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Division of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology (DSEB): 2003 Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Officers

Miriam Zelditch, Chair; Donald Swiderski, Program Officer; Ingrid Kaatz, Secretary

Congratulations to Rachel Mueller (University of California Berkeley) on winning the division's Best Student Paper Award for her presentation: "Genome size, cell size and the evolution of enucleated red blood cells in the salamander genus Batrachoseps". All the other entrants are also commended for fine presentations that made it a close contest. Special thanks to the four fine individuals who judged the student presentation (you know who you are). Congratulations and thanks to Francesco Santini and Gustavo Ybazeta for organizing a well attended and interesting symposium and workshop. The DSEB symposium and workshop in New Orleans 2004, being organized by Jon Jeffery and Rob Guralnick. Their program, on analyzing data from biological sequences, promises to be very interesting. We still need ideas for San Diego 2005. Now is the time to contact Don Swiderski, division program officer (dlswider@umich.edu), to discuss possible topics.

Elections: Biographies of candidates for DSEB Chair and DSEB Secretary

Candidates for DSEB Chair

Ken Halanych

Current Position: ssociate Professor & Marine Biology Coordinator, Auburn University.

Education: Ph. D. 1994. University of Texas at Austin; B.S.. 1988. Wake Forest University

Professional Experience: Assistant and Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Adjunct Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory.Postdoctoral fellow, Rutgers University, (Molecular evolution and systematics of marine invertebrates); Postdoctoral fellow, University of Pretoria, South Africa. (The 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: 2000-2001 co-secretary DEDB; 2001 Participant of "Lesser known protostomes" symposium; 2000 Participant of "Hox gene and morphological evolution" symposium; 1998 Co-organizer "Evolutionary relationships of Metazoan Phyla" symposium; 1998 DIZ best student paper committee; 1990 Session co-chair; 1990 Local organization committee for San Antonio meeting.

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, diversification of hydrothermal vent fauna (especially pogonophorans), lagomorph (rabbits and pikas) phylogenetics.

Statement of Goals: DSEB has an important and valuable role in SICB because of the widespread use of phylogenetic tools by all divisions of SICB. The main goal of my tenure in office would be to promote an awareness of the power and utility of using an accurate phylogenetic framework in comparative biology. Through the use of symposia and workshops, DSEB should strive to educate other scientists and show them that they can obtain more information, and in some cases more accuracy, if additional attention is given to how they choose or reconstruct their tree. I also believe that DSEB should be willing to take a similar role with methods used to decipher intraspecific evolutionary history (e.g., phylogeography, coalescence approaches). This increases awareness of DSEB, combined with an aggressive campaign, should help alleviate some of the small membership problems.

Candidates for DSEB Secretary

Rob Guralnick

Current Position: Assistant Professor and Curator of Invertebrates, University of Colorado at Boulder

Education: B.A., University of California, 1992. Ph.D., University of California, 1999.

Professional Experience: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Integrative Biology and University of California Museum of Paleontology, University of California 1999-2000.

SICB Activities: Member since 1997.

Other Memberships: Society for the Study of Evolution, Paleontological Society, American Malacological Society (membership and nominating committee member).

Research Interests: My main area of research has been in the area of synthesizing evolutionary, developmental and functional perspectives and datasets – with a taxonomic focus on mollusks. Recent work has moved from clade and species level patterns and processes and process at the boundary of species and populations. Currently, I am studying morphological and molecular variation and its relation to geography, geology, life-history and biotic and abiotic factors in marine and freshwater mollusks. I also actively pursue research and tool-building in the emerging field of biodiversity bioinformatics, and am most interested in incorporating novel kinds of data (sequence data, morphometrics) into Geographic Information Systems. My interest in biodiversity bioinformatics and population/species level variation dovetail into an integrated, evolutionary approach to documenting the patterns and processes that generate species and genetic biodiversity and how to synthesize, visualize, analyze and make available that information using linked computer databases.

Statement of Goals: I will be committed to the main functions of this postion: gathering and disseminating information provided by the officers and other members. I would also like to explore ways to better organize and store the important information that we maintain into perpetuity as a division, and feel confident that my considerable technology experience is a plus for this job.

Patrick D. Reynolds

Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY

Education: 1983 B.Sc.: Zoology Department, University College Galway, National University of Ireland. 1991 Ph.D.: Department of Biology, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Hamilton College, 1992-98. Research Associate/ Visiting Post-doc, Institute of Marine Sciences, UC Santa Cruz, 1990-92. Lecturer, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley 1990, 1991. Lecturer, Northeastern University East/West Marine Biology Program (at Friday Harbor Labs, U. Washington) 1991.

SICB Activities: Member since 1987; presentation/abstracts in 1988, '91, '95, '97, '98; Student Best Paper Award Panel (DIZ), 1998, 1999; Co-editor of Invertebrate Biology, a quarterly journal of the American Microscopical Society and the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, SICB, 1997-current

Other Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Malacological Society, American Microscopical Society, Malacological Society of London, Sigma Xi, Society for the Study of Evolution, Society of Systematic Biologists, Willi Hennig Society

Research Interests: Functional morphology and evolution of invertebrates, particularly molluscs, focussing on a variety of physiological systems of marine species; comparative studies addressing the evolution of organ systems and clades using morphological and molecular systematics. I have a particular interest in the smaller molluscan classes (Aplacphora, Polyplacophora, and Scaphopoda). I also have a research program on marine benthic community ecology in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

Statement of Goals: Having been affiliated with DSEB for several years, I would be very pleased to serve the Division as Secretary. It has often been noted that our division has a unique role within SICB, intersecting with the research areas represented by several other divisions and earning the secondary affiliation of many Society members. The successes of our annual workshops and symposium activity are also indications of our strength and breadth. Nevertheless, we have low attendance at divisional meetings, and sometimes difficulty in identifying candidates for divisional offices. As Secretary my role would of course be to ensure that communication within the membership is sustained, and encourage the organizers of DSEB workshops and symposia to use more fully the office of the Secretary to promote the activites of the division. With the other officers, I would like to enhance our sense of identity at the annual meetings in ways that would encourage more interaction among DSEB affilates, primary and secondary.

Link to officer list on DSEB page