Division of Comparative Endocrinology (DCE): 2006 Spring Newsletter
In this newsletter:
from the Chair
Bob Denver (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We had a fantastic
annual meeting of the SICB in Orlando this year with over 1000
presentations society-wide. The turnout for the DCE was excellent and
as usual there were more outstanding presentations than one could
possibly attend. Two highlights of the meeting for DCE members were
the Past Presidential Lecture presented by outgoing SICB president
John Wingfield (titled: "Control of reproduction in diverse
habitats: multiple pathways for environmental signals") and the
fifth annual Howard Bern Lecture presented by Stacia Sower. Stacia's
lecture was titled "Insight into the molecular evolution of
gonadotropin and its receptor in the hormonal regulation of
reproduction". We are very grateful to Elsevier and the SICB for
support of the Howard Bern Lecture series.
Our oral and
poster presentations covered a broad range of comparative
endocrinology and highlighted some of the finest work in our field.
Our outgoing DCE Program Officer Kyle Selcer made a heroic effort to
put together a logical and exciting program and we all owe a huge
debt of gratitude to him. The DCE cosponsored two symposia at the
Orlando meeting ("Ecological Immunology" and "Ecophysiology and
Conservation"). However, there were no symposia organized by DCE
members. There are also no DCE symposia planned for the meeting in
Pheonix next year. I strongly encourage DCE members to propose
symposia for our future meetings. Symposia represent one of
the most important activities of our Division and are essential for
the continued development and vigor of our field. If you are
considering proposing a symposium please contact our new program
officer Michael Romero as soon as possible (see his comments
below!). Michael is chairing a committee to actively solicit
symposium proposals for the San Antonio meeting in 2008. The deadline
for symposium proposal submission is August 19, 2006
Note that the SICB sponsors three kinds of symposia: 1) divisional or
co-sponsoring society symposia, 2) society-wide symposia, and 3)
In addition to putting
together the program for the meeting Kyle organized the judges for
the best student paper awards. In the future we will recruit a
chairperson for this committee to take some of the burden off of the
program officer. I want to especially thank the judges for their
expert help in identifying suitable candidates for the awards. The
competition was quite stiff again this year, with 22 students
competing in the oral presentation category and 16 competing in the
poster category. The quality of the presentations and posters was
excellent, making the decision process difficult for the judges.
Congratulations to all of the participants, and especially to the
following award winners:
The Aubrey Gorbman
Award for Best Student Oral Presentation was given to Shingo
Kajimura (Univ. of Michigan) for the talk titled "Understanding
hypoxia-induced gene expression in early development: In vitro and in
vivo analysis of HIF-1-regulated xebrafish IGFBP-1 gene expression".
Honorable mention in this category was shared by Britt Heidinger
(Indiana Univ.) for the talk titled "Attenuation of the stress
response may mediate an increase in reproductive performance with age
in the common tern Sterna hirundo, and by Frances Bonier
(Univ. of Washington) for the talk titled "Stress in urban
songbirds: adaptation to life in the city?". The Aubrey Gorbman
Award for Best Student Poster Presentation was shared by Darren
Lerner (Univ. of Massachusetts) for the poster titled "Effects
of 4-nonylphenol and 17β-estradiol
on osmoregulatory homeostasis and endocrine responses of Mozambique
tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus", and by Stephanie
Schubert (Duquesne Univ.) for the poster titled "Testosterone
increases behavioral, but not vomeronasal organ, responses to
pheromones in the Plethodontid salamander, Plethodon shermani."
Honorable mention was awarded to Noah Ollikainen (Univ. of
California, San Diego) for the presentation titled "Evolution of
ecdysone and thyroid hormone receptors".
At the annual
DCE business meeting we voted to accept each of the proposed changes
to the DCE bylaws that were announced last spring and posted on the
SICB bulletin board for comment. A link to the revised bylaws is
provided below (see Message from the Secretary). The most significant
change is to set the terms for the DCE officers to begin at the end
of the second Executive Committee meeting at the Annual Meeting in
the year the term is to begin. Each term will then end at the
adjournment of the second Executive Committee meeting at the Annual
Meeting in the year the term is set to expire. Now, officers that
plan the annual meeting events will remain in office until the end of
the meeting. I want to thank Sunny Boyd for putting together the
changes to the bylaws.
PROPOSED CHANGE TO DCE BYLAWS: There is another proposed
change to the DCE bylaws that I mentioned at the DCE business meeting
in Orlando but we did not yet request a vote for. This change will
allow for the DCE to support regional meetings or international
conferences, with which DCE is an official affiliate, by having an
annual assessment of $4/member, for all members of the division
including students. Members of the DCE have automatic membership in
the International Federation of Comparative Endocrine Societies
(IFCES) for which we pay dues of $2/member/year. The IFCES holds a
meeting every four years, the next one scheduled to be in Hong Kong
in 2009. The DCE also provides financial support for regional and
international meetings. The SICB Finance Committee will no longer
endorse divisional requests for funds for affiliate society dues or
support for regional or international meetings from the general
funds. The cost of such obligations must be born by the members of
the division. This assessment will be treated separately from the
annual dues such that it can accumulate across budget years allowing
for periodic international conferences to be funded by this
mechanism. In my informal discussions with DCE members none felt that
$4/member would be a burden either to full or student members. The bylaw amendment is printed below and will be voted on in the SICB 2006 election. Please vote on this change.
Addition to DCE bylaws:
"All members of the Division of Comparative Endocrinology will be assessed an annual fee to be used to pay routine divisional financial obligations to affiliated societies, or for the support of regional or international meetings at which the DCE is recognized as an official component of the SICB. The fee will be double the annual dues set by the International Federation of Comparative Endocrine Societies (IFCES; currently $2/member/year) to allow for the establishment of a fund to provide support for regional and international comparative endocrinology meetings. Applications for support for regional and international meetings will be made to the chair of the DCE."
This year, the
Division will select a new Divisional Program Officer. We have two
excellent candidates for this position, Steve Schoech and Russell
Borski. Their biographical sketches are at the end of this
newsletter. The election will take place online in late Spring 2006.
I want to thank Mark Sheridan for chairing the Nomination Committee
and Erica Crespi and John Hatle for serving on it.
Finally, I want
to make a plea to all DCE members to respond to requests by NSF
program officers to review grant proposals. Several program officers
at NSF have voiced their concerns that their requests to review grant
proposals either go unanswered or are declined. This makes their job
especially difficult and is extremely damaging to the field. The next
time that you receive a request from NSF to review a proposal please
take a moment to consider the consequences of declining or failing to
respond. Failure to participate in this essential function sends a
negative message to those at NSF who make decisions about funding for
our research. It is our responsibility to maintain the health and
vigor of our field by doing our part to accept to review grant
proposals and serve on NSF panels when asked.
from the Program Officer
L. Michael Romero
I hope everyone
agrees that the 2006 meeting in Orlando, Florida was a great success.
The Comparative Endocrinology sessions were well attended. Special
thanks should be extended to Kyle Selcer, the outgoing DCE Program
Officer, for helping to organize the DCE portion of the meeting. I
have large shoes to fill. The highlights of the meeting were the two
plenary talks given by members of our division. We should thank John
Wingfield, who gave the Outgoing President's lecture, and Stacia
Sower, who presented a terrific Howard Bern Lecture.
Symposia at the
2007 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona
Information on the
symposia planned for the 2007 meeting in Phoenix is now posted on the
home page of the SICB web site. Although DCE is not the primary
sponsor for any of the symposia, several should be of interest,
including "Recent developments in neurobiology" and "Ecology
and evolution of disease dynamics."
Symposia, 2008 meeting in San Antonio, Texas!!
submitting symposia for the 2008 meeting in San Antonio is now linked
to the SICB web site [http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2008/index.php3].
Please think about developing exciting and engaging symposia in your
field. DCE-organized symposia have been few and far between lately.
Symposia are a major draw for our annual meeting and can be extremely
rewarding for the organizers as well. Symposium papers are often
published together in an issue of Integrative and Comparative
Biology. Deadline for submissions is August 18, 2006. If you have
an idea for a symposium, please do not hesitate to contact me
Message from the Secretary
Kevin M. Kelley (email@example.com)
Message from the DCE Representative to the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee
Since there is no lack
of information in this issue of the DCE Newsletter, I will try to
keep my comments as brief as possible (not easy for any
self-respecting academic type!).
From the DCE
Business Meeting in Orlando: The main topics brought forth at
this year's business meeting related to the proposed changes to the
DCE By-Laws and several DCE-relevant announcements.
Denver and Kelley made some summary comments above about these
"common-sense" changes, which were written and proposed by Dr.
Sunny Boyd in January 2005, who was the Society-wide Secretary at the
time (kudos and thanks to her for doing this for our Division!).
They were posted for most of 2005
and, at the business meeting, were approved by unanimous vote.
In addition to the
approved by-law changes, there is another proposal that needs your
attention. Please read "PROPOSED CHANGE TO DCE BYLAWS" under
the Chair's comments above. This proposes a small annual
assessment of $4 from the DCE membership, to allow our divisional
support of regional meetings or international conferences for which
we are official affiliates (e.g., IFCES). This needs to be done
because the Society's Finance Committee will no longer endorse
divisional requests for such funds to be taken from the general
funds. Each of you will receive an email ballot this spring on the
proposal, and we ask for your vote. Please vote!
We also announced the
elections of our newest DCE Officers. They are Chair-elect Stacia A.
Sower and Secretary-elect Catherine R. Propper. We congratulated and
welcomed them, and also thanked all the candidates who graciously
"stepped up to the plate" for DCE.
From our DCE 2006
Nomination Committee, chaired by Mark Sheridan, we have two excellent
DCE Program Officer candidates, Russell Borski and Steve Schoech.
Their biographical candidate statements are included at the end of
this Newsletter. Please look them over, make your decision, and
vote in the upcoming electronic election! The electronic ballots
will go out by email in early Summer, after a few months of
publication of this Newsletter containing their statements.
Get your program on
the web: Remember, you have the opportunity to include your
professional and research information in the DCE Researchers
Database on the SICB Website. This is a fantastic opportunity to
provide some visibility for your research program. Send a paragraph
describing your program (include a link to your university website)
and include any digital files that can be used on the website, from
JPEGs, to mp3, to video (qt, mpg, wmv). See the excellent sites
already done by the DEE:
Send your files to Ruedi Birenheide, SICB Webmaster
(firstname.lastname@example.org), and make sure to enclose a short title and concise summary of your research.
If you have any further questions, contact Kevin Kelley
Comment from the Secretary: Though redundant with comments from
the Chair and Program Officer, I would like to reiterate the
importance of some of us planning 2008 (and later) DCE-sponsored
symposia. They can be a wonderful experience, and they bring
positive light to our Division. "Forefront" or "timely"
topics are great, as are "themes" important to comparative
endocrinology. The DCE is the North American home for the field of
comparative endocrinology-we need to bring our field to the greater
scientific and public audiences. See
and the end of this Newsletter!
Darren Lerner (email@example.com)
The SICB Annual Meeting
in Orlando was a success for our committee (SPDAC) in many respects.
Many thanks to Stephanie Cross for heading up the Student Support
Program, and to Shea Tuberty for organizing the 1st Timers
Orientation and two excellent and well attended SPDAC workshops:
"Optimizing Your Graduate School Experience" and "Strategies
for Landing a Postdoc/Job". Of course, many thanks to the students
and faculty who served on those panels!
This year, 20% of the
Grants in Aid of Research (GIAR) went to DCE students.
Congratulations to Mukta Chakraborty, Darren T. Lerner, Sunny K.
Scobell, Douglas Wacker, and Devin Zysling!! If you haven't
received an award previously, don't forget to apply in November!
On to Pheonix 2007.
Don't miss the 1st Timers Orientation after the Welcome
Social on the first night. This gathering is NOT just for 1st
timers. The venue in 2007 will include information on how to get the
best out of your time at the meeting, as well as provide information
on student work for the Student Support Program. Don't
forget to sign up when you submit your abstract; students presenting
a poster or oral presentation are eligible for discounted housing or
free registration for no more than 4 hours of work.
Many students were
dismayed at the loss of the traditional student/post doc luncheon on
the first full day of the meeting, but pending funding, we are
planning a student/postdoc/mentor lunch for Pheonix. Join us
for lunch and meet the president of SICB, our SPDAC Faculty Chair,
Shea R. Tuberty, and all of the SPDAC student/post-doc
representatives. This is a great opportunity to give face to face
input if you have questions, comments or suggestions for the SPDAC or
the society in general. Look for a "check box" and sign up when
you register for the meeting. For the last evening of the meeting,
before the dessert social, we are planning a great workshop
tentatively entitled: "What editors want: Paving the way to
publication". A panel of editors-in-chief and associate
editors will discuss and field questions on various topics ranging
from how to choose the appropriate journal and how to write a cover
letter to review mechanics and publication ethics. Don't miss out!
Graduate students and post-docs are encouraged to attend.
Finally, if you have
any comments or suggestions regarding the meeting or any of the
student/post-doc activities please feel free to contact me:
I look forward to seeing you in Pheonix!
Candidates for Program Officer-elect
Russell J. Borski
Associate Professor of
Zoology, North Carolina State University (NCSU); Faculty Member of
Genomics, Biotechnology, and Physiology Graduate Programs, NCSU
Zoology, University of California, Berkeley,1986
Zoology, University of Hawaii, 1992
Research Fellow, Marine Genomics, Hollings Marine Laboratory/South
Carolina Medical Center, Charleston, SC, 2005; Associate Professor,
Department of Zoology, NCSU, 2001-present; Assistant Professor,
Department of Zoology, NCSU, 1995-01; NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow,
Endocrinology & Metabolism, University of Michigan, 1992-94;
Edwin W. Pauley Summer Program Faculty, Hawaii Institute of Marine
Biology, 1997, 1998, 2004; Visiting Scholar and Faculty,
International Programs, University of Tokyo, Waseda University, and
Japanese Institute of Basic Biology, Japan, 1997; Oak Ridge
Associated Universities Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, 1995.
Visiting Scientist at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, School of
Medicine, 1990. Member, McGraw-Hill Majors Media and CELL Focus
Group, 2005-current; Served as Panel Member for National SeaGrant
Marine Biotechnology and UNC Genomics Initiatives.
Member since 1989;
Twice served as judge for Best Student Paper.
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Endocrine
Society, Sigma XI
laboratory utilizes molecular, cellular, and physiological approaches
to define how hormones integrate information from the environment and
genome to regulate hydromineral balance, growth, and more recently
sex determination. Projects include defining novel, non-genomic
mechanisms of actions for glucocorticoids, the functional genomics
and proteomics of pituitary growth hormone and prolactin cell
activity in relation to their involvement in the regulation of salt
and water balance and growth, endocrinology of compensatory growth,
and environmental sex determination.
DCE is central to
promoting integrative and comparative endocrinology to the science
community and represents one of the largest and most active divisions
within SICB. My goal will be to 1) better promote and attract
symposia and programs for the division that incorporate the
multidisciplinary nature of biology and its technological advances,
2) provide a user-friendly web-based resource to seek financial
support for symposia sponsorship, and 3) work to expand and improve
member participation in the DCE.
Associate Professor and
Graduate Studies Coordinator, Department of Biology, University of
B. S. Zoology, Arizona State University, 1988
M. S. Zoology, Arizona State University, 1990
University of Washington, 1995
Fellow, Dr. Ellen Ketterson, Indiana University; 1995-98, Assistant
Professor - Part Time, Department of Biology, Indiana University;
1999-2000 Assistant Scientist, Department of Biology, Indiana
University; 2000-2004, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology,
University of Memphis; 2004-Present, Associate Professor, Department
of Biology, University of Memphis; 2003-Present, Graduate Studies
Coordinator, Department of Biology, University of Memphis; Served as
NSF panelist for Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (joint
Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology and Animal Behavior panel) and
for Behavioral Systems Cluster (EEP)
First annual meeting in
Boston in 1989 to present undergraduate research findings. Attended
majority of annual meetings in interim, as well as Western Regional
DCE meetings as a graduate student. Served as session chair 1995,
1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Served as judge for Best Student
Paper for DCPB in 2006.
for the Advancement of Science, American Ornithologists' Union,
Animal Behavior Society, Association of Field Ornithologists, British
Ornithologists= Union, Cooper Ornithological Society, Sigma Xi,
Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, Tennessee Ornithological
Society, Wilson Ornithological Society
focus of my lab is on how an animal interacts with its physical and
social environment, and the subsequent effects on both physiological
and behavioral mechanisms that ultimately effect reproduction. My
research is integrative in nature and incorporates a wide range of
techniques for investigations at both the proximate and ultimate
levels. The social behaviors, multitude of mating systems, and
relative ease of observation makes birds an ideal study organism to
address these issues. I have conducted research on the cooperatively
breeding Florida Scrub-Jay since 1989 investigating the mechanisms
that underlie behaviors unique to this social system, as well as
exploring the endocrine mechanisms by which environmental information
is transduced to time reproduction.
My first goal is to continue in the mold set by the previous holders
of this office by organizing excellent meeting programs and to serve
a society that has served me well over the years. Of the several
societies of which I am a member, SICB is by far the most student
friendly. One of my goals would be to increase student participation
in our annual meetings. DCE is one of the largest divisions in the
society and, as such, should annually sponsor symposia. Encouragement
of members to sponsor symposia and involve students and post docs in
both the organization of, and participation in symposia is a way to
enhance the student-friendly nature of the society and division.
Additionally, symposium organizers could be encouraged to solicit
potential speakers who, due to time constraints, cannot be included
in the symposium to contribute talks for a complimentary contributed
Applications for the 2008 SICB meeting
San Antonio, Texas
application will be available January 25, 2006
Deadline: August 18, 2006
SICB website, your Divisional Program Officers and
Program Officer Linda Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Link to officer list on DCE page