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Division of Ecology & Evolution (DEE): 2002 Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:






Message from the Chair Cathy McFadden, Secretary Michael Temkin and Program Officer Brian Helmuth

The DEE Officers wish to thank everyone who participated and helped make the 2002 annual meeting in Anaheim a great success. This meeting rivaled the 2001 Chicago meeting as one of the largest ever. Despite the throngs, the convenient physical layout of the meeting rooms at the Anaheim Marriott combined with an excellent schedule put together by the SICB and Divisional Program Officers meant that rooms were rarely overcrowded and it was easy to move quickly between sessions. By all reports the symposia sponsored or co-sponsored by DEE were a success, and we are already looking forward to Toronto in 2003. Given the large number of symposia in which DEE was involved in 2002, we scaled back somewhat in 2003 to increase the number of opportunities for other divisions. We are pleased to announce that our primary symposium proposal was selected to be one of the two society-wide symposia: "Selection and Evolution of Performance in Nature," organized by Joel Kingsolver (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). We are now actively looking for symposium ideas for 2004 in New Orleans, so please contact DPO Brian Helmuth (helmuth@biol.sc.edu) soon if you are interested in organizing a session.

Twenty-nine students competed for DEE best oral and best poster presentation awards in Anaheim. All presentations were of very high quality and the judges had a difficult time deciding on two winners. Best oral presentation was awarded to Vance Vredenburg (Univ. of California, Berkeley) for his talk entitled "Exotic Species and the Decline of Amphibians: Unintended Consequences on a Global Scale". The best poster presentation went to Adam Reitzel (Univ. of Florida) for his poster on "Maternal Investment and Morphological Plasticity: Insights from Subtropical Echinoids". Both winners received checks for $100.00. We extend our congratulations to both of them, and also thank those dedicated volunteers who served as judges: A. Moran, A. Steyermark, R. Turingan, B. Helmuth, H. Schoenfuss, M. Horn, L. Beldon, C. Trowbridge, L. Basch, R. Thacker and C. Frank.

Brian Helmuth's term as DEE Program Officer ends with the 2003 meeting in Toronto, and we will hold elections this year to replace him. Nominees for the position are Michele Nishiguchi (New Mexico State University) and Emily Carrington (University of Rhode Island). Brief biographies of each candidate are included below. Ballots will be sent out via e-mail during the summer.

A list of all DEE members is now posted on our divisional website. Please check to make sure you are on this list if you think you belong to DEE, since we have already found many errors and omissions! We also welcome any suggestions for other items or links to include on the DEE website that would be a service to our members - for instance, we would be happy to post announcements of meetings, summer student research opportunities, etc. Please send your ideas for the website or any other suggestions for how DEE can better serve you to DEE Chair Cathy McFadden (mcfadden@hmc.edu).


Minutes of the DEE Business Meeting Jan. 4, 2002

The meeting was called to order by Cathy McFadden, DEE Chair at 5:21 P.M.

The approval of the minutes for the 2001 DEE business meeting was deferred until the end of the meeting because a quorum was not initially present. At the end of the meeting, Sara Lindsay moved to approve minutes from last year. The motion was seconded by Rachel Merz. The minutes were approved by the members at the meeting.

Cathy announced that the winners of the best student presentations at the 2001 annual meeting were Linda Ilse (Oklahoma State Univ.) for best oral presentation and Lisa Belden (Oregon State Univ.) for best poster presentation. The DEE executive committee and especially the past-secretary, Linda Walters, wanted to thank the people who served as judges for both last and this year's best student presentation competitions. Cathy also announced the winners of the division elections that were held for the offices of Chair-elect and Secretary. Mary Alice Coffroth was elected Chair-elect and Michael Temkin was elected Secretary. Cathy thanked all of the candidates as well as all those who had voted. She noted that SICB is trying to standardize the timing of divisional elections and that these changes might require altering the division's by-laws. The specifics of this issue needed to be discussed as new business. Cathy also commented that as she sorted through old DEE papers that there were no minutes from previous meetings. She recognized this as a problem because there is no formal record of discussions or votes from previous DEE business meetings. Cathy also reported that 1200 people attended the 2002 SICB meeting, a new meeting record. Last year's meeting broke even or near even financially and Burk and Associates are projecting the same for this year.

DEE Program Officer Brian Helmuth reported he is interested in receiving new ideas for symposia. Currently, DEE is not sponsoring any symposia at the 2003 meetings in Toronto. He asked people who are considering organizing a symposium for the 2004 meetings in New Orleans to please contact him in the near future because they need to be preparing their symposia now. He also noted that his three-year term as DEE Program Officer is ending with the 2003 meetings. Consequently, the division will need to find two candidates who will be interested in running for election.

Secretary Mike Temkin reported that he had met with the other divisional secretaries at a meeting earlier in the day. The three major issues that were discussed at the meeting were the preparation of the spring and fall divisional newsletters, the timing of divisional elections, and the performance of Burk and Associates.

Cathy and Mike reported that SICB is trying to standardize the timing of elections across all divisions. The schedule that has been presented is for nominating committees to find candidates to run for office before March 4th so that candidate biographies can appear in the spring newsletter and for elections to be held over the summer. The winners of the elections will then be announced in the fall newsletter. To help with the election of the DEE Program Officer, Cathy asked those people attending the meeting to suggest potential candidates and noted that self-nominations were welcome. Cathy reported that SICB would like to have elected officers shadow current officers to learn the responsibilities of the positions. This policy might require some terms of office to be increased from two years to three years. Changing the terms of executive committee members was thought to have at least two consequences. First, it would affect the schedule of elections. Currently, not all of the officers are elected in the same year, so that the entire board does not turn over at the same time. Changing the length of terms may cause this asynchrony in elections to be lost. Second, it was suggested that it might be harder to find candidates for positions if the lengths of terms became too long.

Cathy reported that the society has charged each division with reviewing their by-laws. She discovered recently that a number of amendments which were apparently made to DEE's by-laws at the Atlanta meeting two years ago have never made it into SICB's records. One of the major changes to the by-laws that will have to be made in the future concerns the midterm replacement of executive committee members. Currently, there is nothing in our by-laws that provides adequate guidance concerning the replacement of executive committee members, especially the office of Chair. Several people suggested that we should investigate how other divisions have written their by-laws concerning midterm replacement of officers. Rachel Merz indicated that DIZ was following the Society guidelines for officer midterm replacement. She also stated that in having to make a recent midterm replacement, consultation with the President of SICB had been very helpful. Some members expressed concern that the helpfulness of the SICB President might be dependent on who was in that office at the time. Some members suggested that the DEE executive committee make a decision about a midterm replacement with guidance from the entire membership. Some members expressed concern that the execute committee required some amount of latitude in order to make the best decision no matter who they consulted with. Some suggested that the candidate who lost the last election might be asked if they would take on the position. Some thought that the previous past officer might be called back into service until an election could be held. The availability of both losing candidates and past officers to assume new duties was questioned. Cathy said that she would continue to investigate the possibilities. However, any proposed changes to the by-laws will need to be published in a newsletter at least 60 days in advance of the next meeting to allow for a vote.

Cathy stated that she had found in Past-chair Sally Woodin's old notebooks a copy of a list of officer's duties, which would make a good starting point for entries in an Officer's Handbook that is to be posted on the SICB website. This handbook would provide new officers with information about how to do their jobs and help to prevent some of the information loss and reinventing-the-wheel that has been happening every time a new officer takes over and has to figure out from scratch what they're supposed to be doing.

SICB President Marvalee Wake thanked the members of DEE for attending the 2002 SICB meeting. She said that the Society was very interested in receiving input about this and future meetings. She stated that the SICB executive committee was seeking to increase participation in the society by 1) increasing membership, especially among graduate students and postdocs and 2) providing symposia with new perspectives. Marvalee noted that she hoped that members would continue their participation in divisional and society affairs. Lastly, she requested that anyone who wanted to make suggestions or comment on the Society or Burk and Associates should e-mail her or other members of the SICB executive committee.

Cathy asked members their thoughts about the effectiveness of the society website and requested members to send materials that they would like to see on the DEE webpage to either her or the Secretary. Such material could include information about summer classes or other professional meetings. She noted that a list of division members would be posted on the DEE webpage. Some members stated that they had problems with family memberships and inquired if their memberships had been fixed on the website. When asked about the newsletter format, members responded that the web based newsletter was fine and that no hard copy of the newsletter needed be sent to all members of the division. When asked if the members wanted the newsletter as a PDF file, some members said that PDF files presented e-mail compatibility problems with Pine. The suggestion was made to send an e-mail with a link to a PDF file. Cathy reported that Burk and Associates would like to continue electronic balloting for society and divisional elections. Burk and Associates reported that voter turn out had been an order of magnitude higher this year than last year. Members indicated that e-mail ballots were preferred over visiting the website.

Members reported their experiences with Burk and Associates to be better this year than last year. Some members believed that Burk and Associates was paying more attention to lower ranking members than in the previous year. Some members reported good and prompt service, especially from both Brett and Mike, who respond quickly. Some members recognized that Sue is often out of town and not always able to respond to e-mail promptly.

Cathy reported that DEE is still one of the largest divisions with about 250 members. All SICB divisions receive $2000 for each meeting. However, divisions may request more money if it is required, especially for special projects that are society related. She noted that at this and the previous meeting talks were arranged topically and not by division. Members were queried if they felt that they were losing their divisional identity? Members responded that they believed their identities were intact and in fact felt allied with several of the SICB divisions. When asked about increasing DEE membership, members suggested including more plant-oriented people and possibly co-hosting a winter regional meeting with ESA. Another suggestion was to co-sponsor symposia with ESA at future SICB meetings. One suggestion was to sponsor a social next year with DIZ, since many members belong to both divisions.

Rachel Merz invited all those at the DEE business meeting to join the DIZ social. The meeting was adjourned at 6:21 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Michael Temkin
DEE Secretary




DEE Candidates for Election

Candidates for DEE Program Officer

Emily Carrington (formerly Emily Bell)

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island.

Education: B.A., Cornell University, 1985. Ph.D., Stanford University, 1992.

Professional Experience: Killam Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, 1992-1995.

SICB Activities: Member since 1992. Symposium participant, 2001.

Other Memberships: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Phycological Society of America, Sigma Xi

Research Interests: My general interest in biology is the ecomechanics of rocky shore organisms. Applying the principles of engineering to both plants and animals, I seek to understand how the morphology and structure of an organism affects its ecological function.

Goals Statement: Like many members of SICB, my interests in biology are truly interdisciplinary. As a result, I have found myself "bouncing" between various meetings in recent years, presenting my research to audiences that specialize in specific taxa, habitats, or disciplines. While this approach has it merits, it was through my recent involvement in the Anaheim meeting that I realized that it is SICB that captures my imagination because of the breadth of its members' interests. As program officer of DEE, I would work to develop symposia and contributed paper sessions that reflect the broad interests of the society. My more specific goals include: 1) to increase the participation of plant biologists in SICB (DEE is particularly well suited for this), and 2) to encourage interactions between junior and senior researchers (via session scheduling and social functions).


Michele Nishiguchi

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, New Mexico State University

Education: BS Biochemistry/Theatre, University of California, Davis; MS Marine Biology, University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Ph.D. Biology, University of Caifornia, Santa Cruz

Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, Biology, New Mexico State University,1999-present; Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, 1998-1999; National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Hawaii and University of Southern California, 1994-1998; Teaching staff, National Science Foundation course in "Adaptations to Extreme Environments", US McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 1994; Instructor, University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Environmental Sciences (2 quarters), 1991-1992; Teaching assistant, Office of Naval Research course in "Molecular tools for marine organismal biology", University of Southern California Catalina Marine Station, 1990-1991; Instructor, Northfield Mt. Herman School in "Tropical marine biology", Cayman Islands, British West Indies, 1991.

SICB Activities: Member since 1989.

Other Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Malacological Union, American Society of Microbiology, Sigma Xi, Society for the Study of Evolution, Society of Systematic Biologists

Research Interests: Primary research interests include: examining the mechanisms and evolutionary processes that are fundamental for establishing how bacteria effect the population structure, life history, and molecular specificity in symbiotic associations; how certain symbiotic systems can be used to examine the mechanisms of infection and pathogenicity between animals and bacteria and evolution of those systems from benign conditions; population dynamics of environmentally transmitted bacterial symbionts; co-speciation between sepiolid squids and their luminescent bacteria; comparative developmental evolution of bacteriogenic light organs in cephalopods.

Goals Statement: The goals that I have for fulfilling the DPO position for SICB would be as follows. I have recently regained my activity in SICB and the annual meetings this past year since I have found that the integration between many disciplines has been important for understanding entire processes and patterns that are the basis for an evolutionary framework. Because I find that incorporating a wide variety of disciplines (cell, developmental, molecular, ecology, evolution) has been fundamental for my own research, I plan to incorporate symposia that combine a wide variety of approaches that integrate a number of these disciplines as well as other areas that are not normally represented at the SICB meetings. This larger approach to broadening the scope of research areas presented at the SICB meetings will bring the society's name of "Integrative and Comparative Biology" to a more meaningful and insightful forum for scientists to collaborate and create more integrated areas of investigative research.






Link to officer list on DEE page