May 22, 2014 10:31 AM
McNeese State University will host the 23rd Working Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group May 26-30. The CSG is an international association of biologists, wildlife managers, researchers and professionals actively involved in the conservation of the world's 23 living species of alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharial in the wild.
Working meetings of the CSG are held throughout the world. Last year, the conference was held in Sri Lanka and other host countries have included Australia, France, Brazil and the Philippines. Over 350 crocodilian experts from 43 countries are expected to attend the conference.
This week will feature several special sessions including zoological contributions to crocodilian conservation, human-crocodile conflict, crocodilian behavior and reproduction, genetics, and biochemistry and physiology, as well as oral presentations and poster abstracts.
"We are honored to have this prestigious group of biologists and individuals involved in crocodilian research, management and conservation coming to Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana. McNeese is proud to host this conference that is rarely held in the United States. This gathering at McNeese is a tribute to the scholarly research and professional affiliations of Dr. Mark Merchant and his colleagues in the College of Science," said McNeese President Dr. Philip Williams.
Merchant, an associate professor of chemistry at McNeese, is co-chair of the 2014 CSG conference. He has spent 13 years investigating the immune systems of alligators and crocodiles, looking at the possibility that proteins isolated from the white blood cells could possibly become a new class of antibiotics for both humans and animals. Merchant, who is recognized internationally for his work in this field, will also make presentations at several sessions, as well as present poster abstracts during the conference.
For more information about the CSG, visit www.csg2014louisiana.com.