July 1996. Last updated 6 November 1998.
The sixth International Polychaete Conference was held in Curitiba Brazil, 2-7 August 1998. The conference was hosted by Centro de Estudos do Mar - Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba and superbly organised by Paulo da Cunha Lana <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The conference web-pages provided information for contributors.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend, therefore I am unable to give a first-hand report. Accounts of the various events and highlights have been hard to obtain - (if anyone has a good story, or feels a journalistic-type creative urge, please mail me). I believe that those who went had such a good time (thanks to Paulo) that reporting in detail to the rest of us has been forgotten. However, I have been told that it rained - it rained a lot. Here is a summary from Paulo (See elsewhere for the abstracts). There are some photographs soon to be added.
"- About 130 contributions were presented, and 145 scientists (together with 20 accompanying persons) attended the conference. They came from 29 different countries. - There was a nice balance between taxonomic ('classic' and cladistics) and non-taxonomical contributions. Recent advances in polychaete cladistics were of course one of the hot topics of the conference. - About 25 graduate students had the chance to attend their first international meeting and to get in contact with their 'elders'. Special prizes were given to the best students' poster (won by Sabine Cochrane, from Norway) and oral presentation (won by Kim Last, from the United Kingdom). The meeting was specially important for South American students and researchers, mainly from Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela. Many of them had the chance to meet colleagues from the Northern Hemisphere for the first time. It is presumed that many scientific cooperation programs will result from these contacts, be they formal or informal. - There were three proposals to host the next meeting, coming from Iceland (Gudmundur Helgason and Ellin Sigvaldadóttir), Japan (prepared by a group of researchers and presented by Hiro Tsutsumi), and the United States (Jim Blake). Gudmundur will chair our next meeting, to be held in Iceland in 2001. - There were two associate polychaetological events just before and just after the conference. The pre-conference one was organized in Arraial do Cabo (Rio de Janeiro) by Paulo Paiva, who invited Paul Schroeder, Pei-Yuan Qian, Hiro Tsutsumi, and Edmundo Nonato for a series of conferences. A course on polychaete cladistics was offered to 13 students, from 8 different countries, for a two week period in Pontal do Sul, just after the conference. Course staff was made up by Greg Rouse, Kristian Fauchald, Kirk Fitzhugh, Fred Pleijel and Thomas Dahlgren. Despite the rain, the course was a most successful one. - Donald Reish was elected president of the International Polychaete Association, and Andy Mackie from Scotland was elected its secretary/treasurer. The IPA Advisory Council was renewed. - There was an special session dedicated to Edmundo Ferraz Nonato, the father of Brazilian polychaetology. He had the chance to meet about 20 of his former students (and the students from his students) during the conference. A tribute to our late colleague Wu Bao-Ling was prepared by Pei-Yuan Qian, and also presented during an special session." - Paulo da Cunha Lana.