Candidates for DEDB Secretary
Current position: Assistant professor, Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological Sciences, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Education: Ph.D., Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Professional experience: Postdoctoral research at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1991-97; Fulbright junior scholarship at Harvard University, 1993; assistant professor, Leiden University, 1997--; Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Experimental Zoology: Molecular and Developmental Evolution; and Member, Scientific Program Committee, Sixth International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM-6).
Other memberships: International Society for Vertebrate Morphology, Society for Behavioral Biology.
Research interests: My research interests focus on innovations and mechanisms that facilitate evolutionary changes and on the constraining effect of internal selection on evolutionary changes (i.e., selection caused by characteristics of the developmental system). One of my projects is on the conservation of the number of cervical vertebrae in mammals. In this project I am trying to link developmental biology, genetics and functional morphology to understand the strong internal selection that must have operated in preventing changes in response to external selection pressures. A second project concerns the role of phenotypic plasticity and genetic assimilation in the process of adaptation and evolutionary change of a cichlid fish. My third project is on the evolution of structural novelties in the pharyngeal jaw apparatus of cichlid fishes, and its role in adaptive radiation. Furthermore I am writing a book on Development, Functional Morphology and Evolution for the University of California Press.
Goal statement: I am very pleased with the founding of the new Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology as an important meeting ground for researchers in the field. I would sincerely like to contribute to the success of the division by serving as its secretary. One idea is to improve communication among the members of the division, for instance by expanding the Web site.
Current position: Assistant Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Adjunct Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory.
Education: Ph.D., 1994, University of Texas at Austin; B.S., 1988, Wake Forest University.
Professional experience: Postdoctoral fellow, Rutgers University, (molecular evolution and systematics of marine invertebrates); postdoctoral fellow, University of Pretoria, South Africa (molecular phylogenetics and evolution of lagomorphs); 1997 Mid-Atlantic Ridge Oceanographic Cruise; 1998 Southern Eastern Pacific Rise Oceanographic Cruise; additional field experience at Friday Harbor Laboratories, Bermuda Biological Station. Teaching experience at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; teaching assistant or assistant instructor, University of Texas, 1988-1993.
SICB activities: Participant in symposium, "Hox gene and morphological evolution," Atlanta, 2000; co-organizer of symposium, "Evolutionary relationships of metazoan phyla," Boston, 1998; DIZ best student paper committee, 1998; session co-chair, 1990; local organization committee, San Antonio, 1990.
Other memberships: Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution; Society of Systematic Biologists; American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Research interests: Evolutionary origins and relationships of major metazoan lineages (including body plan origins and evolution); molecular systematics and phylogenetic theory, invertebrate organismal evolution (especially lophophorates), diversification of hydrothermal vent fauna (especially pogonophorans), lagomorph (rabbits and pikas) phylogenetics.
Goals statement: My primary objective during my tenure as secretary would be to promote more interaction between evolutionary and developmental biologists. The field of evo/devo is largely dominated by people trained as developmental biologists. While most of these researchers have done an excellent job of incorporating evolutionary theory with developmental data, I feel that a more complete synthesis could be achieved by 1) making evolutionary biologists more aware the exciting work on developmental mechanisms, and 2) providing developmental biologists with easier access to the latest and most appropriate tools and theory in evolutionary biology.