9th Conference of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology
The 9th Conference of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology ‘Parasites in a changing world’ was held in Vilnius, Lithuania on 21–23 April 2021. The conference was organized by the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology (SBSP), Nature Research Centre and the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences – Young Academy.
As COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the world and social activities are limited, it was decided to organize the conference as a virtual event, which allowed a wider range of participants from around the world. In total, 173 participants from 26 countries attended the event. There were 102 abstracts submitted; of these 45 participants were offered an oral presentation and 57 participants an online poster presentation, which were available on the conference online platform. The oral presentations were presented during nine sessions following keynote lectures that were presented by eight invited speakers who shared knowledge, ideas and new practices in the field of parasitology with all participants. A wide range of topics in parasitology were discussed, including fish and aquatic parasitology, vector-borne diseases, parasite genomics and evolution, and ecological parasitology. Each conference day started with Morning Coffees, such as “Morning coffee with the editor”, “Morning coffee with the project leader” and “Morning coffee with the Postdoc” where discussions with young scientists and students took place.
Young scientists competed for the Best Oral and Best Poster Presentations, as well as Best Audience Award. Winners from Italy and South Africa received 300 Eur each. All participants had a chance to show their creative side by competing for the “Golden Flea Award” with their best photographs of parasites and vectors. Three authors from Lithuania, Turkey, and South Africa had the most impressive photos in artistic and scientific categories.
During the General Assembly of SBSP, for being an active member and for his significant involvement in merging the Baltic and Scandinavian parasitological societies almost 20 years ago, Dr. Habil. Gediminas Valkiūnas was elected a new honorary member of the Society.
The 9th Conference of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology was the first virtual conference in the history of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology. It provided an opportunity for the young scientists in parasitology to present their research and participate in career development discussions. It also allowed experienced scientists, who would not have been able to travel to attend a face-to-face conference, to participate in the event. It was an excellent opportunity to strengthen our communication and cooperation both between Nordic-Baltic regions and between scientists from all around the world.
The Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology together with the Danish Society for Parasitology are looking forward to meeting you all at the World Federation for Parasitologists’ meeting ICOPA2022in Copenhagen – next year!