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Division of Invertebrate Zoology (DIZ): 2007 Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Janice Voltzow

Dear invertebrate zoologists,

In the spring a young invertebrate's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of ... development!

It was great to see so many of you in Phoenix. The meeting was teeming with presentations on invertebrate zoology, including crackling crustaceans, wriggling worms, and even a few slimy snails. The DIZ-sponsored symposium on Pelagic Invertebrates organized by Alison Sweeney and Sonke Johnson helped us think oceanic thoughts about animals adrift.

This meeting marked the end of the term for our secretary, Bob Thacker. Bob has been a great help to me as I learn the ins and outs of spineless governance. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with him; I thank him for his dedicated service as DIZ secretary. Bob's duties are now in the capable hands of Renae Brodie. Please be sure to send her any information you would like included in future newsletters or on our divisional web page.

Ben Miner began chairing our student awards competition in Phoenix. I thank him and all who served as judges. Please see his message to learn who won and join me in congratulating our students on truly outstanding oral presentations and papers.

We will have another election this year, this time for DIZ program officer. Amy Moran will finish her term at our next meeting. A nominating committee of Ben Miner, Dianna Padilla, and Patrick Reynolds have nominated Jim McClintock and John Zardus to fill this position. Please read their statements elsewhere in this newsletter and be certain to vote.

Also appearing on the ballot this spring is a motion to revise the DIZ bylaws regarding the office of Chair-elect to reflect our current practice. A change is proposed to Article V to state: "The Chair-Elect shall be elected triennially. The Chair-Elect should attend the annual meeting that follows her/his election. At the end of this annual meeting, the Chair-Elect shall automatically become Chair for three years. He/She shall serve as Past Chair during the succeeding two years."

As I stated last year, one of my primary goals for DIZ is to nurture our next generation of invertebrate zoologists. To that end, we have decided to host another auction at the San Antonio meeting to benefit the fund for the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship. Please start thinking about what you can donate-original invertebrate-themed art, jewelry, or perhaps a memento from your early days before you were famous. The last auction was extremely successful; I hope we can do even more to support students in their embryonic stages of research.

Best wishes for the spring!

Message from the Program Officer

Amy Moran

Dear SICB members,

I would like to congratulate everyone who presented in Phoenix in 2007 for yet another fantastic SICB meeting! DIZ was very well represented in both poster and oral sessions. We were primary sponsor for one symposium, Alison Sweeney and Sönke Johnsen's `"Integrative Biology of Pelagic Invertebrates," which was very well received. Our joint social with The Crustacean Society, DEE, AMS, and DSEB was, as always, a great party. The prevailing opinion was that the layout of the conference venue was unusually convenient due to the proximity of all the meeting rooms, and plans are afoot to make Phoenix a recurring rotating site for the annual meeting. Please send me any comments or concerns that you have about the meeting site or program and I will bring them to the attention of the Program Committee.

At the 2008 meeting in San Antonio, DIZ will be the sponsor or co-sponsor of three symposia including: (1) "Going with the flow: ecomorphological variation across aquatic flow regimes," organized by Gabe Rivera and Rick Blob; DVM is the primary sponsor, and DIZ and DEE are co-sponsors. (2) "Advances in Decapod Crustacean Phylogenetics," organized by Jody Martin and Darryl Felder, sponsored by the Crustacean Society and DIZ; and (3) "Evolution vs. Creationism in the classroom: Evolving Student Attitudes," which is a society-wide symposium co-sponsored by DIZ. Another highlight of next year's meeting will be the 2nd Invertebrate Auction to support the Libbie Hyman Awards Endowment. Many of you will remember this raucous and very fun event from its first iteration in 2004, where it was one of the highlights of the New Orleans meeting.

The 2007 meetings also saw the development of a new mechanism for putting together organized sessions as an alternative to standard symposia. The Executive Committee announced that in 2008 we will have "late breaking symposia" in which the organizers select and solicit talks for a half-day session. The abstracts for talks in late-breaking symposia for 2008 are not due until August 2007, so they can be put together on a short time frame. Please contact Society Program Officer Linda Walters (ljwalters@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu) if you are interested in putting together an organized session for San Antonio.

It's never too early to start thinking about symposia for the 2009 meeting in Boston; the deadline is in August, and I look forward to hearing about ideas for great DIZ symposia. Good luck with your research and have a happy spring!


Message from the Secretary

Renae Brodie

It is my pleasure to be your new DIZ secretary. I will do my best to assume the (sea) pen that was so ably wielded by Bob Thacker these past two years. I was happy to see many of you at the Phoenix meeting, in between sessions and the demands of my own 9-month-old larva.

Please be sure to visit the DIZ website often to check out the database of invertebrate zoology researchers: http://sicb.org/divisions/DIZ/researchers.php3. Better yet, JOIN the DIZ database to highlight your own research and share images of animals, people or data that best represent your work. Submissions can be sent to me at: rbrodie@mtholyoke.edu. Images should be in jpeg, gif or tiff format with a title and paragraph in Word or RTF format.

We are voting for a new program officer and we thank our nominating committee, Diana Padilla, Ben Miner and Pat Reynolds, for recruiting our candidates. Please read the biographies of Jim McClintock and John Zardus below. We are also voting on changes to the bylaws, which are detailed by Janice in her Chair's message.

Finally, don't miss the Invertebrate Reproduction and Development (IRD) meeting in August of this year organized by Rachel Collin and sponsored by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Crustacean Society (Click here for PDF flyer) . After the IRD meeting, graduate students might want to stay in Panama for the sponge course offered by Christina Diaz and Bob Thacker: Sponge Course PDF flyer

I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!


Message from the Graduate Student - Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Scott Nichols

Dear graduate student and postdoctoral members of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology,

In 2006, invertebrate zoology was as vigorous a field as ever. We saw the publication of the sea urchin genome and the release of the sea anemone draft genome, and in 2007 we look forward to the draft genomes of a placozoan, a sponge, and limpet. Such resources are invigorating the field of invertebrate zoology and, together with already established invertebrate model systems, promise to further illuminate animal evolution and the genetic underpinnings of cell and developmental processes central to understanding human health and disease. In addition to recent genomic advancements, in the last year we have been presented with exquisitely preserved neoproterozoic fossil embryos from the Doushantuo Formation of China that offer direct insights into the development of possible stem group metazoans. We now have compelling evidence from the fossil record of bivalves that increased species origination rates in the tropics account for global latitudinal diversity gradients - a finding the underscores the importance of preserving tropical habitats as both a "cradle and museum" of invertebrate biodiversity. Last year we were delighted with eloquent studies of invertebrate behavior and cognition, and our ever-improving hypotheses about invertebrate relationships were altered with evidence that monoplacophorans are allied with chitons and that tunicates are more closely related to vertebrates than cephalochordates. We have even heard arguments for placing placozoans as the earliest branching animals - challenging long-held ideas about animal origins. I hope and expect that 2007 will be even more eventful and exciting than 2006.

Keep up the good work!


Message from the Student Awards Committee Chair

Ben Miner

We had a great meeting in Phoenix this year, and there were many excellent student presentations. Thank you to all the students who presented!! I would also like to thank the 20 volunteer judges for their time and commitment to the students. This year 30 students competed from for best student paper. The best oral presentation went to Alison Sweeney for her talk entitled, "Evolution of high-acuity vision in coleoid cephalopods". The best poster presentation went to Ben Lake for his poster entitled, "Influence of orientation and flow speed on feeding behavior and metabolism of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides". The Adrian M Wenner Strong Inference Award went to Dawn Vaugh for her talk entitled, "Predator-induced morphological defenses in marine zooplankton: a larval case study". The runner up for best student paper went to Fernanda Oyarzun for her talk entitled, "Plasticity in brooding time of a species with alternative reproductive modes". The runner up for best student poster went to David Sischo for his poster entitled, "Biofilms affect the behavior of polychaete larvae landing on surfaces in water currents and waves". Runner up for the Adrian M Wenner Strong Inference Award went to Tracey Smart for her talk entitled, "Tolerance of the early life history stages of Owenia fusiformis to environmental conditions: possible limits to dispersal". Please join me in congratulating these outstanding students. I look forward to next seeing you all at the next meeting!



Minutes of the 2007 Annual Business Meeting

Phoenix, Arizona, January 4, 2007

Janice Voltzow (DIZ Chair) opened the meeting by requesting motions to approve the minutes of the previous year's meeting. The minutes were unanimously approved.

Bob Thacker (DIZ Secretary) announced the results of the Secretary election: Renae Brodie will be the next DIZ Secretary. Congratulations were given to Renae; Larry Basch was also thanked for his willingness to run for office. Bob also announced that last year's proposed changes to the DIZ By-Laws were approved.

Bob also presented proposed changes to the DIZ By-Laws that will be subject to a vote this year. The current By-Laws do not reflect our current practice for the Chair-Elect term. A change is proposed to Article V, to state: "The Chair-Elect shall be elected triennially. The Chair-Elect should attend the annual meeting that follows her/his election. At the end of this annual meeting, the Chiar-Elect shall automatically become Chair for three years. He/She shall serve as Past Chair during the succeeding two years."

A second change moves a responsibility from the Past-Chair to the current Chair, moving the statement "He/She shall sign all proposals to federal granting agencies on behalf of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology" from Article VII to Article VI.

Amy Moran (DIZ Program Officer) detailed DIZ sponsorship of SICB Symposia in 2007, as well as Symposia planned for 2008 (San Antonio) and 2009 (Boston). Amy encouraged all attendees to submit proposals for future symposia. Amy also led discussion of the concern that symposia take too long to organize and described the proposed, less formal group sessions that may be featured at future meetings.

Ben Miner (Student Awards Committee Chair) thanked all volunteers for helping judge the Best Student Paper / Poster Competition. 29 students competed at the 2007 meeting, with 27 volunteer judges. Winners of the 2006 awards were announced and congratulated.

Chair Voltzow announced the winner of the Libbie Hyman award. She also encouraged graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to contact Scott Nichols (Graduate Student / Postdoctoral Affairs Representative) with their ideas, questions, and concerns.

Bob Thacker encouraged all DIZ members to participate in updating the DIZ Researchers Database on the SICB website.

Chair Voltzow thanked Bob for his service to the Division as Secretary for the past three years.

Chair Voltzow asked the DIZ membership to think of ways to enhance support for graduate students at SICB. She announced the intention to hold another DIZ Auction at the 2008 meeting to raise funds for the Libbie Hyman award. DIZ members are encouraged to donate to this fund, to make or bring items for the auction, and to participate by purchasing items at the auction.

All members were encouraged to attend the DIZ and Society-wide social events.

Announcements included a call for an editor of the Invertebrate Zoology section of the SICB Digital Library. The goal of the library is to make many resources available for teaching, including slide sets, syllabi, and digital videos. Editor(s) are needed to coordinate the peer-review process for the library.

The society's journal, Integrative and Comparative Biology has now caught up in its publication schedule, with all 2006 symposia published. All symposium papers are now due at the end of January. The journal has made a commitment to a fast turn-around from reviewers. Attendees were reminded that Integrative and Comparative Biology has first refusal of publications resulting from SICB symposia.

The SICB Executive Committee (Sally Woodin, John Pearse, Lou Burnett, and Ron Dimock) visited the meeting, and invited all to attend the General SICB Business Meeting. SICB President Sally Woodin announced a new fund with a $100,000 endowment for support of symposia. SICB is currently seeking contributions to increase the size of this endowment. President Woodin also asked the membership to consider which aspects of the annual meeting are most important for them, and to consider where the society could cut costs.

Bill Zamer and Diana Padilla (NSF) encouraged DIZ members to attend the workshop on NSF's Integrative Organismal Systems program.

Patrick Reynolds provided information on the status of Invertebrate Biology, which is sponsored by AMS and DIZ. Patrick thanked his previous co-editor, Susie Balser, and welcomed new members of the editorial board, Bruno Pernet, Louise Page, and Michael Hart. The past year saw 91 submissions and 34 published papers, with about 30 days time to decisions. In January 2007, the journal begins continuous electronic publication, with quarterly printed issues. The journal's impact factor increased to 1.29.

Rick Harrison announced the first International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology, to be held in Copenhagen in 2008.

Rachel Collin announced the 13th International Congress on Invertebrate Reproduction and Development, to be held in Panama in August 2007. The registration deadline is May 31, 2007. Details are available at http://striweb.si.edu/icird/

Chair Voltzow requested volunteers to form a nominating committee to identify candidates for DIZ Program Officer-Elect. The three volunteers included Diana Padilla, Ben Miner, and Patrick Reynolds.

A round of applause thanked Bob Thacker for his service as DIZ Secretary, and welcomed Renae Brodie as the new DIZ Secretary.

Submitted by R Brodie and RW Thacker.

Elections: Candidates for DIZ Program Officer

Please review the biographies of our two candidates for the position of DIZ Program Officer, John Zardus and James McClintock. We will hold an election for this office later this spring.

John D. Zardus

Current Position: Assistant Professor, The Citadel, Charleston, SC; Adjunct Faculty, Graduate Program in Marine Biology, College of Charleston.

Education: 1988, B.S. (Zoology), and 1991, M.S. (Zoology), Brigham Young University, Provo, UT; 1998, Ph.D. (Biology), Northeastern University, Boston, MA.

Professional Experience: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA (1999-01); Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Hawaii - Kewalo Marine Lab, Honolulu, HI (2001-05).

SICB Activities: Member and presenter at SICB since 1991; session chair, 2005; Judge, Best Student Paper, 2006.

Other Memberships: The Crustacean Society (since 2003).

Research Interests: Specializing in marine invertebrate ecology and evolution, I am currently utilizing tools of molecular phylogenetics, larval biology, and electron microscopy to investigate the association of barnacles with marine vertebrates. My questions are: How are these barnacles related? How do their larvae find hosts? What can these crustaceans tell us about the biology of their hosts?

Statement of Goals: Membership in SICB has proved instrumental in helping to establish my career. As a program officer I want to reach out to the next generation of invertebrate zoologists by promoting membership among students and seeking ways for the Division to help foster their professional development.

James B. McClintock

Current Position: Endowed University Professor of Polar and Marine Biology, Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Education: 1978, B.S. (Biology), University of California at Santa Cruz, 1980, M.A. (Zoology) University of South Florida, 1984, Ph.D. University of South Florida.

Professional Experience: 1984-1986, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California at Santa Cruz , Instructor - Intertidal Ecology; 1986; Visiting Scientist, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (1986), Instructor - Biological Oceanography; 1986-2007, 11 research field seasons, Visiting NSF-funded Principal Investigator- McMurdo and Palmer Stations, Antarctica.

Honors and Awards: College Honors, UCSC (1978); National Science Foundation Antarctic Service Award (1984); Omicron Delta Kappa (1989); UAB Ellen Gregg Ingalls Teaching Award (1989); Honorary Member Phi Kappa Phi (1993); Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Prize for outstanding UAB faculty scholar (1993); United States Board on Geographic Names designated the geographic feature "McClintock Point" in Western McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, (October 6, 1998); Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999); Wright A. Gardner Award for Outstanding Scientist in Alabama, Alabama Academy of Science (2001); Elected Board of Trustees Member, McWane Science Center, Birmingham, (2001-2007); Co-recipient Tyge Christensen Award for best 2000-2001 paper published in Phycologia; Named "University Professor", University of Alabama at Birmingham (2003-present); CASE Award (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education for UAB Antarctica Web Site) (2005).

SICB Experience: As graduate student assisted John M. Lawrence with Program Officer duties related to hosting SICB (ASZ) meetings in Tampa, Florida (1979); Proposed, co-organized and co-directed two society-wide symposia on Antarctic Marine Biology (San Francisco - 1990; Atlanta - 2000). DIZ Best Student Paper judge (numerous occasions).

Other Memberships: Ecological Society of America (ESA), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Regular participant in Benthic Ecology Meetings (BEM), Alabama Academy of Sciences, Sigma Xi.

Research Interests: Marine chemical ecology, marine invertebrate nutrition, reproduction and larval ecology, intertidal and subtidal marine ecology, echinoderm biology, sponge biology, polar marine biology.

Statement of Goals: Since my early ontogeny as a graduate student I have been significantly involved with SICB/ASZ, and in particular, with the Division of Invertebrate Zoology (DIZ). Over the past two decades, along with my graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, I have immensely enjoyed the benefits provided by my affiliation with DIZ. In 1990 and again in 2000, I worked very closely with DIZ Program Officers to organize and lead society-wide, collaborative and integrative, symposia on aspects of Antarctic Marine Biology. These symposia were not only rewarding on a personal level but provided me with an appreciation of the immense value of timely collaborative symposia to the membership of the society at large, as well as to members of DIZ.

As a consequence of all these personal benefits and rewards, I have long felt a strong desire to give back to the division. I would have enjoyed doing so at an earlier point of my career, but an unanticipated invitation to serve an eight-year stint as Dean of my School of Natural Sciences and then Interim Dean of our Graduate School at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, forestalled these plans. Recently, I have been honored to transition from my deanship to an Endowed University Professorship. Thus, should the DIZ membership so desire, I have the time, and certainly the energy and enthusiasm, to serve as Program Officer of DIZ. Indeed, it would be an honor and a privilege.

Over the years, SICB/ASZ has transitioned through some very productive, and also some very trying, periods. Nonetheless, I am convinced that the DIZ has not only sustained the status quo but has continued to strengthen and expand its programs. As Program Officer I would be committed to not only strive to work with our division membership and other divisional program officers to bring cutting-edge symposia to the forefront, but also to continue to engender the enthusiasm and participation of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who hold the key to a strong and vibrant division in the years to come. I would also work hard to communicate with my former Postdoctoral Mentor, and current President of SICB, John Pearse, to best serve our division within the broad constructs of the goals of the society at large, to further optimize opportunities to co-host symposia and integrate educational outreach technologies, and to expand opportunities for fund raising to support targeted DIZ programs. I appreciate your consideration and hope that I may have the opportunity to serve as your voice as our next DIZ Program Officer.

Elections: Changes to DIZ By-Laws

I. Item 1. Chair terms

The current By-Laws do not reflect our current practice for the Chair-Elect term. A change is proposed to Article V, to state: "The Chair-Elect shall be elected triennially. The Chair-Elect should attend the annual meeting that follows her/his election. At the end of this annual meeting, the Chiar-Elect shall automatically become Chair for three years. He/She shall serve as Past Chair during the succeeding two years."

II. Item 2. Chair responsibilities

A second change moves a responsibility from the Past-Chair to the current Chair, moving the statement "He/She shall sign all proposals to federal granting agencies on behalf of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology" from Article VII to Article VI.

Link to officer list on DIZ page