from DSEB! The meeting in San Diego was a success, with good
participation on several fronts. Once again systematic tools figured
predominately in many talks across many divisions. Although there was
a strong showing at the meeting, we need better participation in the
business meeting; among other things, the business meeting serves as
a conduit for feedback to the SICB administration. I would like to
thank Rena Bryan for volunteering to help out as the student/postdoc
representative. Also, Don Swiderski has now officially stepped down
from the role of Program Officer (hands down the most time-consuming
office). Thanks Don!!! Michele "Nish" Nishiguchi will no
doubt be able to fill his shoes as the new PO. Don
"punish-me-some-more" Swiderski is now the Chair-elect.
Welcome aboard, again.
are a central aspect of the SICB meetings. If you have ideas for
symposia of wide interest with a systematics angle, please contact
one of the DSEB officers. Likewise the DSEB officers have been
thinking about how to improve or restructure the Phylogenetics for
Dummies workshop. Any ideas or input would be welcome.
issues that have come up in both the business meeting and across SICB
are promoting diversity, a digital library, and conservation biology.
If you know individuals (undergraduate on up) who would like to
attend SICB's annual meeting and whose presence would help promote
diversity, please let either the DSEB officers or someone on the SICB
diversity committee know. "Diversity" does not only apply
to race/gender issues but also to physically challenged or disabled
individuals. SICB is actively trying to become more representative
and DSEB should do more than its part to help.
second item is the digital library. Electronic tools are becoming
more and more a part of the classroom, both real and virtual.
Patricia Morse and Henry-John Alder have been heading up an
initiative to pull digital resources together on a topic-by-topic
basis. One of the main goals of this is to make our lives as
educators easier. Why reinvent the wheel (or in this case a
powerpoint slide) if a colleague already has made a nice digital
representation of the point you are trying to make to your
undergraduates? If you are like me, just about anybody can make
better-looking and more understandable slides. If you have a good
series of digital lectures on a particular topic, please consider
depositing it to the digital library. The intent is to have the
library be a peer-reviewed undertaking to help ensure some quality
SICB is actively exploring the membership's interest in conservation
biology. Since conservation, biodiversity, and systematics go
hand-in-hand, DSEB needs to consider the role we play in promoting
this interest. This brings up a broader issue of the foci of our
division. It seems to me that many of the systematists who attend
DSEB are primarily driven by organismal questions, as opposed to
methodological issues or molecular evolution. When the Society of
Systematic Biologists decided to meet with the Society for the Study
or Evolution, DSEB took a big hit, even though many of us are members
of both DSEB/SICB and SSB. I, for one, am not convinced the division
really recovered. Are there ways that we can strengthen the division,
not only within SICB but in terms of international reputation as
well? Should we make a more active effort to coordinate with over
societies? Is the scope of DSEB broad enough or should we make a more
active effect to develop topics such as phylogeography, biodiversity,
and population genetics? Alternatively, should we make more out of
the fact that we are the ones actually solving the tree of life and
not just talking about how to do it? How do we do this? Your thoughts
to all. I am pleased to say that we adopted a revised set of bylaws
at the DSEB business meeting in San Diego; one amendment to the
previously posted proposed changes that was passed at the meeting was
to widen the definition of the student rep to include undergraduates.
The new bylaws bring our officer positions and terms into line with
common SICB practice, which will hopefully help us to avoid confusion
and ensure smooth transitions in the future. The new bylaws also
incorporate the new society-wide policy on divisional best paper and
poster awards (see PO message). You can now view the new bylaws on
the SICB web site. Many thanks to all who attended the meeting and
contributed to the discussion.
of the 2005 DSEB Business Meeting:
Ken Halanych convened the meeting on Jan. 6th at 5:15 pm, 12 members
being present (establishing a quorum).
webmaster Ruedi Birenheide and Trish Morse presented the initiative
to place a digital library of educational resources on the SICB web
site. The first of what is planned to be many modules, on
biomechanics, is currently up and running, and further submissions
are welcome. Trish explained that these modules need not be original,
may be attributed, and will be peer-reviewed.
Officer Don Swiderski reported on a number of programming issues. He
explained the new policy on best student paper and poster awards. He
also discussed issues involving keywords for abstracts, specifically
the use of taxa as keywords, and the use of keywords for indexing in
the program and organizing the sessions. He asked that anyone with
concerns on this issue to email SICB Program Officer Cate Louden or
himself. He reported on location plans for the upcoming meetings
(Orlando 2006 and Phoenix 2007), availability of funds for a
divisional social, and the options for the "Phylogenentics for
Dummies" workshop in the future. He invited members to contact
him with any concerns arising from the session programming, and
welcomed Michelle Nishiguchi as the new program officer.
from the Executive Committee (EC) of SICB included comments from
President John Wingfield, who reported on two present concerns:
first, that NSF funding for symposia will likely not be maintained at
past levels, and secondly, that the journal of the society,
Integrative and Comparative Biology, is seeing institutional
subscriptions dropping, and the EC is considering alternative
publishing options, specifically to find professional help to enhance
the journal's indexing and marketing. He commented that symposia and
student support remained the highest society priorities.
Pat Reynolds presented the motion to adopt proposed revisions to the
bylaws. Ken Halanych proposed an amendment to strike reference to
"Graduate" from all mention of "Student/ Postdoc
Representative," thereby opening the position to undergraduates
as well. The amendment was seconded by Joan Ferraris, and after
discussion passed unanimously. The motion to accept the revised
bylaws then passed unanimously.
Mooi proposed that the bylaws governing election of the Student
Representative be temporarily suspended, allowing the immediate
appointment of a Student Representative for the division, rather than
enduring a year-long delay to elect someone to the position. This was
seconded by Ken Halanych. After discussion, which included comment on
the value of having a student representative in place immediately,
the motion passed unanimously.
Message from the Student Representative Rena Bryan
and I would like to share with the division the orientations and
workshops in store for all student and post-doc members of SICB for
the 2006 meeting in Orlando, Florida.
first day of meetings there will be the 1st Timers
Orientation, with discussion of topics on how to get the most out of
your SICB meeting including: how to find relevant talks/posters, how
to find everyone at the meetings and socializing, how to approach a
"big guy or gal," how to enter or leave a room, how to plan
your meeting, and how to get involved in SICB or attend business
Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) Free Lunch will be the
second day of meetings, which is a time for all students and
post-docs to get to know other student and post-doc members. This is
also when the annual SPDAC meeting will be held.
last evening of meetings, two workshops for students have been
planned by SPDAC to be held one after another at 6-7 pm and 7-8 pm.
The first will be aimed at undergraduates with plans for graduate
school and current graduate students, while the second will be aimed
at graduate students looking to land a post-doc/academic job and
post-docs. The detailed agendas for these workshops are as follows:
#1: "Optimizing Your Graduate School Experience" (6-7 pm):
with funding your graduate studies (even after TA-ships expire)
a good mentor (COS, societies, web listserves)
funding as a graduate student
to meetings and making future connections (networking)
your CV to impress future hirers
#2: "Strategies for Landing an Academic Job/Post-doc" (7-8
differences in the requirements for RO1, comprehensive, and
undergraduate liberal arts college resumes.
and senior-faculty SICB members from each of 3 different types of
academic institutions present basic expectations of
research/teaching/service at their institution.
questions from the audience
really pleased to be the new student representative and I want to
wish everyone a very exciting and productive year.
Meetings of Interest to the Division
2005 will be a jointly sponsored conference of the Society for the
Study of Evolution, the Society of Systematic Biologists, and the
American Society of Naturalists. It will be held June 10-14, 2005 at
the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and hosted by the Institute of
Arctic Biology and the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
Further information at: http://uaf-db.uaf.edu/evolution05/
Elections: Candidates for Secretary-elect (term: 01/2006 to 01/2007; assumes position of
Curie Research Fellow, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle,
degree in Biological Sciences, University of Pisa, Italy.
in Zoology, University of Toronto, Canada.
2003-present, Marie Curie Research Fellow, Museum National d'Histoire
since 1999; presentations at 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Annual Meetings; co-organizer of the symposium on "Patterns and
processes in the evolution of fishes" held during the 2003
annual meeting in Toronto and sponsored by SICB, DSEB, DVM, DEE,
DEDB, and the Paleontological Society; co-organizer of the
"Phylogenetics for Dummies" workshop held during the 2003
of Systematic Biology; Society for Conservation Biology; European
Society for Evolutionary Biology; Systematic Association; Society for
the Study of Evolution; National Association of Science Writers.
relationships of acanthomorph (spiny-rayed) fishes, with particular
emphasis on pufferfish and allies (Tetraodontiformes); evolution of
key morphological structures in fishes; problems associated the use
of model organisms in studies of evolutionary biology and genomics;
theoretical aspects of the use of incomplete fossil taxa in
has a central role in much of the research performed by SICB members,
and although many presentations at the society's meetings contain
phylogenies, DSEB divisional events are attended by very few people.
As DSEB secretary I would work with the other divisional officers to
try to encourage more DSEB members from attending the divisional
meetings. I would also work towards the goal of increasing the
membership of the division, both through the traditional conference
activities such as symposia and workshops, and through new outreach
Current position: Associate
Professor, Marine Science, University of Hawaii at Hilo; 2004-present
1983: Biology (Marine Biology), Millersville University of
1990: Marine Biology and Fisheries, University of Miami Rosenstiel
School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. PhD
1996: Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley.
Professional Experience: Assistant Professor of Marine Science,
University of Hawaii at Hilo, 1999-2004. Post doc, Invertebrates,
American Museum of Natural History, 1998-1999. Visiting Postdoctoral
Curator, Invertebrate Zoology, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural
SICB Activities: Member 1996-present; presentations/abstracts in
1999, 2000, '01, '03, '04, '05; Co-organized symposium on
Integrative Approaches to Biogeography, 2002; Judge, Best Student
Paper Award (DIZ), 2004, 2005; DSEB nominating committee 2004.
Other Memberships: American Malacological Society, American
Microscopical Society, Paleontological Society, Sigma Xi, Society for
the Study of Evolution, Society of Systematic Biologists, Willi
Research Interests: Systematics and evolution of gastropod
molluscs, including biogeography/ phylogeography and origin of novel
Goals Statement: SICB is one of the few societies for which I
attend the meetings every year if possible, regardless of where they
are located, because it is a unique society in terms of its breadth
and inclusiveness, and is incredibly supportive of students. I would
be happy to further support DSEB by serving as secretary. DSEB often
finds itself in an odd position as being at the root of ‘comparative
and integrative biology', but the division itself often does not get
much attention. My primary goal is to support and promote the
division and its activities. As secretary, I will seek to promote
DSEB by keeping members and potential new members informed and
publicizing activities of the division to the SICB membership, as
well as promoting outreach to potentially interested systematists and
budding systematists outside SICB.
for Program Officer-elect (term: 01/2006 to 01/2007; assumes position
of Program Officer 01/2007-01/2009):
Position: 2005-present: Adjunct Professor, Department of
Biology, McGill University, Canada; 2002-present: Director of the
Bocas Research Station, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute,
Panama; 2002-present: Staff Scientist, Smithsonian Tropical
Research Institute, Panama.
Ph.D. University of Chicago, Committee on Evolutionary Biology.
Thesis: Evolution of mode of development in Crepidula (Gastropoda:
Calyptraeidae): Causes and consequences. Advisor: Barry Chernoff.
1993-1996: M.Sc. Department of Zoology, University of Washington.
Thesis: Comparative Biology and Evolution of Gastropod Development.
Advisor: Richard Strathmann. 1989-1993: Sc.B. Aquatic Biology,
Brown University; Magna cum Laude and departmental honors.
Undergraduate Honors Thesis: The size advantage hypothesis as a
model for sex change in the common slipper shell (Crepidula
fornicata). Advisor: Steve Gaines.
Activities: 2003: SICB DSEB best student paper judge;
2002-present: SICB Division of Systematic Biology and Evolution
nominating committee; 2002: SICB 2002 Symposium co-organizer:
Integrative approaches to biogeography; 2000-2002: SICB Student and
Post-Doc planning committee; 2000-2002: SICB Division of Systematic
Biology and Evolution student representative; 2000: SICB meeting
Memberships: Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology
(SICB), Society of Systematic Biologists, Society for the Study of
Evolution, American Malacological Society (AMS), International
Society of Invertebrate Reproduction and Development (ISIRD),
American Microscopical Society.
Interests: Life history evolution in marine invertebrates,
systematics, evolution of molluscs, conservation, functional
Position: Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-Rolla
B.S., Zoology, Ohio University, 1992; M.S., Biological Sciences, East
Tennessee State University, 1994; Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary
Biology, University of Kansas, 2000.
Professional Experience: Postdoctoral Associate, 2000-2002,
Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, and Division
of Biological Sciences, University of Kansas.
Activities: Co-organizer and presenter (with D. Swiderski) of
DSEB workshops "Phylogenetics for Dummies: Picking a Tree from
the Forest? and "Phylogenetics for Dummies: Optimizing Characters
on Existing Hypotheses of Relationships"; Chair for DSEB paper
sessions; Judge for DSEB Student Paper Competitions; DSEB Program
Memberships: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles,
International Society for Computational Biology, American Society of
Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, The Herpetologists? League,
Midsouth Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Society, Phi Sigma,
Research Interests: My research focuses on the evolution of
amphibians, with specific interests in phylogenetic relationships
within and among groups, the role of development in generating
anatomical diversity, and the evolution of life history traits. In
addition, much of my research also focuses on the development of
computational methods for visualizing and analyzing biological data,
including the application of data mining techniques to understanding
character non-independence, the development of a web-accessible
library of 3D visualizations of anatomy, and the use of distributed
databases and genetic algorithms to monitor and model biodiversity.
Statement: My goal as DSEB program officer would be to continue
to enhance the reputation and visibility of our division both within
SICB and among the scientific community. Because accurate
phylogenies based on sound methodologies are crucial to all facets of
integrative and comparative biology, DSEB is unique in that we
characterize the foundation for much of the research in other SICB
divisions. Our membership may seem small, but DSEB is a secondary
affiliation for many SICB members, and we represent a significant
part of much of the research in the society. With this role comes the
responsibility of demonstrating the importance and utility of
systematic methodologies to strengthening comparative research. I
would continue our divisional efforts to develop symposia and
workshops that attract participants, sponsorship, and audiences from
other SICB divisions and scientific societies, and I would focus on
promoting the success and participation of the student members of our
Link to officer list on DSEB page