aren’t immune to allusions of grandeur and promises of world-changing impact, for now we’ll happily settle for a metamorphosis that results in a new look and home on the newly redesigned Entomological Society of Canada website, while we continue to provide a means for entomologists to share their passion, interests, and ideas in a public forum.

The ESC Blog debuted in June, 2012 at escsecblog.com, primarily because the old ESC website predated the very concept of a blog, and wasn’t technologically capable of hosting one. Now that the ESC homepage has been redesigned and updated thanks to Jordan Bannerman and the ESC Web Content committee, it only makes sense for us to make like a monarch and migrate, allowing us to better integrate with all of the other endeavours and efforts associated with the Entomological Society of Canada, and provide our authors and community better access to the ESC membership-at-large.

If this is your first introduction to the ESC Blog, thanks for joining us! While we work to continue bringing new content to the blog, why not poke through our archives (which we’ve fully migrated over to our new home) and see what we’ve been up to the last 5 years? Originally founded by Chris Buddle, Crystal Ernst, and Morgan Jackson as a means for entomologists with an interest in Canadian entomology to share what they were up to, the ESC Blog has provided an opportunity for entomologists and insect enthusiasts to contribute to a global conversation. Since 2012, we’ve welcomed Sean McCann as an additional editor, and published more than 200 articles that have been widely shared and read online, and we look forward to continuing to bring the inside scoop on insect research for years to come. We’ve covered everything from the pluralization of thrips, to an entomologist’s Nobel connection, and are thrilled to share new research from the next generation of entomologists.

If you’re interested in contributing to the ESC Blog, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’re always looking for stories from the lab or field, updates on new and emerging research that you’re involved with (or that you just admire!), and the ways in which insects intersect with our lives. If you have photos, videos, or observations you’d like to share, graduate student or employment opportunities you need to recruit, or resources for your research that you need to find, we’re more than happy to help you share them with the entomological community in a timely manner. And if you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow @CanEntomologist for up-to-the-minute updates from your society, as well as its members, editors, and publications.

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Happy New Year! The ESC Blog’s first « year » in review

fireworksThe ESC Blog was launched on June 1, 2012. We didn’t entirely know what to expect in terms of the readership, reach and submissions, but it’s clear that we’re off to a great start!

For those who like numbers (we do!), here are some stats.  In the past seven months we’ve had:

  • about 10,000 page views
  • 61 posts by a total of 25 bloggers
  • visitors from 141 countries 

Wow! While we’re quite pleased to see that our strongest viewership comes from right here in Canada, it’s equally wonderful that our bloggers are writing posts relevant to the rest of the world! We salute our fine authours for all their hard work and excellent contributions this year.

The five most popular posts of the year are quite varied in terms of content, though perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that our audience appreciates diversity – we’re entomologists, after all!

  1. Exceptional Canadian Entomologists Recognized with ESC’s Top Honours, by Rose De Clerk-Floate
  2. An Insect for Canada, by Morgan Jackson
  3. Insects as Works of Art, by Elizabeth Goluch (as told to Crystal Ernst)
  4. Stupidity is the Mother of Invention, by Terry Wheeler
  5. Caption Contest, Cycle 1 Photo 1, by Morgan Jackson

These posts reflect pride in our country and for members of our entomological community, an appreciation for the beauty of our chosen study subjects and, not least of all, a good sense of humour!

Now that you’re all feeling refreshed from a good winter break, why not submit that article you’ve been thinking about writing and join our suite of excellent bloggers? We’d love to hear about your research, a student accomplishment, an outreach activity or workshop, or interesting natural history observations! Send your story and photographs to EntSocCanada@gmail.com.

Happy New Year, and may 2013 bring you many entomological delights and discoveries!