SICB has created a new division for the study of comparative
biomechanics needed a home where colleagues from all fields,
interested students, granting agencies and corporations can turn to
find the latest cutting-edge research, the investigators conducting
the studies and the events that disseminate the discoveries. No other
society in the world is better positioned to highlight the
contributions of comparative biomechanics. The strength of the
symposium and contributed paper and poster sessions at the SICB
annual meetings are unmatched. Comparative biomechanics complements
strong divisions that focus on physiology, ecology, behavior,
vertebrate morphology and invertebrate zoology. This
cross-fertilization has become more obvious in recent years as the
society has encouraged themed sessions. Sessions on hydrodynamics,
aerodynamics, terrestrial locomotion, feeding, biomaterials, and
muscle function represent a core of the meeting and consistently
showcase research that sets the pace for the field of comparative
creation of The Division of Comparative Biomechanics (DCB) in SICB
signals that we are in a new age of integration, but one that builds
on past strengths. Integrative and comparative biomechanists and
physiologists have been doing Systems Biology since the early 1600's.
Recently, Systems Biology has received renewed attention, but the
definition has been narrowed. "Systems Biology is a scientific
discipline that endeavors to quantify all of the molecular elements
of a biological system to assess their interactions and to integrate
that information into graphical network models that serve as
predictive hypotheses to explain emergent behaviors."
contend that Systems Biology must integrate across:
Levels of organization (molecules to eco-systems)
Organisms (plants, invertebrates and vertebrates)
biomechanics is uniquely positioned to serve as an exemplar of this
integration. The discipline focuses on the physics of how organisms
function and interact with their environment from the scale of
molecules to eco-systems. The goal is to discover basic physical
principles that can be applied to a diversity of organisms. Studies
of fluid and solid mechanics of organisms take advantage of direct
experimentation, comparative and phylogenetic approaches and both
mathematical and physical modeling. Few other disciplines contribute
to and benefit from integration not only within biology, but also
with physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry and computer
new division will hold its organizational meeting at the 2007 SICB
Annual Meeting in Phoenix. At this time, we will attempt to adopt a
set of bylaws. Since we do not yet have an official membership, we
will hold elections in the spring of 2007. New officers will assume
office at the 2008 meeting. Until then, we accepted volunteers as
interim officers. These include: Robert Full, chair; Miriam
Ashley-Ross, secretary; Frank Fish, program officer; and Monica
Daley, student/postdoc representative.
will get off to a lively start through events honoring Steve Vogel.
Few individuals have had as broad an impact on the
direction of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology as
Steven Vogel. Having applied the world of fluid mechanics to myriad
organismal level functions, he has pioneered an entire discipline.
From feeding and swimming, to dispersion and wind forces, from giant
creatures to tiny ones, Vogel opened our eyes to how organismal
design reflects physical constraints of the world in which they live.
is also a citizen-scientist for organismal biology. Through his
popular books, his popular lectures and his passion for all things
plant and animal, he has been an ambassador for integrative biology.
Steve has inspired legions of students -- those who were directly his
own, those who have occupied F1 and F2 and even F3 generations of
academics. His work and passion for teaching have infected
institutions all around the country. I can think of few individuals
who can match Steve as a role model for members of the Society for
Loudon and Tom Daniel are organizing a "socialist" affair in
which the contributions of Steve Vogel to research and teaching in
comparative biomechanics is honored by individuals submitting their
contributed papers or posters to sessions named in his honor. There
will be one full day of contributed papers for this celebration. We
encourage all of you to submit a paper - especially those of you
who have benefited from his wisdom and inspiration.
there will be no symposium and thus no invited speakers, there will
be a social to which all are invited. We are just now finalizing
sponsorship for this august event and would welcome contributions to
it. Please let Tom Daniel or Kate Loudon know of your interest here.
miss the plenary speaker for the 2007 meeting! Mimi Koehl has
accepted SICB's invitation to open the meeting.
addition, the Digital Library Advising Group for SICB has organized a
symposium this year, focusing on the development of the SICB digital
library with an initial emphasis on the topic of Biomechanics
resources for all members. Trish Morse and Sara Hiebert Burch are
coordinating the plans for the symposium and Steve Vogel and Rachel
Merz are co-editing the Biomechanics Webpage
(http://www.sicb.org/dl/biomechanics.php3) and welcome your
also would like to encourage you to spread word of our new division
to friends, students and postdocs, and suggest that they join SICB.
SICB is a perfect place to pace
the field with our diverse and integrative membership, and we would like
our annual meeting to continue to be the showcase for the best
research in the field.
respond to the call for symposia for the 2008 meeting in San Antonio,
TX, January 2-6, 2008. Proposals are due by August 19, 2006
If you have any questions regarding submission for a symposium,
contact Frank Fish, Program Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd like to invite suggestions from future members regarding
divisional initiatives, the newsletter and ways to increase