I was able to convince a bunch of awesome people to come speak at the meeting. Zehua Zhang and Xiongbing Tu co-organized the session with me and they were great to work with.
Jen White (USA) led off with a keynote on how variation within a host species can determine community composition of natural enemies. We also had:
Heinz Müller-Schärer (Switzerland)
Elodie Vercken (France)
Marie Claude Bon (France)
Sibao Wang (China)
Leo Beukeboom (Netherlands)
Iain Patterson (South Africa)
Ellyn Bitume (US)
Stephen Goldson (New Zealand)
Tania Zavezio (Chile)
Zehua and I gave talks, too.
Pretty nice world-wide coverage, eh?
It was an amazing experience being there. I didn't realize that great hospitality is core to Chinese culture. Zehua Zhang and Xiongbing Tu hosted two amazing meals. Then I left Beijing with Jianqing Ding to go to Kaifeng, where Ding (yes, he mostly goes by his last name with foreigners) works. The Chinese system seems a lot like the Swiss and German systems, where there are relatively few Professors, but their groups are quite large, and include something like Assistant Professors who teach and do research (Professors don't have to teach.)
I gave a seminar there, and one of the assistant professors in Ding's lab group, Xuefang Yang took charge of my visit. She not only was a great host scientifically, but also took me around to see some of the local sites. Kaifeng is a "small city" of just under 5 million people. It used to be the seat of the emperors, and so has some great historical sites, as well as a most amazing pagoda garden.
The food was outstanding. This fish is a fresh-water fish, deliciously prepared, and rather stunning. There were so many different kinds of succulent tender greens. Mmmmm. I'd love to go back!