I am pleased to announce that the American Malacological Society will hold its 73rd annual meeting in Antwerp, Belgium, in July 2007 as part of the next World Congress of Malacology. Sessions of contributed papers and posters are planned as usual, as are six exciting symposia:
- “Molluscan models: advancing our understanding of the eye” organized by Jeanne Serb (Iowa State University) & Laura Robles (California State University) [sponsored by AMS]
- “Sexual selection” organized by Ronald Chase (McGill University) & Joris Koene (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
- “Micromolluscs” organized by Dan Geiger (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History)
- “Molluscs as models in evolutionary biology: from local speciation to global radiation” organized by Matthias Glaubrecht & Thomas von Rintelen (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin)
- “Inventorying the molluscan fauna of the world : frontiers and perspectives” organized by Philippe Bouchet (MNHN, Paris) & Somsak Panha (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)
- “Neogastropod origins and evolution” organized by Jerry Harasewych (Smithsonian Institution)
Our venue will be the Groenenborger Campus of the University of Antwerp, hosted by Thierry Backeljau, President of Unitas Malacologica. Campus facilities include four auditoria, meeting rooms, a poster area, a slide preview room, and a cafeteria, most conveniently under one roof. The conference will begin with an icebreaker late Sunday afternoon. The scientific presentations are organized in four parallel sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. During the formal poster session on Tuesday evening, we will enjoy a selection of typical Belgian food, wine, and of course, a Belgian beer. A banquet will be offered on Friday evening. Wednesday is a free day during which participants can join one of the suggested congress activities, discover the many historical and beautiful places in Antwerp, or visit one of the nearby European museum collections.
On Thursday evening, we will host the AMS Auction of molluscan books and paraphernalia (no specimens) for all Congress participants. This annual event not only raises the necessary funds for our student programs, it also provides a fun-filled evening for all involved (even if you don’t buy a thing!). Paul Callomon will return as our auctioneer this is something you don’t want to miss! But because we are meeting overseas, transporting books and other items for the auction presents us with a serious challenge. For this reason, I am asking each attending member to bring at least one item for the auction in his/her luggage, and to notify me about that item beforehand. Please dig deeply and generously surely everyone has an unneeded book or something malacologically silly to contribute! Your participation in this entertaining and worthwhile event will be heartily appreciated and will help AMS present its best face to the world!
The deadline for early registration is 30 April 2007. Registration for AMS members who are not also UM members is € 280 = $221 [this and all other conversions approximate, subject to change with the exchange rate] (students € 160 = $126); a slightly discounted price is available for those who are also UM members. The registration fee includes the abstract volume, the icebreaker, all lunches, and refreshments at the poster reception. The congress banquet is not included.
Airfare to northern Europe is relatively affordable from the US, most conveniently to Brussels International Airport. From there, bus and train transportation to Antwerp is easy and inexpensive. Modest accommodations are available in the university dormitories (about 200 single and 20 double rooms, with linen and washbowl but shared toilets/showers) at € 20-27 = $15-21 /person/night, including breakfast. Hotel accommodations are available in the city center of Antwerp, very near “Antwerpen Centraal” railway station and bus terminals. Prices range from € 47.5 = $37 (singles) to about € 155 = $122 (4 persons) /room/night, including breakfast. From the city center, a convenient bus can transport you to campus in about 20 minutes. Alternatively, the organizers recommend renting a bicycle the vehicle of choice in Antwerp for young and old alike!
Student travel grants will be offered by both American Malacological Society and Unitas Malacologica. Watch the AMS (http://www.malacological.org/meetings) and WCM websites for details and application forms. There will also be a number of awards at the Congress for best oral and poster presentations by students.
Full details about the World Congress of Malacology in Antwerp are available at http://www.ucd.ie/zoology/unitas/congress.html#content.
Please join us in Antwerp!