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Group photo of the 8th International symposium of the Biology of Vertebrate Sex Determination

VSD8 Group Photo 0sm.jpg

Val Lance about the first VSD meeting in Hawaii:

The idea for a meeting on vertebrate sex determination arose out of a


disappointing experience I had attending a meeting in northern California that had


 something about sex-determination in the title, but turned out to be how sex is


 determined in nematodes and fruit flies, with one paper, if I remember correctly, on


 human sex determination. Attending this meeting was not cheap and depleted my


travel budget for the year. I was not happy.

At the time I had been collaborating with Mark Bogart, then a geneticist at


UCSD, on temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) in alligator embryos.


Mark moved to Hawaii shortly after our failed attempts to understand TSD.  It is still


 unclear to me how we came up with the idea of holding such a meeting in Hawaii, but


the location did have many advantages – it was about halfway between Australia and


the USA where much of the research on sex determination took place, and it was an


attractive location that would attract many.


Our first meeting was held at the Honolulu Zoo where Mark Bogart had


influence – but not sure what his position was.  Later we selected the King


Kamehameha Hotel in Kona on the big island of Hawaii.  The King Kamehameha


 turned out to be a good choice.  It was much cheaper than hotels in Honolulu (which


 helped graduate students) and the staff were very helpful, plus there was a


 supermarket within walking distance where cheap food was available.  That hotel has


been the site for the meeting ever since.  Though I vaguely remember the meeting being


held at another hotel not far from the King Kamehameha where the sea was just outside


 the meeting room and to my mind, distracted from the talks.

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