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Division of Comparative Endocrinology (DCE): 2007 Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Stacia Sower (sasower@cisunix.unh.edu)

We had another outstanding annual meeting of the SICB in San Antonio in January 2008. The turnout for the DCE was excellent and, as always there were more outstanding presentations than one could possibly attend. The highlight of the meeting was the seventh annual Howard Bern Lecture presented by Professor Peter Thomas. Peter Thomas presented a fascinating lecture on "Nonclassical Steroid Actions Mediated by Novel Membrane Receptors: Lessons from Studies in Fish." The research that was presented on membrane receptors represents very significant contributions to not only the field of comparative endocrinology but also the fields of endocrinology and systems biology. We also again thank 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 best work in our field.

There were one DCE-sponsored symposia at the San Antonio meeting entitled "Consequences of maternally-derived yolk hormones for offspring: Current status, challenges and opportunities." As in the past, I want to 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 for the West Coast Meeting in 2010 please contact Stephen Schoech as soon as possible. The deadline for symposium proposal submission will be sometime in August, 2008. We especially like to encourage the Western Regional Division of Comparative Endocrinology to consider hosting their meeting in 2010 at the annual SICB meeting-it will either be held in Long Beach or Seattle.

Note that the SICB sponsors three kinds of symposia: 1) divisional or co-sponsoring society symposia, 2) society-wide symposia, and 3) mini-symposia. SICB also entertains proposals for 'late breaking', half day symposia. There is still time to propose such a symposium for the Boston Meeting, 2009. Contact Stephen Schoech, DCE Program Officer, or Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, SICB Program Officer, for information.

I want to thank C. Loren Buck for chairing the best student paper award judging committee and each of the 14 judges for their hard work in identifying suitable candidates for the awards. The poster and oral presentations were very competitive and of high quality. Congratulations to all of the participants, and especially to the following award winners:

The Aubrey Gorbman Award for Best Student Oral Presentation was Jamie Cornelius (University of California, Davis) for the oral presentation entitled "Seasonal variation in the stress physiology of an opportunistic, nomadic songbird, the red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)." The Award for Best Student Poster Presentation was given to Alison Hagemeister (North Dakota State University) for the poster titled "Somatostatin Isoforms Selectively Activate the MAPK Pathway through Somatostatin Receptor Subtype One."

At the annual DCE business meeting we thanked Bob Denver (Chair) and Michael Romero (Program Officer) for their excellent service for division for the past years. Please note that Bob Denver was willing to serve an extra year as Chair and his effort and time are much appreciated. I also want to thank Cathy Propper as our continuing Secretary who has been doing a wonderful job. On each of the Divisions webpages, is an item called "Researchers Database"--we were encouraging each of our members to add one page with photo (see examples in other divisions).

Regarding support for meetings, requests are made to the chair of DCE and these are placed into the divisional budget to be approved by the SICB Treasurer. The budgets are formulated in the early fall, so if you are planning a meeting for which you intend to request funds from SICB please get those requests in as early as possible. It may not be possible to grant requests made after the budget is submitted.

I want to thank David Borst for serving as our DCE representative on the Board of Integrative & Comparative Biology. Bob Denver has been approved as our new representative and will serve through January 2013.

Message from the Program Officer

Steve Schoech (sschoech@memphis.edu)

First, I'd like to thank our outgoing divisional program officer, Michael Romero for his service the last two years. I hope that I can keep up the high standards Michael and his predecessors have set. With an excellent meeting in San Antonio behind us, let us set our sights on Boston next January where DCE will, either solely or in cooperation with other divisions, support four symposia. For a list of symposia and related details, visit the meeting website - http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2009/index.php3.

I hope that we will have an excellent attendance in Boston, a truly international city with wonderful historic and cultural sites - not to mention fine dining (I had the best lobster bisque and crème brulee of my life in Boston). Although the abstract deadline is a few months off, it's not too early to start thinking about a presentation, and I encourage senior members to encourage their students and colleagues to attend and present.

Also, a reminder that it's never too early to start thinking about a symposium for the 2010 meeting!

Message from the Secretary

Cathy Propper (Catherine.Propper@nau.edu)

Offer of a library: Dr. Ian Callard would like to see his extensive library distributed to caring individuals and institutions rather than being consigned to the trash. In journals, Dr. Callard has Biology of Reproduction 1990-2005, Endocrinology 1985-2006, Endocrine Reviews 1980-2002, GCE 1987-1993, Steroids, 1986-2001, Amer.Zool/Int.Comp.Zool; 1963-2005; and JEZ 1986-2006. Dr. Callard also has an extensive Comparative Endocrinology reprint collection (over 5000 articles, roughly  1960-1990). If you or your institution has any interest in these volumes or articles, please contact Dr. Callard directly at ipc@bu.edu.

CALL FOR SYMPOSIA for 2010 American Physiological Society Inter-Society Conference on Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology.

This summer a proposal will be submitted requesting that the APS host a fifth version of this premier international congress in comparative and evolutionary physiology, to be tentatively held in late July, 2010. The theme of the meeting will be Global change and global science: comparative physiology in a changing world. The SICB will participate in this meeting. The Organizing Committee is requesting proposals for symposia that highlight exciting and important new research in comparative and evolutionary physiology. Symposium organizers will receive approximately $1400 from APS to partially allay costs of invited speakers; we can also facilitate search for additional external financial support for symposia. Symposium proposals must be submitted by July 1, 2008 to Jon Harrison, but it is best to submit sooner and to work with a member of the organizing committee to develop the proposal. Please contact any member of the organizing committee if you have questions. Developing information on the meeting will be available at: http://www.public.asu.edu/~icjfh/apsmeeting.

Organizing Committee

Siribhinya Benyajati: siribhinya-benyajati@ouhsc.edu

Andrew Biewener: abiewener@oeb.harvard.edu

David Goldstein: david.goldstein@wright.edu

Jon Harrison (chair): j.harrison@asu.edu

Carlos Martinez del Rio: cmdelrio@uwyo.edu

Hans-Otto Pörtner: hpoertner@awi-bremerhaven.de

Patricia Schulte: pschulte@zoology.ubc.ca

Don Mykles: don@lamar.colostate.edu (Program Officer, Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, SICB)

Some SICB Constitution and Bylaws revisions are being proposed by the Executive Committee. These proposed changes have been posted on the SICB web site. You can find them from the home page (www.sicb.org) in our new scrolling headline or go to http://sicb.org/about/bb1/. You can also access this through About SICB > Constitution and Bylaws or Resources > Constitution and Bylaws. As you navigate to the details of the proposed changes, you will find explanations for each change. I f you have any questions or comments, please enter them on the Discussion Board available on these links. Members of the Executive Committee will be checking the Discussion Board regularly to answer any questions or address any issues that may come up. Voting on these revisions will begin around May 1 when we send out the ballots for the spring elections.

Receiving a print copy of ICB. We have set up a mechanism whereby members can elect to receive only the electronic version of the SICB journal Integrative and Comparative Biology and not the print copy. Some members have requested this option as an environmentally sensitive measure to save paper. A reduced number of issues of the journal shipped to members will also result in some savings to SICB. This action will not result in a reduction in dues except for that already in place for Emeritus Members. You can select this option by logging on to your personal member data through the Directory (lower left panel or click on http://www.sicb.org/membership/memberinfo.php3). You will need your member ID number. You can also select this option when you pay your dues.

Digital Library. Please take a few minutes to browse the SICB Digital Library, which can be accessed directly through the SICB home page (www.sicb.org) or under the Publications (tab) > SICB Digital Library, or http://sicb.org/dl/. The Digital Library is a wonderful resource for SICB members to share teaching information. We are looking for resources that will expand the coverage to areas in addition to Biomechanics.

Minutes of the January 2008 Business Meeting

Message from the Graduate Student and Post-doc Representative

Alexandra M. Class (classam@vt.edu)

Hello graduate and post-doc members of DCE. I am pleased to introduce myself as your new representative to the student/post-doctoral affairs committee. My dissertation research focuses on the timing and regulation of behavioral cycles in an equatorial bird species Zonotrichia capensis. I am currently investigating a population of Z. capensis in the eastern Andes of Ecuador. I am working toward my PhD with Dr. Ignacio T. Moore through Virginia Tech.

We had a productive and informative meeting this January in San Antonio. Several symposia highlighted comparative endocrinology, particularly those centered on consequences of maternally-derived yolk hormones on offspring, stress physiology and neuroendocrinology. The discussion panel for students, "I have a great idea, but who will fund me: How to write a grant," was well-attended and constructive. Many of us left feeling ambitious. I list some sources for funding and career opportunities below for those of us that are still searching. I also provide some links to career opportunities. If there are any comments you have about specific student-related aims or themes you would like to see at upcoming meetings please send me ideas.

Unquestionable progress was made in the accessibility of information on the SICB webpage this year. I encourage all to discover SICB resources, funding and career opportunities through their webpage.

SICB resources and links: http://www.sicb.org/

Sigma Xi resources and links: http://www.sigmaxi.org/about/overview/index.shtml

  • Student support: GIAR (Deadline biannually 15 March/ 15 October)


Foundations: often overlooked, yet can provide substantial support without tedious application processes or progress reports. For diverse funding opportunities try: http://foundationcenter.org/.

Post-doctoral opportunities: through national and international organizations, foundations, grants, and non-profits http://www.phds.org/postdoc/postdoctoral-fellowships/.

DCE Elections

Candidates for Program Officer, in alphabetical order

Rosemary Knapp

Current Position: Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma (OU)

Education: 1984, B.S. with honors, Biology, Cook College, Rutgers University; 1987, M.S. Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; 1996, Ph.D. Zoology. Arizona State University

Professional Experience: 1987-1990, Assistant Director of General Biology Laboratories, Dept. Biological Sciences, Barnard College, New York; 1989-1990, Research Assistant, Dept. Psychology, Barnard College; 1990-1996, Graduate Teaching and Research Associate (NIMH Individual Predoctoral Fellow, 1993-96), Dept. Zoology, Arizona State University; 1996-1998, NIMH Individual Postdoctoral Fellow, Section of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University; 1998-2006, Assistant Professor, Dept. Zoology, OU; 2006-present, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Dept. Zoology, OU; 2008-2010 Editorial Board, Hormones and Behavior; 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 NSF Panelist.

SICB Activities: I attended my first meeting in 1983 to present my undergraduate honors research. I have subsequently attended most meetings since 1990, as well as the Western Regional conferences while a PhD student (1990-96). In 1999, I was a member of the SICB Task Force on Education. I was a speaker in the 2003 DCE-sponsored symposium on "Physiological Mechanisms underlying Phenotypic Plasticity and Polyphenisms." I have served DCE as judge for the best student presentation competitions (1999, 2003 (chair), 2007, 2008), as session co-chair (1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007) and as a member of the Nominating Committee (2007).

Other Memberships: AAAS, American Physiological Society, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, American Society of Naturalists, Animal Behavior Society, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, Sigma Xi, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, Society for Neuroscience, Society for the Study of Evolution, Society for the Study of Reproduction

Research Interests: Behavioral neuroendocrinology, especially the role of sex steroids and glucocorticoids in male reproductive behavior and morphology. My current focus is on alternative male reproductive tactics and male parental behavior in sunfish.

Goals Statement: The 1983 ASZ meeting was the first scientific meeting I attended. It was a milestone in several ways, but perhaps most of all by exposing me to a wide range of exciting biological research under one roof. ASZ/SICB meetings were a critical contributor to my development as a scientist because of their student-friendly and integrative nature. They continue to be the meetings that I try to attend every year because their value to me has remained high. As Program Officer for DCE, I would do my best to help ensure that future generations of students and established researchers alike also consider SICB critical for their professional development. I would work to continue the tradition of excellent, broad symposia for which I believe DCE is currently recognized within the society. I would also try to increase the number of mini-symposia and workshops on developments in methodologies. I would also explore the possibility of having "Meet the Professor" lunches modeled after those at the meetings of Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, which I believe have been very successful and enjoyable for all involved.

Duncan MacKenzie

Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Texas A&M University

Education: B.S., Zoology, University of California, Davis, 1975; Ph.D., Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, 1980

Professional Experience: 1980-1981, Visiting Scientist and 1981-1983 Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Alberta; 1983-1989, Assistant Professor Department of Biology, Texas A&M University; 1984, Visiting Scientist, Laboratoire de Physiologie des Poissons. INRA. Rennes, France; 1989-present, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology, Texas A&M University; 1993-1998, Graduate Advisor, Dept. of Biology, Texas A&M University; 1998-2002, Chair, University Laboratory Animal Care Committee, Texas A&M University; Member, Local Organizing Committee, 5th International Symposium on Reproductive Physiology of Fish, Austin, Texas, July 1995; Member, NOAA Sea Grant Aquacultural Endocrinology Review Panels, National Science Foundation Integrative Animal Biology Review Panel.

SICB Activities: Member since 1977; DCE Nominating Committee, 1989, 1997; 1988, Co-organizer, Southwest Regional Conference on Comparative Endocrinology, Port Aransas, Texas; 1990, Organizer, Southwest Regional Conference on Comparative Endocrinology, College Station, Texas; Member, Annual Meeting Best Student Paper Judging Committees

Other Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Science

Research Interests: Comparative endocrinology of reproduction and thyroid function, including environmental and physiological control of thyroid activity in nonmammalian vertebrates, evolution of pituitary glycoprotein hormones, reproductive cyclicity and control of reproduction in ectothermic vertebrates, interactions between thyroid function and growth, reproduction, nutrition.

Goals Statement: The SICB meeting serves as the premiere annual forum for communication of comparative endocrine research in North America. To continue its success, my first goal as Program Officer will be to work to maintain a diverse array of contributed paper sessions which are appealing in scope and format to both established researchers and trainees. Secondly, I will work to develop and promote symposia that showcase the integrative and comparative nature of endocrine research. Symposium topics should represent rapidly-developing areas of integrative endocrinology which appeal not just to our division’s members, but also to the broader membership of the SICB. Finally, I would like to explore the possibility of incorporating into the annual meeting regular workshops on technical advances, research approaches, and instructional methodologies in endocrinology.

Link to officer list on DCE page