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Division of Invertebrate Zoology (DIZ): 2005 Spring Newsletter

Deep-sea corals off Alaska (A. Lindner/NOAA)

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Thomas Wolcott

I was delighted to see so many DIZ members manifestly having a good (and of course productive) time in my natal city, San Diego. We even got to see real-world environmental science, meeting during exceptionally rainy weather in facilities that are textbook examples of floodplain development. The real flood, fortunately, was one of fascinating titles, more than one could run to when heavily ballasted with comidas Mexicanas. As always, there also was a plethora of interesting symposia to further augment our desire to be in multiple places at once. Every year I marvel at the breadth and depth of SICB, and the capabilities of the rising generation(s) of biologists. Thank you all for making these such good meetings!

Last spring you elected a new Program Officer, Amy Moran. She'll be taking office soon, which will give her something to with all those idle hours that come from having a new baby around the house. Be nice to her and observe all the deadlines so she doesn't need to discipline you!

This spring DIZ chooses a new chair-elect, and the hard-working DIZ nominating committee (Pat Reynolds, Bruno Pernet, and Shea Tuberty, chaired by Susie Balser) has presented a slate of highly competent candidates (a change that could drastically alter the effectiveness of the office). Please review their credentials and vote!

Penny Barnes, whose energy and dedication often have left me feeling tired, will be handing the P.O. reins over to Amy Moran. Penny is to be thanked not only for helping to shape the program, but also for arranging the very pleasant AMS/DIZ/DEE/TCS social, which was exceptionally well attended and, by all evidence, enjoyed. Penny, a thousand thanks!

Sara Lindsay is another who has given yoepersonly service. For many years she has chaired the Best Student Paper/Poster Committee, a really labor-intensive post. Many, many thanks, Sara! Once again we had an impressive array of really good presentations; the future of integrative biology is in good hands! Please see Sara's announcement of the winners from the San Diego meetings. In this context, the SICB Program Officers collectively have suggested that all divisions with Best Paper awards delete the requirement for membership in that division. Since divisional membership is so fluid anyway, they suggest simplifying the process by allowing students to compete in whichever division seems most appropriate to their presentations. We will soon have a web-based forum to discuss this and other proposed changes to the divisional bylaws.

Thanks also (indeed, double thanks) to Ben Miner, who has been serving as the Graduate Student/Postdoc representative. He too is stepping down and/or up; he has consented to assume Sara's role as Best Paper Committee Chair. I am pleased to announce that Scott Nichols (postdoc at UC Berkeley) has accepted appointment as Ben's successor.

The Libbie Hyman Award last year went to Heidi Weiskel, who spent time at Friday Harbor Labs. Her experience epitomizes what the award is all about. With her permission, I quote, "I returned from Friday Harbor so thrilled about zoology and getting out in the field with these critters and tromping around in the mud that I returned to Davis and switched my degree focus from policy to marine ecology. Done. Friday Harbor was a brilliant experience, and I am grateful to you and Amy both, along with the selection committee, for awarding me the scholarship." We wish Heidi the very best as she forges on in a new direction!

This year's scholarship winner is Rafael Rosengarten, a first year graduate student in the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. Rafael is interested in neuromusculature and myogenic differentiation in lower metazoans, and embryology of Placozoa. The Hyman Scholarship will help him participate in FHL's embryology course this coming summer.

Plans are afoot for a SICB digital library that will be a rich source of teaching tools. The first module will be "biomechanics", and is under construction. Trish Morse is serving as the point person.

Message from the Program Officer

Amy Moran

The 2005 SICB meeting in San Diego was a great success! The total number of presentations at the meeting was 1001, with 374 posters and 627 talks. DIZ, as always, was well represented in both oral presentations (58) and poster sessions (35), including 20 abstracts for the Best Student Paper competition. There were eight symposia and two mini-symposia at the meeting, and DIZ was the primary or additional sponsor of six of these. Dianna Padilla and Ben Miner's "Complex Life-histories in Marine Benthic Invertebrates: A Symposium in Memory of Larry McEdward," which had DIZ as primary sponsor and DEE as an additional sponsor, was very well-received. "Mating Systems and Sexual Selection in Hermaphrodites," organized by Janet Leonard, had DIZ and DAB as primary sponsors and DEE as additional sponsor. DIZ also joined DSEB and DEDB as a primary sponsor for "WormNet: Recent Advances in Annelid Systematics, Development, and Evolution" organized by Ken Halanych; and DIZ, DEE, DNB, DEDB, and DSEB were additional sponsors for the American Microscopal Society's symposium "The New Microscopy: Toward a Phylogenetic Synthesis," organized by Ruth Ann Dewel, Kathy Coates, Mary Beth Thomas, Clay Cook, and Julian Smith. Both of the latter symposia were well attended by DIZ members and got rave reviews. DIZ was also an additional sponsor for two society-wide symposia, "Desiccation Tolerance in Animals, Microbes, and Plants: Comparative Mechanisms and Evolution" organized by Peter Alpert, James Clegg, Brent Mishler, and Mel Oliver; and "Terminal Addition, Segmentation, and the Evolution of Metazoan Body Plan Regionalization" organized by Nigel Hughes and David Jacobs.

The joint DIZ/AMS/DEE/TCS social was exceptionally well attended. There was standing room only at some points in the evening and everyone gave the social rave reviews; the Mexican food buffet was superb and, fantastically, the food kept on coming!

For 2006 in Orlando DIZ will be primary sponsor of two symposia: "Genomic and Proteomic Approaches in Crustacean Biology," organized by Donald Mykles and David Towle, and "Integrating function over marine life cycles," organized by Bob Podolsky and Amy Moran. The deadline for submission of proposals for the 2007 SICB meeting in Phoenix is August 19, 2005. Please start thinking about exciting symposium ideas for 2007 and e-mail me (amoran@unc.edu) or Society Program-Officer-Elect Linda Walters with any questions you may have. General information and the symposium proposal submittal forms are posted on the SICB website.

Message from the Secretary

Bob Thacker

It was great to see everyone in San Diego. At the meeting, several DIZ members expressed interest in participating in a database of invertebrate zoology researchers on the DIZ website. Ruedi Birenheide has done a great programming job and now has the database up and running: http://sicb.org/divisions/DIZ/researchers.php3.

If you would like to participate, please send me a photo (or data on a graph or even a theoretical model) from your research, along with a short title, and a paragraph describing the image. The image should be in jpeg or tiff format, while the text can be MS Word or RTF format. Please e-mail your submission to me: thacker@uab.edu. Please note: if you have already submitted information to another division's database, you can just let me know which division that is, and we can link to your existing submission.

We are in the process of updating the divisional bylaws; all proposed changes are available for review on the SICB website in an electronic forum: http://sicb.org/phpBB2/index.php. The proposed changes include rather bland incorporations of electronic balloting and a clearer definition of officers' terms. We also discussed another change at the 2005 Business Meeting: removing DIZ membership as a requirement for participation in the best student presentation awards. This proposal generated quite a few comments that might be appropriate for further discussion. Please post your comments or suggestions on the electronic forum. In addition, you are welcome to review and suggest other changes to our current bylaws, available on the SICB website: http://sicb.org/handbook/bylaws.php3#dizbylaws.

This spring, we are holding an election for the position of Chair of DIZ. Biographical sketches for Janice Voltzow and Jon Norenburg are provided at the end of this newsletter. Please participate in the election, because your vote counts!

Message from the Graduate Student - Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Ben Miner

Hello fellow students and postdocs. The San Diego meeting is behind us, and I would like to extend the Division's thanks to all the graduate students who worked to make this meeting such a success. I would also like to congratulate Constance Rogers-Lowery for winning the best student oral presentation, Ted Uyeno for winning the best student poster presentation, and Sarah Berke for winning the Adrian Wenner Strong Inference Award. I encourage all undergraduate, graduate, and recently graduated (< 1 year) students to enter these competitions in 2005. The next meeting will be held in Orlando, January 4-8, 2006.

To ensure SICB continues to consider the needs of graduate students, I encourage comments and suggestions for improving future meetings. In particular, I am interested in whether people would like to have a livelier social. In New Orleans a band played at the social, and the Student/Postdoc Committee is considering having a band at the social each year. Please email suggestions to me at bgminer@ucdavis.edu.

Good luck with your studies and research!

Message from the Student Awards Committee Chair

Sara Lindsay

Thank you to all of the students and judges who participated in the DIZ Student presentation competition at the meeting in San Diego. There were many wonderful presentations, and I really enjoyed seeing the diversity of research DIZ students are involved in -- keep up the great work! Constance Rogers-Lowery won first prize in the oral presentation for her talk titled "Antibody-mediated immune response of fish during development of acquired resistance against larvae of freshwater mussels." Joseph Spagna was the runner-up among the oral presentations; his talk was on the "Contribution of a distributed foot to running performance in arthropods." Ted Uyeno took first prize among the poster presentations with his work on "The function of cephalopod buccal mass musculature." Beth Davis was the runner up for the best poster; her presentation was on "Predicting potential distributions of invasive land snails via ecological niche modeling." Sarah Berke, who spoke on "Behavioral balancing acts: energy and mortality trade-offs in young decorator crabs," was the winner of the Adrian Wenner Award for Strong Inference. Congratulations to all! Students should hear soon from Tom Wolcott with more details about your awards. Thank you again to all of our dedicated judges -- I've enjoyed working with you over the last four years. I encourage you to help Ben Miner next year when he takes over the reins as chair of the DIZ student award committee.


Sara Lindsay

Message from the Editor of Invertebrate Biology

Patrick D. Reynolds

Greetings to all DIZ members! Invertebrate Biology, the journal of the American Microscopical Society and the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, celebrates 125 years of continuous publication this year. The year also sees considerable change at the journal. As I write, the first issue of Invertebrate Biology with Blackwell Publishing, v.124, no.1, winter 2005, was published on March 10 and has been mailed. This marks the culmination of over two years' work on the direction of the journal, and we are pleased to have reached this point of the transition. Those who subscribed in 2004 will receive the first 2005 issue gratis, along with information on how to subscribe for the year, which includes membership in AMS. Hardcopy renewals have also been mailed to all 2004 subscribers. Please support your journal by subscribing or renewing your subscription (and membership in AMS); this can be done online at <http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/IVB> (you will find a link to the left for "membership"; institutional subscriptions under "subscribe/ renew").

We are excited about the changes in our journal. While you will notice a cover make-over and some minor stylistic changes within, the most significant change is that articles in IB will now also be published online through the Blackwell Synergy system. All subscribers will receive access upon renewal, but you can view the current issue free at <http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/IVB> (upper right for link to online content). While we have worked through many aspects of production during the transition, I welcome your comments on any aspect of the journal in this new phase of its long history.

Starting with this volume, greater support will be given to authors. There will be no page or color plate charges (the latter with editorial approval). We hope that this will encourage submissions, particularly of studies requiring color illustrations such as those using confocal and fluorescence microscopy - but of course IB publishes on all aspects of the biology of invertebrates; recent issues include phylogenetics, behavior, physiology, neurochemistry, and development, to name just a few subdisciplines. Additionally, a pdf file of the published article will be provided to authors for personal posting (hardcopy reprints can still be purchased). Finally, we also now have online submission and review at <http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/invbio>. Please consider IB for your manuscripts!

There will be a considerable increase in the number of online databases and service providers that index and provide access to IB, with a more international reach. We anticipate that this, along with online publication, should further enhance the citation rate for the journal (which is already quite competitive; feel free to contact me for more information on this or any aspect of the journal).

Despite all these changes, we are pleased that Invertebrate Biology remains one of the lowest-priced journals in our field to both individual and institutional subscribers. Rates for individual subscribers for 2005 is still only $38, students $19; institutional subscriptions start at $166.

In a separate initiative, we have joined JSTOR, the Scholarly Journal Archive. The scanning of the entire back run of IB, to the first volume in 1880, is proceeding apace, and we expect all issues, up to 5 years prior to the current issue, to be available online later this year.

Thank you all for your support of the journal, especially those who have reviewed or submitted manuscripts. I look forward to continuing to work with you.


Pat Reynolds

Minutes of the 2005 Annual Business Meeting

Thomas Wolcott (DIZ Chair) opened the meeting by approving the minutes of the previous year's meeting. Chair Wolcott announced the results of the Program Officer election: Amy Moran will be the next DIZ Program Officer.

Chair Wolcott solicited nominations for the next Chair of DIZ, and sought DIZ members to join the nomination committee. Ben Miner, former Graduate Student - Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative, has now become the Student Awards Committee Chair. Chair Wolcott requested nominations for a new Graduate Student - Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative.

Chair Wolcott announced the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship winner, Heidi Weiskel. Former Student Awards Committee Chair Sara Lindsay announced the winner of the 2004 Best Student Paper awards, Alex Cheroske, with runner-up Jeff Riffell. The 2004 Best Student Poster award was won by Collin Johnson, with runner-up Constance Rogers-Lowery. Michelangelo Von Dassow won the Adrian Wenner Strong Inference Award, with runner-up Sheri Johnson. Chair Wolcott and all of the meeting attendees thanked Sara for several years of service administering the student awards program.

DIZ Program Officer Penny Barnes announced changes in the rules for the Best Student Paper & Poster awards. Currently, DIZ and two other divisions require students to be members of their divisions to compete for these awards. Elimination of the requirements for division affiliation was proposed. This change will need to be incorporated into the DIZ bylaws. Several attendees discussed the recognition of divisional affiliation during the Best Student Paper competition.

In 2005, 6 of 8 symposia are DIZ co-sponsored or supported. Many of the symposia also garnered strong participation in complimentary sessions. For the 2006 SICB meeting in Orlando, 2 symposia are sponsored by DIZ. The deadline for symposium proposals for 2007 is now August 19, 2005. The 2007 meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tucson, Arizona, with a future meeting perhaps in an international venue or Puerto Rico.

The SICB Executive Committee visited our business meeting. SICB President John Wingfield stated that the major issues facing the society are financial, including declining NSF support for symposia and declines in journal revenues with a loss of institutional subscriptions. The society is committed to maintaining support for students and symposia. President Wingfield encouraged discussion of these issues and attendance at the society-wide business meeting.

Tom Vandergon, from the NSF Division of Integrative Organismal Biology (IOB) solicited applications for symposium support, even though NSF funding is tight. There is currently a relatively low funding rate for grant proposals; many proposals judged worth of funding cannot be fully funded. Dr. Vandergon requested that DIZ members attend the NSF funding discussions later in the meeting. He also solicited supplemental funding applications in support of undergraduate research.

Patrick Reynolds discussed the status of the journal Invertebrate Biology, which is now co-published with Blackwell and available on-line through Syngergy. The entire catalog of Invertebrate Biology will soon be on-line through JSTOR. Dr. Reynolds thanked the DIZ membership for serving as members of the editorial board, as reviewers, and as authors for the journal; he also encouraged future manuscript submissions. Dr. Reynolds led a round of applause to thank Vicki Pearse for a decade of service as editor of Invertebrate Biology.

Clay Cook, American Microscopical Society, also addressed the partnership of Invertebrate Biology with DIZ, and discussed ways to bring AMS and DIZ together, including subscriptions to the journal, submission of manuscripts to the journal, and co-sponsorship of symposia. In addition, SICB has waived the conference participation fee for AMS.

Rachel Merz presented the SICB Digital Library project, which aims to provide teaching materials in integrative and comparative biology. The first project concerns biomechanics teaching resources and is coordinated by Trish Morse. Dr. Merz requested submission of teaching materials in multiple media formats. Joe Thompson emphasized that all material submitted to the Digital Library project will be peer-reviewed and encouraged participation both as submitters of materials and reviewers of future modules.

Chair Wolcott reminded DIZ members about our efforts to improve the website; please send pictures of your research to DIZ Secretary Bob Thacker.

Chair Wolcott stated that the society-wide ballots in the spring elections will address the issue of creating a permanent diversity committee, which requires a bylaw change. Chair Wolcott also discussed the society's increasing interest in conservation biology, including a meeting on Friday.

Frederick Harrison announced the planning stages for an international congress on invertebrate morphology to be held in 2008. He asked the DIZ membership to participate in generating themes and ideas for the congress.

Chair Wolcott announced a request from AIBS and BioScience for review articles and other manuscript submissions.

The final discussion centered on the timing of the next Invertebrate Auction at SICB. Most attendees favored holding another auction in the next 2 to 3 years. All DIZ members are urged to seek out neat items for the next auction, for to make their own artistic endeavors.

All present were thanked for their attendance.

Submitted by RW Thacker.

Elections: Candidates for DIZ Chair

Please review the biographies of our two candidates for the position of DIZ Chair, Janice Voltzow and Jon Norenburg. We will hold an election for this office later this year.

Janice Voltzow

Current position: Professor, Department of Biology, University of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Education: 1980, B.S. (Biology), Yale University, New Haven, CT. 1985, Ph.D. (Zoology), Duke University, Durham, NC.

Professional Experience: 1996-present, Assistant, Associate, Professor, University of Scranton. 2001-present, Editor-in-chief, American Malacological Bulletin. 2002-present, Project Kaleidoscope Faculty for the 21st Century. 2004-2005, Visiting Scholar, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sydney. 2000-2001, President, American Malacological Society. 1987-1996, Assistant, Associate Professor, University of Puerto Rico. 1992, Visiting Scholar, Harvard Forest, Harvard University. 1985-1986, Postdoctoral Fellow, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington. 1982-1985, Cocos Foundation Trainee in Morphology, Duke University.

SICB Activities: SICB member since 1982; Chairperson, Public Affairs Committee, 1987-1989; Co-organizer and moderator, Forum on Biodiversity, 1988; Representative to AAAS Section X, Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering, 1997-1998; Nominating Committee, Division of Systematic Biology, 1997; Judge for Best Student Paper for DIZ.

Other Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Malacological Society, American Microscopical Society, Malacological Society of London, Sigma Xi, Unitas Malacologica.

Research Interests: Functional morphology and evolution of marine molluscs, evolution and development of invertebrates, effects of wind on trees (trees are invertebrates too).

Statement of Goals: This is an especially exciting time to be an invertebrate zoologist. Because our field integrates concepts and techniques from so many fields, we have the potential to contribute to a very broad base of biological knowledge. It is especially important that we use our excitement to nurture and stimulate the next generation of invertebrate zoologists. I look forward to working more closely with them to bring them more actively into DIZ. The next few years hold some outstanding opportunities for our Division as we look ahead to increased integration with other SICB divisions, the development of educational resources on the web, and the proposed International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology. I believe my experience with the American Malacological Society (the other AMS) will help me be a dynamic leader for DIZ.

Jon Norenburg

Professional Experience: 1992 - present Curator/Research Zoologist, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History; 1988-1992 - Supervisor, Benthic Invertebrates Section, Smithsonian Oceanographic Sorting Center; 1983-1986 - Postdoctoral Research Associate jointly at Department of Anatomy, Medical College of Georgia, and Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Maine; 1982-1983 - Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellow, Fort Pierce, FL.

Education: 1974 - B.S. (Hon); 1976 - M.S., Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia; 1983 - Ph.D., Zoology/Systematics, Northeastern University, Boston, MA.

Professional Interests: Evolution and diversification of the phylum Nemertea, through use of systematics to integrate and organize studies of comparative morphology (histochemical, histological and ultrastructural), life-history attributes, and molecular sequence data. Current projects include phylum-level phylogenetic survey based on morphology and sequence data from five gene fragments; monographic studies and studies of specialized groups of nemerteans (deep-sea pelagic, mesopsammic, supra-littoral, and commensal); nemertean larval development and morphology.

SICB Activities: Member since 1976, attending all annual meetings except four. Program Officer, Division Invertebrate Zoology; Program Officer, Division of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology; member, SICB Program Advisory Committee; Chair and occasional judge for DIZ and DSEB Best Student Paper Selection Committee; co-organizer and editor for "First Symposium on Biology of the Nemertina," ASZ, Philadelphia, 1983; co-organizer for "Phylogenetic Systematics, Biogeography, and Marine Biodiversity," ASZ, Washington, DC 1995.

Other Memberships/Affiliations: American Association for Zoological Nomenclature (Secretary/Treasurer '90-'92, Secretary '92-'95), American Microscopical Society (Member-at-Large '97-'00; '02-'05), Biological Society of Washington (Councilor twice), International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature (Trustee since 1990), Society of Systematic Biologists, Willi Hennig Society; Associate Editor, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington '91-'97; co-organizer Fourth- and Sixth International Conference on Nemertean Biology,1995 and 2004; Associate Editor, Publications of Seto Marine Biological Laboratory, Japan '04-present.

Statement of Goals: During my terms as Program Officer for DIZ and DSEB, I was a strong advocate of trying the current format of "integrated" or topic-based sessions at the annual meetings. I still am a proponent of this approach and of the Program Officers meeting to schedule sessions, but I would like to see division-based sessions for authors preferring that venue or for presentations that don't fit well into available integrative sessions. I am not running for program officer, but this is one area where I would advocate for regaining division identity. The DIZ is the primary or secondary professional society affiliation for many invertebrate zoologists, especially those of us who have no taxon-based societies to call home. I want to strengthen our identity and standing as a professional home for invertebrate zoologists. We already are exploring ways to increase DIZ involvement with the American Microscopical Society's journal Invertebrate Biology, which I support. We have failed several times in the past in targeted efforts to increase participation by invertebrate biologists who opt instead for more narrow taxon-based societies. I propose to keep trying to win them over (at least the most interesting people from those societies:-). Promoting excellence in our science is the obvious goal of DIZ and SICB but my primary guide is success in providing a stimulating and nurturing home for our students and young professionals, which cannot be done without drawing the enthusiastic participation of our "established" colleagues. The DIZ does an excellent job of that; it seems healthy and not in need of major initiatives; we can coast or we can try to be even better. I do not have the force of personality to do that by myself. Don't vote for me if you are not ready to participate, at least by being responsive. P.S. I promise not to advocate for adding "evolutionary" to our name.

Link to officer list on DIZ page