Division of Ecology & Evolution (DEE): 2005 Spring Newsletter
In this newsletter:
Message from the Chair Fred Janzen, Secretary Anthony Steyermark
and Program Officer Emily Carrington
the DEE officers: San Diego was a great meeting and we would like to
thank everyone who helped to make it so. DEE co-sponsored four
symposia and by all accounts these were very successful.
This year we
had thirty students compete for the DEE best paper presentation award
and thirteen students compete for the best poster presentation award.
As always the judges had a very hard time selecting the winners of
the competitions. In fact, the presentations were so good this year
that we have two winners of the best paper presentation. The winners
are Michael O'Donnell (Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University)
for his talk entitled "Big Breaking Waves Bashing Small
Sessile Stuff" and Robert Cox (Rutgers University) for his
talk entitled "Does Female Reproductive Investment Constrain
Growth and Promote Male-Larger Sexual Size Dimorphism in Yarrow's
Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii?" The winner of the
best student poster competition was Elizabeth Neeley (Boston
University) for her presentation entitled "Adaptive response
of color patterns in the Labroidei to environmental parameters: a
comparative approach" Michael, Robert, and Elizabeth will
each receive an award of $100, a certificate, and our best wishes for
continued success in their research endeavors.
thank all of the DEE members who graciously volunteered their time at
the meeting to serve as judges for the competitions: Nancy
Aguilar-Roca, Mike Angilletta, Jimena Aracena, Audrey Aronowsky,
Patrick Baker, Marilyn Banta, Larry Basch, Lisa Belden, Jim Biardi,
Kim Bostwick, Rachel Bowden, Alex Cheroske, Dennis Claussen, Ann
Cleveland, Mary Alice Coffroth, Erica Crespi, Steve Dinkelacker,
Chuck Drabek, Bobby Espinoza, Michael Finkler, Jennifer Gee, Cameron
Ghalambor, Allen Gibbs, Ken Gobalet, Mike Greene, Brian Helmuth, John
Hranitz, Duncan Irschick, Dan Janes, Debbie Kristan, Egle Krosniunas,
Jimmy Liao, Bill Lutterschmidt, Karen Martin, Marion McClary, Kevin
McGraw, Rachel Merz, Don Miles, Dianna Padilla, David Penick, Maria
Pereyra, Bob Podolsky, Marney Pratt, Wendy Reed, Margaret Rubega,
Mike Sears, Brent Sinclair, Tony Steyermark, Jonathon Stillman, Ralph
Turingan, Jeff Walker, Marcus Webster, Joe Williams, Blair Wolf, and
We are looking
forward to an exciting meeting in San Diego next January, where DEE
is sponsoring or co-sponsoring three symposia:1) "Ecological
Immunology: Recent Advances and Applications For Conservation and
Public Health" (a Society-wide symposium), organized by
Kelly Lee, Bram Lutton, and Martin Wikelski; 2) "Integrating
Function over Marine Life Cycles", organized by Robert
Podolsky and Amy Moran; 3)"Ecophysiology and Conservation:
the Contributions of Energetics", organized by Robert
webpage is now featuring the research of its division members. Please
check out the site at http://www.sicb.org/divisions/dee.php3.
If you would like to contribute material to the site please submit
text files as either Word or text documents, images as either tif,
jpg, png, or gif, and movies as avi or mpeg to Tony Steyermark
Ecology and Evolution Business Meeting Minutes
to order at 5:20 on Thursday January 6, 2005
started with 12 members in attendance
last year were approved.
spoke about the digital library that Trish Morse is organizing. This
project will create online materials for use by K-12 as well as
college students. The modules of this digital library will focus on
the strengths of SICB members and will try not to overlap with
existing libraries. The digital library will be tied to the
Biological Education Network (BEN). Rachel requested that anyone who
would be interested in providing materials for the digital library or
would like to help with organizing additional modules she contact her
or Trish Morse.
Report - Michael Temkin
that forty-two students were participating in the student
competitions for the best paper and poster presentation. Mike said
that fifty-six people were serving as judges this year. Mike thanked
all of those who were participating. Mike reported that we are
beginning to organize a webpage to showcase the research of DEE
members. Almost thirty members have responded to a request for
material for the webpage. Mike has passed the material on to the SICB
webmaster who is going to assemble the webpage. We plan to display a
member's entry each time someone accesses the DEE webpage on the SICB
site. The entries will appear randomly. A link to a webpage
containing entries for all of the research material will also appear
on the DEE webpage.
Officer's Report - Emily Carrington
that DEE sponsored four symposia here at the San Diego meeting: 1)
"Desiccation Tolerance in Animals, Microbes, and Plants:
Comparative Mechanisms and Evolution", 2) "The New
Microscopy: Toward a Phylogenetic Synthesis", 3) "Mating
Systems and Sexual Selection in Hermaphrodites", and 4) "Complex
Life-histories in Marine Benthic Invertebrates: A Symposium in Memory
of Larry McEdward". She stated that so far DEE will be
sponsoring three symposia at the 2006 annual meeting in Orlando.
These symposia are:1) "Ecological Immunology: Recent Advances
and Applications For Conservation and Public Health" (a
Society-wide symposium), organized by Kelly Lee, Bram Lutton, and
Martin Wikelski; 2) "Integrating Function over Marine Life
Cycles", organized by Robert Podolsky and Amy Moran;
3)"Ecophysiology and Conservation: the Contributions of
Energetics", organized by Robert Stevenson.
asked if the executive committee could be approached about removing
the requirement of symposia organizers to submit a proposal to NSF
before the Society would wave speakers fees. Dianna pointed out that
NSF proposals required significant time and energy to write, and had
very small chances of being funded. She said that she hoped that the
Society would recognize that the time of symposia organizers would be
better spent in other ways.
us that last year we had begun to change "topics" to choose
from when we submit our abstracts. She said that these new topics
seem to be working better than the old topics. She asked that if
anyone had additional topics to add or change that they should
discussed the decision to remove the divisional association
requirement from the best student paper and poster competition. She
said that at the with the ability of SICB members to change their
divisional associations whenever they want it did not seem to make
sense to require students to belong to the particular division in
which they were competing.
After a brief
discussion, the DEE member in attendance agreed that we should no
longer require students to belong to our division to compete in the
best student paper and poster competitions. Furthermore, those at the
business meeting, did not have a problem with allowing students from
associated organizations, such as the American Microscopical
Association, to compete for the best student paper and poster awards.
from the National Science Foundation discussed the reorganization of
the Integrative Organismal Biology Section at NSF. Fred said that
there were now four clusters: Behavioral Systems, Developmental
Systems, Environmental and Structural Systems, and Functional and
Regulatory Systems. Fred reported on the funding cuts at NSF and said
that funding rates were expected to be between 10 and 15%. He said
that it would be unlikely that there would be funds available to
support symposium speakers. However, Fred said that they were trying
to maintain the size of awards and the early career programs. He also
discussed that there are special programs that members of SICB may be
interested in and he suggested that we check the NSF information
booth at the meeting or the website for more information.
At this point
the SICB Executive Committee - including John Wingfield, Sally
Woodin, John Pearse, Brett
Burk, and Ronald Dimock joined the business meeting.
introduced the committee and spoke to several Society Issues:
1) NSF will
not fund symposia at levels that we have had in the past and we need
to increase our levels of support for symposia.
from journal is going down - one problem is the loss of
subscriptions and the second problem is that we get no revenue from
the online version of the journal.
3) To solve
these problems the Society is considering joining with a real
publisher – for marketing, connections to abstracting
organizations, and web access.
Coffroth gave the President's Report. Mary Alice reported that at the
Executive committee meeting several issues had been raised.
1) The society
as a whole is in good but not great financial shape. A large part of
the financial problem is the revenues from the journal are
decreasing. To solve this problem, the society is considering four
different publishers: Blackwell Publishing, Elsevier, Oxford
University Press, and University of California Press. By publishing
through these presses, we may get more money for online access, but
price increases may occur. Therefore, we are seeking need input on
this issue from division members.
suggestions were made to give the journal a face lift: including
papers other than symposia; reviews; "hot recent papers".
Additional suggestions are needed.
3) The site
for the 2006 meeting is Orlando, and the site for the 2007 is
suggestion was made that the Committee on Diversity, currently an ad
hoc committee, should be made a standing committee.
5) The Society
website contains some small changes in wording to the Society
was made to infuse a greater conservation biology component into the
society. There is interest from younger and newer members in
conservation biology issues. How can the society make a meaningful
We will be
sending a ballot during the summer for elections of division chair
and program officer, as well as for a by-law change regarding the
best student paper award rules.
Hussain, the DEE student representative, discussed two workshops at
next meeting: How to get the most out of your graduate career, and
How to get the most out of your postdoc years? She also discussed the
idea of a "First time orientation", based on how to
navigate your way through your first SICB meeting as a student.
Candidates for Election
for DEE Program
Position: Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Anne Arundel
B.A., Lehigh University, 1986. M.S., Old Dominion University,
1988. Ph.D., Drexel University, 2003.
Experience: Instructor, Drexel University, 2000-2004; Research
Assistant, Desert Tortoise Project, Drexel University, 1999; Graduate
Assistant, Drexel University, 1995-1998; Adjunct Professor, Camden
County College, 1991-1997.
Activities: Member since 2000
Memberships: American Society of Naturalists; American
Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Society for the Study
of Amphibians and Reptiles, Herpetologist's League, Virginia
Herpetological Society, Nature Conservancy.
Interests: My research interests are varied. Current research
centers around the physiological ecology of amphibians, primarily
salamanders. Past focal areas have been in functional morphology,
particularly the feeding mechanics of salamanders.
Statement: I have been attending SICB meetings off and on since
the 1980's, first as a student and now as a member. In all that time
I have always found this society to provide the diversity that
someone with my varied research interests desires. That is a key
strength of this society - the large interdisciplinary scope.
Because I have enjoyed the benefits of this society for so long, I
now desire to give back to the group. As such, I think it important
that we continue in this tradition and try to bring together more of
the various fields with symposia.
W. Francis, Jr.
position: Visiting Assistant Professor, Richard Stockton College,
B.Sc., Marine Biology, Roger Williams University, 1993. M.S.,
Zoology, University of Rhode Island, 1996. Ph.D., Biology, Florida
Institute of Technology, 2002.
Experience: Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology, Saint Joseph's
University, 2003-04. Post-doctoral Fellow, Biology, Villanova
Activities: Member 2000-present; Poster Presentation in 2000;
Oral Presentations in 2001, '02, '04, '05; Session Chair 2005.
Memberships: American Elasmobranch Society, American Society of
Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Sigma Xi
Interests: Functional morphology, ecological morphology, and
evolution of vertebrates, particularly fishes.
of Goals: Since joining SICB as a graduate student, I have found
the annual meetings priceless for staying abreast of my field. I
have also valued the ability for session programming to bring diverse
groups together in an interdisciplinary setting. As Program Officer,
I would continue to develop these traditional strengths, but I would
also work towards developing symposia and programming sessions that
bridge society divisions. I also acknowledge that symposia and
session programming strongly influence society membership and meeting
attendance. My discussions with junior members of the society
suggests that more could be done to represent their interests. All
together, I would work hard to bring traditional, contemporary, and
novel programs together that synthesize ideas and represent today's
multi-disciplinary approach to ecology and evolution.
for DEE Chair-Elect
George S. Bakken
Position: Professor, Department of Ecology and Organismal
Biology, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
B.S. North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, 1965. M.A., Rice
University, Houston, TX, 1967. Ph.D., (Physics), Rice University,
Houston, TX, 1970. Ford Foundation Fellowship (Ecology),
Missouri Botanical Garden and The University of Michigan, 1970-1972.
Experience: Research Associate II, 1972-1975, The University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Assistant Professor, 1975 - 1978, Associate
Professor, 1978 - 1983, Professor 1983 - 1988, Distinguished
Professor of Arts and Sciences, 1988-present, Director, Center for
Biodiversity Studies, 1994-present, Indiana State University, Terre
Activities: Member since 1983. I have attended most meetings
since joining and chaired many oral paper sessions, but I have not
yet held a leadership position.
Memberships: American Ornithologist's Union, American Association
for the Advancement of Science, British Ecological Society,
Ecological Society of America, Indiana Academy of Sciences, Sigma Xi.
Interests: As you might expect from my peculiar background, my
interests are interdisciplinary and process-oriented. Most of my
research has involved aspects of organismal biology that benefit from
explicit use of methods and principles drawn from physics
My published work has emphasized thermal aspects of physiology, and
behavior, as well as micrometeorology and ecology. More recently,
I've been going back to my roots in optical physics with ongoing
projects on thermal imaging by the pit organ of rattlesnakes and the
use of airborne thermal imaging to construct thermal maps of lizard
habitats for a variety of studies.
of Goals: My continuing involvement with SICB reflects the
interdisciplinary emphasis of the society. It has become the premier
venue for physiological (or better, functional) ecology studies that
cross levels of organization to give functional understanding of
ecological processes. The many students I have brought to meetings
have benefited greatly from interactions with people that work at
different levels of organization. My priority would be to continue
and strengthen support for student attendance at meetings as
essential to both the professional development of students and the
future of the society. We should continue to build on our strength in
functional ecology by encouraging symposia that show vertical
linkages by recruiting and making welcome speakers that address an
ecological problem at various levels of integration, from natural
history and systematics through behavior and organismal function to
cellular mechanisms. At least in my personal contacts, it appears
that conservation and wildlife management activities are taking
increasing notice of the ecological role of physiology, behavior, and
function. This is an area where the society has begun, and could
continue, to make useful contributions to a wider audience.
Joe B. Williams
Current Position: Associate Professor,
Ohio State University
B.A., David Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee, 1970. M.A.,
Zoology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 1974. Ph.D.,
Ecology and Evolution, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.
1977. Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 1980-1982.
Visiting Instructor in Biology at University of Illinois, 1976.
Assistant Professor, Division of Natural Science, Pepperdine
University, Malibu, California, 1977-1979. Postdoctoral Fellow,
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1980-1982.
Associate Professor, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California,
1982-1986. Visiting Research Fellow, University of Western Australia,
Perth, Western Australia, 1986. Research Fellow, University of
Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 1986-1989. C.S.I.R. Fellow, University of
Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa, 1988-1994. Assistant Professor,
Ohio State University, 1994-1998.
Activities: 6 posters, 8 oral presentations, symposium speaker
for SICB symposium "Taking Physiology to the Field". 17
papers published in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 1 paper
published in Integrative and Comparative Biology. Editorial Board,
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.
Society of America, American Ornithologists Union, Cooper
Interests: Research in our laboratory is generally
concerned with both pattern and process of physiological adaptation
of animals, especially vertebrates. Because studies on animals living
in harsh environments often provide insights into the constraints and
mechanisms driving physiological adjustment, we concentrate much of
our work in regions of climatic extremes, especially deserts. Much of
our work has revolved around attempts to understand the factors that
influence energy and water requirements because these together are
fundamental requisites for life and likely candidates for the action
of natural selection. We have two major themes in our laboratory at
the moment, an examination of the influence of lipids in the skin of
birds on cutaneous water loss, and a study connecting genotype with
phenotype on European Stonechats. We have found that larks from
deserts have lower cutaneous water loss than larks from mesic
regions, and that this is associated with changes in the lipid
composition of the skin. We are currently identifying specific lipid
molecules expressed by the epidermis when birds are exposed to
different environments. For our study on Stonechats we are exploring
selection on mitochondria and how changes in polypeptides encoded by
mtDNA might influence oxygen consumption both at the organelle and
Statement: The SICB has as one of its goals to
facilitate "Integrative Biology" among its members. I think
that we need to highlight this goal, and to insure that members of
the DEE have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other members in
far different fields of endeavor from their own.
Link to officer list on DEE page