Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB): 2008 Spring Newsletter
In this newsletter:
from the Chair
it is spring in San Diego. The desert flowers should provide a good
show this year. There's been plenty of rain, and a lot seeds that
require a good scorching will be sprouting in the burned areas.
was good to see many of you in San Antonio in January. Evo-devo is
clearly very much alive. The symposia sponsored by the DEDB,
"Vertebrate head segmentation in a modern evo-devo context"
co-chaired by Shigeru Kuratani and Thomas Schilling and "Reptile
Genomics and Evolutionary Genetics" co-chaired by Dan Janes and
Chris Organ were very well-attended as was the related contributed
paper session-Session 31 -"Vertebrate head segmentation-heads
to legs", chaired by Billie Swalla. There were also some excellent
development-related sessions-- No. 20: Evolution-Genetics and
Development co-chaired by Annalise Nawrocki and Mihaela Pavliacev,
No. 34: "Development-differentiation and morphogenesis," chaired
by Jackie Webb, Nos. 45 and 46: "Evolution-evo-devo-appendages,"
chaired by Marcus Davis and Kathryn Kavanagh respectively, No. 56: "
Development-evo-devo-metamorphosis" chaired by Tobias Landberg. No.
69: "Evo-devo-morphology" chaired by Gunter Wagner and No. 70:
"Evolution-invertebrates: larval development" chaired by Ariel
Chipman. I sincerely thank all the session chairs and all of the
speakers for making evo-devo a major part of the SICB.
poster sessions were as usual well attended. There were 19 posters
in the evo-devo poster session and another two in the poster session
related to the Vertebrate Head Segmentation symposium. The winners
of the student poster and talk awards were, respectively, Nathan
Bird, George Washington University and Pierre Le Pabic,
East Carolina University. Their abstracts are posted on the SICB
website. I encourage students to sign up for the competition for the
meeting in Boston in January 2009. It would be great to have 5 or 6
students giving talks and twice as many presenting posters. One of
the big advantages of the SICB meetings is that is an opportunity for
students to hone their skills in presenting their work-highly
advantageous for giving a good postdoc interview.
San Antonio meeting saw the splitting of the DEDB and DCDB divisions
with my taking over from Billie Swalla as chair of the former and
Karen Crawford as chair of the latter. Elaine Seaver is
secretary-elect, and will take over from Marcus Davis in 2009.
Paulyn Cartwright is the DEDB representative on the editorial board
of Integrative and Comparative Biology. This year, DEDB will
be electing a chair to take over from me in 2010, and a program
officer to take over from Wendy Olson in 2010. Although elections
for most divisions will be held in the spring, this year those for
DEDB will be held in the fall. Candidates will be announced in the
Fall Newsletter. Since I only took over from Billie Swalla as chair
of DEDB after the San Antonio meeting, the delay will give me and the
secretary, Marcus Davis, time to establish a nominating committee and
give the nominating committee time to solicit people to run for these
offices. If you would be willing to serve on the nominating
committee (or run for Chair or Program Officer) please let either me
or Marcus know. I encourage everyone to vote!
major cloud over devo-evo is the financial situation at NSF. Chris
Amemiya, the program manager of developmental systems, tells me that
money is very tight this year. By the way, he is due to step down in
June and is looking for a replacement. If you are interested, please
contact him at email@example.com.
is an excellent time to think about organizing a symposium for the
2010 meeting. The two cities under consideration are Long Beach, CA
and Seattle, WA.
hope to see you all in Boston in January, 2009 at the Westin
Waterfront Hotel. In spite of its name, the hotel is not directly on
the water, but it is within walking distance of the New England
Aquarium, which is well worth a visit.
this point, Billie Swalla would have included a plug for the Evo-devo
class at Friday Harbor, WA this summer. I recommend it highly. It
takes advantage of the wealth of embryos available in the summer off
San Juan Island. I also recommend the summer developmental biology
class at Woods Hole. The latter is more oriented towards the latest
techniques in developmental biology and uses a wide range of "model"
and "non-model" organisms. Both classes provide the camaraderie
that lasts throughout a career in evo-devo.
from the Program Officer
Wendy M. Olson
from Iowa (which is currently having the snowiest winter on record).
San Antonio meeting was a blast, despite all the construction.
DEDB/DDCB was the main supporter of two symposia: "Reptile Genomics
and Evolutionary Genetics" (organized by Dan Janes & Chris
Organ) and "Vertebrate Head Segmentation in a Modern Evo-Devo
Context" (organized by Shigeru Kuratani & Thomas Schilling),
plus a slew of sessions as noted above. We also supported
"Conservation of Maternally-derived Yolk Hormones for Offspring:
Current Status" (DDCB) and "Evolution vs. Creationism in the
Classroom: Evolving Student Attitudes" (DEDB). All were successful
- many thanks to the organizers and presenters!
were two BSP winners from DEDB. Best Oral Presentation went to
Pierre Le Pabic ("Evolutionary divergence of pharyngeal arch
specification in teleosts"); Best Poster Presentation went to
Nathan Bird ("Differential growth and the evolution of novel
vertebral morphology: lessons from the cypriniform Weberian
apparatus"). Congratulations, Pierre and Nathan, and a big thank
you once again to everyone who volunteered to serve as judge.
the business meeting, we discussed changing the wording for the BSP
competition, such that students no longer must be single-authors to
be eligible. I suspect we will have to vote on this, so watch your
email. We also discussed continuing issues surrounding keywords and
their role in sorting abstracts. I will send out some
recommendations prior to the 2009 abstract deadline, to try to ensure
that as many EDB abstracts as possible are directed to me. Keep in
mind that with the split, Scott Gilbert is the current program
officer for DDCB. For those of you with interests in both camps
(which I suspect is many if not most of you), be sure to read the
DDCB newsletter, as well as this one!
is currently supporting one symposium for the Boston 2009 meeting,
"Cell-cell signaling drives the evolution of complex traits,"
organized by John Torday. All the 2009 symposia are up on the
meeting page, so take a look. And we always need to be thinking
ahead. Please send me your ideas for symposia for 2010 - something
fascinating, integrative, and /or pushing the boundaries of EDB.
These meetings are good platforms for promoting new ideas, discussing
old ones in a new light, etc. Some argue that EDB is generating tons
of data with very little explanatory synthesis or mechanism. Prove
these people wrong. Feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with proposals or ideas at any stage of gestation - I am happy to
help you flesh them out or just act as a sounding board.
the meantime, Happy Spring! (should the snow ever actually melt...)
Message from the Secretary
Marcus C. Davis
from the rather parched Deep South,
Antonio was a great meeting and I enjoyed seeing all my colleagues
and friends. With so many interesting Evo-devo symposia and related
sessions... well, I ended the meeting with holes in my shoes! Thanks
to everyone who attended our business meeting and social. As
mentioned by Linda (officer elections), Wendy (BSP rules) and in the
minutes (by-laws edits) there will be a number of items up for vote
in Fall 2008. So don't forget to vote! It's your division,
thanks for playing an active role!
Minutes of the January 2008 Business Meeting
Message from the Student/Postdoc Representative
fellow DEDB graduate students and post-docs!
you haven't already heard, Nathan Bird has stepped down as DEDB's
graduate student/post-doc representative. Many thanks to Nathan for
several years of great service. For those of you who don't know
me, I graduated from the University of Chicago almost two years ago
and am currently a post-doc at Wesleyan University in Annie Burke's
lab. As the new graduate student/post-doc representative, I look
forward to getting to know all of you and want you to feel free to
contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about DEDB or
SICB in general. I hope everyone enjoyed the San Antonio meeting and
found the grant writing workshop informative.
from Connecticut. I will see you in Boston.