The Monaghan Lab was well-represented at this year's Plant Canada meeting, held at the University of Guelph. It was four days of excellent plant science! I chaired a session on Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, where both Melissa and Irina gave seminars, and Carmen presented a poster. All three of them were recipients of Duff Travel Awards from the Canadian Society of Plant Biology to help offset their travel expenses - thank-you to CSPB for supporting these young scientists. The program was fantastic and featured plenary talks by Siobhan Brady (UC Davis), Niko Gelder (University of Lausanne), Diane Saunders (John Innes Centre), and our very own Bill Plaxton (Queen's University), among many others. It is always a pleasure to catch up with Siobhan - she was my TA in Genetics at the University of Toronto, circa 2002. I also met up with my first research mentor Robin Cameron (McMaster University) who taught me about Pseudomonas syringae and Arabidopsis thaliana when I was a second year undergrad. Other highlights included meeting and discussing with nearly 10 (!!) new Canadian faculty in plant science, and catching up with former Monaghan Lab member Sydney Pascetta, who is now a PhD Student at the University of Guelph. It was also great to work with Heather McFarlane (new faculty at University of Toronto) on a workshop on 'Academic Careers'.
I am so grateful to be a part of the community of plant scientists in Canada. We encourage and help each other work towards understanding as much as we can about the biology of plants while at the same time mentoring the next generation of scientists.
Thanks to the meeting organizers for bringing us together to discuss our latest research. See you next year in Saskatoon!