More congratulations!

On 3 Aug 2022, Andrew Cook successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis titled “Feather mite ecology and morphology: exploring how obligate ectosymbionts of birds are impacted by life on hosts.” Excellent job, Andrew! Photo below taken by John Acorn at the traditional post-defence ‘pinning’ ceremony of U of A arthropodologists.

Photographing mites on the wing

Andrew Cook is in the field with Beth Blanchette, photographing live feather mites on the wings of birds mist-netted at the Beaverhill Bird Observatory southeast of Edmonton. The images will allow Andrew to measure the distances between the barbs of feathers and see how the mites nestle themselves among them.

Congratulations to Zhuoyan Song on his Ph.D. defence!


Zhuoyan successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis “Disentangling a freshwater amphipod–acanthocephalan system from ecological and molecular perspectives” on 29 Nov 2018. To disentangle the system he dissected more than 80,000 Gammarus lacustris from water bodies in and near Edmonton to assess prevalence of Polymorphus spp. acanthocephalans (the red blobs in the amphipods below).

dish of Gammarus and acanthocephalans

Arachnology Symposium at the 2018 joint Entomological Society of Canada/Ent Soc America meeting in Vancouver


ESC-ESA Arachnology symposium speakers group photo 14 Nov 2018

A great set of talks ranging from spider phylogeny to solfugid sex.

Back row (left to right): Jason Bond, Wayne Maddison, Shahan Derkarabetian, Robb Bennett, Janet Sperling, Susan Anthony

Front row (left to right): Tierney Bougie, Sarah Crews, Lauren Esposito, Heather Proctor, Paula Cushing, Catherine Scott, Maydianne Andrade

Very front: Sean McCann