Dear members of the DEDB and DDCB, here are the minutes of the well-attended DEDB business meeting at the conference on Wednesday, 7 January 2004:
Memorandum of Understanding between the Division of Developmental and Cell Biology (DDCB) and the Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB)
of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)
- Opening of the meeting by our Chair, Günter Wagner.
- Vote on the proposal for association with DDCB (see below), including
The proposal for association with DDCB was accepted by those present at the meeting.
- Contract of association which can be cancelled by either division.
- Joint officers, elected by the combined membership of DDCB and DEDB, with the exception of the chair (there will be two Chairs).
- Joint program development
- Report of the program officer, Eduardo Rosa-Molinar (see his report in this newsletter).
- Report of the secretary
- Our website has been expanded this year. A member list has been added as well as information on upcoming meetings that we think are of interest to our members. Ruediger Birenheide has been particularly helpful in keeping our website updated. The executive committee has asked us to make the website more visually attractive. We shall work on this.
- We have been asked to make an operation manual that lists the activities of officers. This should make the start of new officers easier and the functioning of the division more efficient.
- When members want to send information to other members of the division, they can send an email to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Report of the student/post-doc representative, Brad Davidson, (see his report in this newsletter)
- Request by the Executive Committee on a proposal to reduce the lengths of the contributed talks from 20 minutes to 15 minutes. A large majority voted to keep the length at 20 minutes (this was also the outcome for the society at large).
- Reminder by the Chair-elect Brian Hall that elections for secretary, program officer and student/post-doc representative are necessary this year, see below for biosketches of the candidates.
- Announcement by James Hanken, president of the International Vertebrate Morphology Society, of a late abstract deadline of 1 March for the 7th meeting of the Society in Boca Raton Florida from 27 July to 1 August 2004.
- Request by Jonathan Losos to consider the American Naturalist as journal for developmental evolutionary papers, next to the specialist journals Molecular Developmental Evolution (Journal of Experimental Zoology, series B) and Evolution and Development that are supported by our society.
- Announcement of our first joint social with both the DDCB and DVM divisions immediately following the business meeting.
Regarding: association of DDCB and DEDB
Date: Monday, July 21, 2003
With this memorandum the Division of Developmental and Cell Biology, hereafter called DDCB, and the Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, hereafter called DEDB, of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, hereafter called SICB, confirm their decision to form an Association to perform the business and scientific program functions of a Division of SICB as detailed below.
[rationale: the problem to be solved is the lack of participation in DDCB and thus the idea is to consolidate the functions of the Divisions as much as possible.]
The Association shall continue as long as it is perceived by the membership in the interest of the participating parties, DDCB, DEDB and SICB. The Association may be dissolved unilaterally by a vote of one of the participating Divisions. The vote has to be a simple majority of those members of the Division participating in the vote.
[rationale: this makes sure that neither Division can be held hostage by this agreement.]
The Association shall be represented to SICB by the Chair of DEDB and a co-chair who is a primary or secondary member of DDCB. Other officer positions may be filled by members of either DEDB or DDCB. The chair of DEDB will be elected by the membership of DEDB and the co-chair by the membership of DDBC. All the other officers will be elected by the combined membership of DEDB and DDBC.
[rationale: to allow DDCB its continuing identity at least one officer has to be present to represent the interests of DDCB.]
For the duration of the Association the committee structure and business rules shall be those as explicated in the bylaws of DEDB.
[rationale: I am in the process of proposing changes to the DEDB bylaws so that the business rules become more effective and less baroque. The association of the Divisions shall not undermine the efficiency of the administrative rules. Democratic control will be guaranteed by a) the existence of a DDCB co-chair, b) the fact that the officers of the Association are elected by both divisions, and c) the ability of either Division to dissolve the association.]
The Association will be represented in the Program Committee by a Program Officer and Program Officer Elect elected by the combined membership of DDBC and DEDB. The program officer will be charged with also representing the interests of both Divisions, DDCB as well as DEDB, in the formulation of the scientific program.
[rationale: an independent program officer will not solve the problem of lack of leadership in DDCB, but we have to make the DEDB program officer responsible for the interests of DDCB.]
The Association will strive to nominate two representatives for the editorial board of the Journal of SICB representing the two Divisions. At most one of them can be a primary member of DDCB or DEDB.
[rationale: again this is to minimize the pressure to find active participants from DDCB and allows for flexibility, but at the same time ensure that DDCB will not be dominated by DEDB against their interests.]
The Association will request funding from SICB sufficient to support the Student Best Paper Awards of both Divisions, as well as independently sponsored symposia.
[rationale: the ultimate goal is to re-grow DDCB to full fighting strength and this is only possible with their own scientific program.]
This memorandum of understanding shall be made available to the membership of SICB for comment at the SICB website, the newsletter, and division e-mail, and will become effective after affirmative votes in each division of a simple majority of the members by electronic ballot or printable ballot four weeks after posting.
Call for Nominations!
Greetings fellow post-docs and grad-students. I hope you all enjoyed this year's meeting in New Orleans. I wanted to give a brief update on my attempts to organize an Invitational Symposium. On the advice of the Program Committee, I have restructured the symposium on a more traditional theme oriented-basis. In its newest incarnation, the symposium proposal for the Jan. 2006 meeting is titled:
Movers and Shakers: A Young Investigators Symposium on Mesoderm Evolution
This symposium will highlight innovative research on the evolutionary origins of mesoderm and on more general questions regarding mesoderm evolution and comparative development. Some of the speakers will be invited by the organizers while the remaining speakers will be chosen through a broad nomination/voting process by students and post-docs.
Please send me your nominations! Nominees should be grad-students, post-docs or newly hired professors whom you believe are conducting innovative research on mesoderm evolution or development.
Nominations can be made by anyone, members/non-members, students or professors. Please send me up to three nominees and a brief, one sentence, description of their research.
Speaker's travel, lodging and registration costs will be covered and their presented papers will be published either in the SICB journal or in Evolution and Development.
I will be forwarding this email request to all DEDB members for circulation within relevant departments. If you do not receive a departmental email regarding this symposium, please take a minute to forward this message within your department.
Send your nominations to me at email@example.com
Candidates for Elections
for Program Officer
Position: Associate Professor, Julio Garcia Diaz Center for Investigations in Biology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Education: The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Natural Sciences; B.S., 1994 University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska. Medical Sciences Ph.D., 1997 Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska. Cellular & Molecular Neurobiology, 1997-1999
Experience: August, 2003-present: Associate Professor, Julio Garcia Diaz Center for Investigations in Biology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico; August, 1999-July, 2003: Assistant Professor, Julio Garcia Diaz Center for Investigations in Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico; July, 1997-July, 1999: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Neuroscience, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska
Activities: Editorial Board (2003-present). Journal of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology; Symposium Co-Organizer (2003). Alexander Kowalevsky Award Recipients Mini-Symposium. Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology; Program Committee (2003-present). Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology; Program Officer (2001-present). Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology; Committee Member (2001-present). Committee on Diversity, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology; Symposium Organizer (2001). Starting from Fins: Parallelism in the Evolution of Limbs and Genitalia. Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
Memberships: Society for Developmental Biology; Spanish Society of Developmental Biology; American Association of Anatomists; Society for Neuroscience; Johnston Black Johnston Club; Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology; Histochemical Society; Microscopy Society of America; Sigma Xi; American Association of the Advancement of Science
Interests: Comparative and Evolutionary Neuroembryology, Cellular and Developmental Neuroendocrinology, Development of Neuroanatomical Tract-Tracing Probes and Techniques for the Detection and Manipulation of Single Molecules for Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy and Cellular and Molecular Imaging.
of Goals: If elected for a second term, my primary objective during my tenure as DEDB program officer would be to continue recruiting, working with, and encouraging developmental and evolutionary biologists to develop proposals, symposia, and obtain funding (i.e. money for international travel) to bring together more investigators within SICB and outside of SICB to continue working on "big picture questions" in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) as well as the latest most appropriate tools and theories in evolutionary and developmental biology. I will continue to strengthen ties with other divisions of SICB and with other organizations. I intend to recruit and encourage plant biologists to develop symposia. I also intend to continue to work to provide more recognition for the student presentation competition.
Position: Researcher, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Education: Ph.D., Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Experience: Postdoctoral research at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1991-97; Fulbright junior scholarship at Harvard University, 1993; Researcher, Leiden University, 1997--; Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Experimental Zoology (Series B, Molecular Developmental Evolution), Zoology and Animal Biology; Member of the Scientific Program Committee, Sixth International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM-6).
Activities: SICB member since 1992. Secretary of the Division of Developmental and Evolutionary Biology (DEDB), 2002-present.
Memberships: International Society for Vertebrate Morphology.
Interests: My research interests focus on innovations and mechanisms that facilitate evolutionary morphological changes and on the constraining effect of internal selection on such changes (i.e. selection caused by characteristics of the developmental system). Recently my main focus has been on the conservation of the number of cervical vertebrae in mammals, the number of digits in tetrapods and the early organogenesis stage in vertebrates. In this project we are trying to understand the interplay between genetic architecture, developmental mechanisms and stabilizing selection that leads to the conservation of morphological traits. A second project is on the evolution of structural novelties in the pharyngeal jaw apparatus of cichlid fishes, and its role in adaptive radiation. A third project concerns the role of phenotypic plasticity and genetic assimilation in the process of adaptation and evolutionary change of cichlid fishes. My fourth project is on the intra-specific relationship between size and longevity in dogs. Furthermore I am writing a book on Development, Functional Morphology and Evolution for the University of California Press.
of Goals: The DEDB division is an important meeting ground for researchers in evolutionary developmental biology. I have enjoyed being a secretary and would like to continue to help strengthen the division with the experience that I have gained in my first term. In particular I would like to improve communication among the members of the division, amongst others by continuing the improvement of our website in collaboration with the SICB webmaster Ruediger Birenheide.
for Student/Post-Doc Representative
Position: Graduate Student, Department of Biological Sciences, George Washington University
Education: 2003-Current Ph.D. student at GWU (Advisor: Dr. L. Patricia Hernandez); 2003 M.S. in Biology, University of South Dakota (Advisor: Dr. Paula Mabee); 1999 B.S. in Biology, University of South Dakota
Experience: Robert Weintraub Research Fellowship, 2004-2005; Teaching Assistantship, 2003-2004, George Washington University; Teaching Assistantship, 2000-2003, University of South Dakota; co-PI, CoBRE NIH Pilot grant (with Dr. Paula Mabee and Patricia Crotwell at USD)
Activities: Presented posters or talks at each of the last 3 SICB meetings; 2002 SICB Grant in Aid of Research Award; Also member of DVM.
Memberships: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH), Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), Society for Developmental Biology (SDB), and the American Association of Anatomists (AAA).
Interests: My dissertation research focuses on the development and evolution of morphological novelties and adaptations, particularly in the skeletal system of vertebrates. I am currently investigating the evolution and development of the Weberian apparatus of otophysan fishes, a possible key innovation that has allowed for the great radiation of this group. I am particularly interested in the genetic mechanisms underlying morphological change, and the evolutionary processes driving the change.
of Goals: My primary goal as graduate student/post-doc representative for DEDB would be to continue the work done by our previous representatives, Brad Davidson and Patricia Hernandez. This includes a greater level of communication between students both within DEDB and in the society as a whole, increasing recruitment, and increasing student funding and award opportunities. In addition, I wish to strengthen the ties of the Society, and specifically DEDB, with other societies in order to increase the visibility of SICB in the scientific community, and to make DEDB the premiere arena for discussion of all things EvoDevo.