6th Annual Carnivorous Plant Society Conference Image  

Summary of the 6th Conference of ICPS

The 6th Conference of International Carnivorous Plant Society has been successfully completed, at Frostburg State University (FSU), June 1-5, 2006. We have more than 80 registered attendees from Canada, UK, Germany, mainland of China, Taiwan, Czech Republic, and USA. More than a dozen FSU faculty, staff, and students showed up to assist and/or attend at the presentations and field trips. Totally, we have about 100 people involved in the conference, plus more than 100 visitors from the local cities and some even drove a couple of hours for visiting the conference. All visitors were amazed by the fantastic carnivorous plants, especially a few kids with their parents learned a lot from the educational workshops, while some kids were excited when their parents bought some Venus flytrap, sundews, etc. for them. At least two local newspapers reported the conference (e.g., Cumberland Times-News).

We had eighteen academic presentations, one invited talk, three posters, two educational workshops, and one art workshop, as well as one fossil plant display. We also have seven vendors and four display booths, brought a lot of marvelous plants from Washington DC, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Boston, and even Germany. All participants were very happy for all arrangements, enjoyed the happy mood of the conference in the pleasant Compton Science Center.

The presentations ranged 1) from a report of the oldest carnivorous fossil record, 125 million year old pitcher plants from China, to a phylogenetic review of all modern carnivorous plants; 2) from the traditional healing with Nepenthes in Madagascar, various medicinal applications of other carnivorous plants, to examinations of some molecules from carnivorous plants, with Terahertz spectroscopy; 3) from the traditional observation/documentation with lens and light microscope to the SEM with a low vacuum model; 4) from the beautiful Heliamphora on the mysterious table mountains of Tepuis in South America to lovely tiny Pinguicula in the high Arctic; 5) from tracing the history to the conservation of some CP populations; 6) from ecology, physiology, and development to horticulture of various carnivorous plants. All of these assembled the conference with research, education, and art appreciation of carnivorous plants.

For the Best Plant Show, Jeremiah Harris, of the Colorado Carnivorous Plant Society, won the first place with his beautiful Nepenthes, Michael Szesze of the Carnivorous Plant Nursery won the second place with a flowering Heliamphora, while Matthew Opel, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, won the third place with an old Roridula.

We had a lot of "fights" in the silent auction and a voice auction, thanks to all donors. After the voice auction we enjoyed the banquet and Dr. Martin MacKenzie's talk on his tracing the history of local carnivorous plant populations.

We had six DVD shows of documentary movies on research and a field trip to carnivorous plant sites in Arctic. We even watched the fiction movie "Little Shop of Horrors" after the reception.

Two field trips went through extremely well. We have more than 40 people went to the local field trip to three sites with pitcher plants and sundews. The cloudy weather was very pleasant, and we had a lot of fun. Our enthusiastic carnivorous plant lovers would not leave the Big Run Bog until a rain came to drive them a big run to our bus. About 30 people went to the eastern field trip to mike Szesze's Carnivorous Plant Nursery and the Meadowview Botanical Research Station, which was also very educational and highly appreciated by participants.

All participants and visitors had a lot of fun. The Chair of the Mass Communication Department led a team filmed our conference, and the documentary film will be used for a research window in a museum to be completed this summer in the same Compton Science Center, where we had our 6th ICPS Conference.

To organize this conference, Dr. Douglas Darnowski, Dr. Hongqi Li, Ms. Teresa Golembiewski, and Dr. Stephen Williams have done a lot of organizational planning. For his tremendous contribution to the conference, ICPS awarded Dr. Li a certificate and a watch, both have a restoration of his fossil pitcher plant Archaeamphora. Hongqi and Terre also worked on the T-shirt and goodie bag for the conference (a few surplus T-shirt and Goodie are still available at the website).

Finally, we are very grateful for all facilities and transportation provided by Frostburg State University, for the reception offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, FSU, and for the great support from more than two dozens of faculty, staff, and graduate students of the Biology Department and other departments, who were involved in organizing before the conference and providing assistance during the conference. We also thank Indiana University Southeast, JEOL SEM, and Siggi and Irmgard for their sponsorships to the conference.





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