Biology Faculty Attends Asia-Pacific Chemical Ecologist Meeting in Beijing

January 12, 2012

In October of 2011, Dr. Ann Ray attended the 6th meeting of the Asia-Pacific Association of Chemical Ecologists in Beijing, China.  Chemical ecology is the study of chemically mediated interactions between organisms, focusing on such topics as pheromone communication and the chemical “arms race” between plants and associated herbivores.  Dr. Ray was invited to give two scientific presentations.  The first talk was presented in a symposium about the chemical ecology of forest pests and was entitled “cis-Vaccenyl acetate, a sex attractant pheromone of Ortholeptura valida, a longhorned beetle in the subfamily Lepturinae.” This presentation discussed the discovery of the first pheromone of a flower longhorned beetle, work Dr. Ray completed during her first year at Xavier.  Dr. Ray’s second presentation was part of a special ecology workshop presented to scientists at the Institute of Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  She discussed the different kinds of traps that can be used to capture longhorned beetles.  After her second presentation, Dr. Ray’s Chinese hosts treated her and her co-presenter to a traditional Peking duck feast, which included duck feet and duck tongue, as well as the more conventional parts of the animal.  The trip was mostly work, but there were a few hours for sightseeing.  She braved the subways to visit the Forbidden City, and the meeting hosts organized a coach tour to the Great Wall of China.