Speaking in The Wildlife Society Nutritional Ecology seminar series!

I was invited to present a seminar in to the spring to The Wildlife Society Nutritional Ecology seminar series, and I’m honored to be part of an all-star line-up!! The talks being given from November through March, and you can find more info the TWS’ seminar announcement, which I have quoted below:

Please join The Wildlife Society’s Nutritional Ecology Working Group for our winter webinar series (https://wildlife.org/newg/webinar-series/). We will host virtual webinars at Noon (Mt Standard Time) on the second Wednesday of every month from 10 November 2021 – 9 March 2022. 

This year’s webinar theme is “The digestive biome and the influence of these organisms on nutrition and condition of wildlife.”  Our list of speakers this year are very diverse across many taxa!

Nutrition is vitally important for every life process of every living creature—from optimizing growth and reproduction to decreasing susceptibility to disease, predation, and death.  The science of nutritional ecology links food resources available to an animal with individual- and population-level performance, as well as to habitat- and landscape-level dynamics.  With data collected on nutritional requirements, food availability and quality, foraging and life history strategies under different environmental conditions, and body mass and condition, managers can predict how changes in one will impact the other. This provides a clear path for managing food resources in a way that optimizes population performance, or alternatively, for managing animal populations to optimize the health of ecosystems.  As global issues such as climate change, loss of habitat, and the spread of disease and parasites increasingly impact wildlife populations, the need for understanding the degree to which populations are limited by nutrition, and how we can best manage for nutrition, increases as well.

All webinars will be held at 12:00 pm Mountain Standard Time.  A flyer with zoom link will be sent out ahead of each webinar.

November 10th, 2021 – Jennifer Forbey – Boise State University. “Manipulating metabolites & microbes to manage wild herbivores”

 December 8th, 2021 – Kevin Kohl – University of Pittsburgh. “Who’s in charge here?: Microbial contributions to animal physiology, ecology, and evolution”

 January 12th, 2022 – Denise Dearing – University of Utah “Metabolic enabling and detoxification by gut microbes”

 February 9th, 2022 – Candace Williams – San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “Gut microbiota and their role in rhinoceros infertility”

 March 9th, 2022 – Sue Ishaq – University of Maine. “Moose rumen microbes and you”

For additional questions on the Nutritional Ecology Working Group, please visit our website (https://wildlife.org/newg/) or send us an email (tws.nutritional.ecology@gmail.com).  

The Wildlife Society

Microbiomes at The Wildlife Society meeting

I gave my second talk in two days in as many conferences today, this time presenting on “Moose rumen microbes and their relevance to agriculture and health.” at the American Fisheries Society + The Wildlife Society (AFS+TWS) meeting in Reno, Nevada. You can find the slides with presentation notes: tws_2019_sue_ishaq_moose

I was invited to present in a session on the “Utility of Microbiomes for Population Management”, which presented research from scientists working on clams, fish, frogs, salamanders, koalas, and moose all focused on understanding the microbiome in order better understand wildlife. I had a great time talking wildlife microbes with this group!

The microbiomes speaker group at TWS 2019.

Unfortunately, I won’t be staying longer in Reno, either. In a few hours I’m heading to Bozeman, Montana, to meet with collaborators and teach bioinformatics to a grad student.

Symposium presentation at 2019 Joint AFS-TWS Meeting

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be giving a presentation at the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society 2019 Joint Annual Conference this September. I was invited to participate in a symposium: Utility of Microbiomes for Population Management. I’ll be returning to my roots and presenting on moose microbes. See you in Reno!

Abstract 36407 – “Moose Rumen Microbes and Their Relevance to Agriculture and Health”

500WS Eugene Science Salon: “Gut Stuff: the battle of nature versus nurture in the microbiome.”

The inaugural Science Salon of the 500 Women Scientists Eugene Pod is underway!  If you’d like to follow along with the presentation on your device, you can find the pdf formats below:

Sue Ishaq’s talk:

“Geographical Differences in the Moose Microbiome”Ishaq Eugene SciSalon 20180311

A few close-ups:



Hannah Tavalire’s talk:

“Genetics and Environment Influence Human Microbiome Composition”; Tavalire_MB_talk_final_03112018

Acknowledgements to our wonderful support network

500 Women Scientists Eugene would like to thank the organizations that helped make this event possible.  First and foremost, First National Taphouse in Eugene, who shared their wonderful space with us and where we will be putting on future Salons, and donated a keg to the event!  We are also extremely grateful to several organizations which contributed raffle items for us to raise additional funds, including Broadway MetroSizzle Pie, and the Eugene Science Center.  Our beautiful logo was crafted by Cassie Cook,  our amazing event posters were designed by Serena Lim, and photographer Danielle Cosme took some incredible event photos. Fertilab generously lent us a sound system, the Biology and the Built Environment Center donated the bacterial culture supplies, and both Theresa Cheng and Jessica Flannery provided materials and support for the interactive portion of the event.  And of course, we want to acknowledge the national leadership of 500 Women Scientists, who brought us together, gave us a voice, and who suggested these Science Salons as a way to help CienciaPR, a organization which similarly supports science education and infrastructure.

I’d also like to acknowledge the powerhouse team of women who came together to organize this event, and who turned my silly event title into a reality: Karen Yook, Theresa Cheng, Leslie Dietz, and Hannah Tavalire.  500 Women Scientists was formed in the spirit of cooperation and support, and this team truly took that to heart.  I can’t wait to organize the next one with you ladies, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one…

OMSI presentation: A crash course on the microbiome of the digestive tract

Last night, I gave my first “science stand-up” as part of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Science Pub series at Whirled Pies in Eugene, OR.  I really enjoy giving public presentations of my work, and while I’ve been on stage with a microphone before, it was the first time I got a stool to put my drink on.

I gave a talk which encompassed much of my previous work on host-associated microbiomes in moose and other ruminants, as well as more current research from others on the human gut.  It’s difficult enough to fit the field of host-associated microbiomes into a semester-long class, nevermind an hour (I digress), so I kept it to the highlights: “A crash course on the microbiome of the digestive tract“.   You can find the slides here: Ishaq OMSI SciPub 20180208, although there is no video presentation at this time. I was honored to have such a well-attended lecture (about 120 people!) with an engaged audience, who had some really on-track questions about the intersection of microbial diversity and health.

Photo Credit: Al Lebovitz

As I’ve discussed here before, academic outreach is a sometimes overlooked, yet nevertheless extremely important, aspect of science.  The members of the general public are a large portion of our stakeholder audience, and outreach helps disseminate that research knowledge, facilitate transparency of the research process, and engage people who might benefit from or be interested in our work.  As I told the audience last night, scientists do like when people ask us about our work, but “we’re more scared of you than you are of us”.  I encourage everyone to add science to their life by getting informed, getting involved, and getting out to vote.

Thanks again to OMSI for inviting me to participate, and to Whirled Pies for hosting!


Featured Photo Credit: Al Lebovitz