HomeVolume Spring 2008
View/Download this newsletter in PDF format

Division of Invertebrate Zoology (DIZ): 2008 Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Janice Voltzow

Knock, knock, knocking on Darwin's door!

Dear invertebrate zoologists,

Last summer I finally fulfilled one of my long-term dreams - to visit Darwin's Down House. The building and grounds are being beautifully restored and maintained by English Heritage. It was truly moving to see his study, walk the Sandwalk, and think about the amazing depth and breadth of Darwin's contributions to science. Next year marks the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and many institutions and organizations are organizing Darwin Day celebrations to commemorate this anniversary. This is a wonderful opportunity to express, demonstrate, and explain the centrality of evolution to biology. I encourage you all to organize events for your local communities.

One of my primary goals for DIZ is to nurture our next generation of invertebrate zoologists. To that end, we will host another auction at the Boston meeting next January to benefit the fund for the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship. Please think 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 as their careers evolve.

I enjoyed seeing so many of you in San Antonio. Once again, outstanding presentations on invertebrates dominated many of the sessions, from the DIZ-sponsored symposia on ecomorphological variation across aquatic flow regimes, decapod phylogenetics, crustacean genomics, and evolution vs. creationism in the classroom, to the many contributed papers and posters on our favorite organisms.

Amy Moran completed her term as DIZ program officer at this meeting. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with her; I thank her for all her help and dedicated service. These duties are now in the capable hands of Jim McClintock, who began serving by attending the program officers' meeting last fall. Please be sure to send him proposals for symposia you would like the Division to sponsor.

Ben Miner has continued to chair our student awards competition. I thank him and all who served as judges. I am also grateful to Wiley-Liss and Oxford University Press for their support of our students. Each year they provide the winners of the best oral presentation and best poster (respectively) with a book of the winner's choice. Please see Ben's message to learn who won and join me in congratulating our students on truly outstanding oral presentations and papers.

I would like to thank Scott Nichols for serving as our representative to the graduate student/postdoctoral affairs committee. I am pleased to announce that Jann Vandetti has agreed to be our next representative to this committee and I encourage our student and postdoctoral members to contact Jann with your comments and suggestions.

We will have another election this year, this time for DIZ chair-elect. A nominating committee consisting of Ben Miner, Beth Davis, and Ken Halanych, with the help of Tom Wolcott and myself, has nominated Dianna Padilla and David Wethey to fill this position. Please read their statements elsewhere in this newsletter and be certain to vote. I thank all those willing to nominate and especially those willing to serve.

This fall you will receive a proposal to revise the DIZ bylaws to clarify how we proceed and to make our bylaws consistent with the SICB constitution and bylaws. Please look for more information about this later this year and participate in the voting process.

Best wishes for the spring!

The view from the Sandwalk.

The garden at Down House features plants that would have been common in area gardens in Darwin's lifetime.

Message from the Program Officer

James McClintock

Dear SICB members,

Once again, we had a wonderful showing of DIZ members who participated in the meetings in San Antonio, Texas. Congratulations to everyone that presented either posters or oral presentations, and a special thank you to those of you who readily volunteered when asked to serve as session chairs. The general consensus was that the poster and paper sessions, and the many events (IMAX "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea", and "Flight of the Dodo") and mixers, came off very well indeed. Overall, there were 1005 abstracts received making San Antonio among the top 4 largest SICB meetings. The general meeting location, with ready access to the sights, sounds and great cuisine along the River Walk, was marvelous. Moreover, your understanding and patience with the construction underway at the Marriott Rivercenter was most appreciated, and beyond the control of the executive committee who skillfully negotiated in turn a society savings of approximately $50,000 in our audio visual costs. We were primary sponsor for one symposium, Joel Martin and Darryl Felder's "Advances in Decapod Crustacean Phylogenetics" which was very well received. We also co-hosted a symposium organized by Eric Lovely on ""Evolution vs. Creationism in the classroom: Evolving Student Attitudes". This was both timely and very well attended. Our joint social with the Crustacean Society, DEE, AMS, and DSEB turned out to be a great party as usual. Because the venue for our presentations was shifted to the convention center across the street from our hotel, the prevailing opinion was that the layout of the conference venue was convenient due to the close proximity of all the meeting rooms. Indeed, this seemed well worth the walk across the street. Please feel free to share 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 upcoming 2009 meeting at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, DIZ will be the co-sponsor of two symposia including: (1) "The Biology of Parasitic Crustacea" organized by Jeffrey Shields; co-sponsored by the Crustacean Society, DEE, and DSEB, and (2) "Cell-Cell Signaling Drives the Evolution of Complex Traits" organized by John Torday; primary sponsor DEDB. Another highlight of next year's Boston meeting will be the 2nd Invertebrate Auction to support the Libbie Hyman Awards Endowment. Many of you will recall this boisterous and hugely successful event from its first iteration in 2004, where it was one of the highlights of the New Orleans meeting.

Once again in 2008 there will be an opportunity to host "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 2009 will be due in August 2008, so they can be put together on a short time frame. Please contact Society Program Officer Eduardo Rosa-Molinar (ed@hpcf.upr.edu) if you are interested in putting together an organized late breaking session for Boston.

It's not too early to start thinking about symposia for DIZ to host or co-host for the 2010 meeting; the deadline is August 2008, and I look forward to hearing about ideas for great DIZ symposia. Good luck with your teaching, research and travels and have a safe and productive spring!

Message from the Secretary

Renae Brodie

Dear SICB members,

I enjoyed seeing many of you again at the San Antonio meeting and hearing about new research developments, though I was often running after my late stage larva, who was a tiny blur of noisy motion. There was a good turn-out for the business meeting; I encourage you to read the minutes for information about NSF funding provided by Goggy Davidowitz of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) and to learn of other important discussions that occurred during the meeting. Please check the DIZ webpage for information on two meetings of potential interest - the North American Echinoderm Conference (20-25 July 2008) and the 1st International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology (17-21 August 2008) http://www.sicb.org/divisions/diz.php3. If you haven't checked your member information on the DIZ web page in awhile, please make sure everything is current. Also, if you'd like to post a picture and paragraph describing your research on the Researchers Database, please send them to me at rbrodie@mtholyoke.edu.

We are electing a new DIZ Chair. The biographical sketches for the two candidates, Dianna Padilla and David Wethey, are below. Finally, stay tuned for more proposed changes to the DIZ Bylaws in the spring newsletter.

Minutes of the January 2008 Business Meeting

The larva in Calabash Bay, Jamaica, shortly after the SICB meeting.

Message from the Graduate Student - Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Jann Vendetti

Dear graduate students and post-docs,

Kudos to all who participated in another enlightening and successful SICB meeting. I hope that you enjoyed SICB San Antonio and in addition to attending talks, poster sessions, and socials, had a chance to visit the Alamo and discover or re-discover Tex-Mex cuisine.

Congratulations are in order for 2008 DIZ student award winners; Lindsay Waldrop, UC Berkeley for Best Student Oral Presentation, Joerg Hammel, FSU Jena, Germany for Best Student Poster, Nicholas Alcorn, Bowdoin College for the Adrian M. Wenner Strong Inference Award, and Daniel L. Curtis, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for a Grant-in-Aid of Research (GIAR). Nicely done! If you have not applied for or received a GIAR, mark your calendars for this year's deadline of November 18th.

Also, on behalf of the DIZ graduate students and postdoctoral fellows I would like to thank Dr. Larry Riley for organizing the student/postdoc workshop, "I Have a Great Idea, But Who Will Fund Me?" Panelists Drs. Davidowitz, Mykles, and Halanych provided practical and valuable advice to a packed room of students, touching on topics including how to recover from a rejected grant proposal and what NSF guidelines mean by "transformative."

For 2009's Boston meeting, please consider attending the DIZ business meeting if you have not already. It is a great way to learn about the division's goals, meet its officers, and learn the inter-workings of the society. Also, I welcome your feedback on the San Antonio meeting and encourage any suggestions for student/postdoc activities that you would like to see at future meetings. SICB has a long history of responding positively to student society member's requests-this is your society, make the most of it!

Best wishes and hopes for a productive year of research.

Message from the Student Awards Committee Chair

Ben Miner

We had a great meeting in San Antonio this year, and there were many excellent student presentations. Thank you to all the students who presented! I would also like to thank the 16 volunteer judges for their time and commitment to the students. This year 23 students competed from for best student paper. The winners were:

Best oral presentation


Lindsay Waldrop for her talk entitled, "Fluid dynamics of antennule flicking of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus"

Runner up

Pauline Yu "Extended starvation resistance and subsequent growth recovery in sea urchin larvae: Implications for lifespan in the plankton"

Best poster presentation


Joerg Hammel "Morphogenesis during asexual bud-formation and growth in the poriferan Tethya wilhelma: silica skeleton, aquiferous system and the mesohyle"

Runner up

Dawn Vaughn, "Attack on the Clones: Predator-Induced Cloning in Echinoderm Larvae"

Adrian M. Wenner Strong Inference Award


Nicholas Alcorn "How do changes in parental investment influence larval development in Gulf of Maine echinoids?"

Runner up

Sylvia Lewis "Tests for palatability and feeding deterrence in egg masses of nine species of opisthobranch gastropods"

Please join me in congratulating these outstanding students. I look forward to seeing you all at the next meeting in Boston.

Elections: Candidates for DIZ Chair-Elect

Diana K. Padilla

Present Position: Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution, SUNY Stony Brook; Adjunct Professor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, SUNY Stony Brook (1998 - present)

Education: Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 1987-89, PhD Zoology The University of Alberta, Edmonton 1987, MS Zoology 1982 Oregon State University, Corvallis, BA Zoology 1978 University of Washington, Seattle, BA Biological Oceanography 1978 University of Washington, Seattle

Previous Positions: Program Director, Integrative Organismal Systems, Biology, National Science Foundation, 2006 - 2007, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996 -1998; Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1989 - 1996; Oceanography and Limnology Graduate Program, U Wisconsin-Madison, 1989 - 1998

SICB Service: Member of SICB (formerly ASZ) since 1981. Chair, Division of Ecology and Evolution 1997 - 1999, Member at Large, Executive Committee 2001-2004, DEE member of the editorial board, Co-Organized Workshop to increase Diversity in SICB and Integrative Biology, Co-Organized Society-wide Symposium Plant-Animal Interactions, Co-Organized DIZ-DEE Symposium - Legacies in Life Histories, past Chair and present member of Committee to Increase Diversity - now Committee for Broadening Participation. I have also served several times on the nominating committee for society-wide officers, nominating committee for DIZ and DEE, and judge for the best student presentations in DIZ and DEE.

Other Society Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, American Malacological Society, American Microscopical Society, Ecological Society of America, National Shellfisheries Association, Sigma Xi, Western Society of Malacologists

Research Interests: Functional morphology and functional ecology of aquatic invertebrates and algae, phenotypic plasticity, invertebrate life histories, freshwater and marine invertebrate invasion biology and ecology, marine invertebrate restoration and conservation, marine protected areas.

Statement of Goals: My recent experience at the NSF reinforced the notion that integrative organismal biology, especially of invertebrates, is experiencing a renaissance. I will not only encourage symposia at the leading edge of this renaissance, but I will also work with the program director and other divisions to explore and highlight new integrative research, that could be the leading edges of the future. I am also dedicated to broadening participation in integrative invertebrate zoology as a field as well as within SICB. I will work to make sure that our division not only grows and stays vital, but also encourages diversity.

David Wethey

Current Position: Professor of Biology and Marine Science, University of South Carolina

Education: B. A., Yale College (1973); M.S. University of Michigan (1976); Ph.D. University of Michigan (1979); Postdoctoral Fellow: 1979-80, University College of North Wales and University of Leeds, UK

Professional Experience: Assistant through Full Professor, University of South Carolina 1980-present.

SICB Activities: Member since 1974; DIZ Nominating Committee 1985; DIZ and DE student paper judge various years; Chair, ASZ Nominating Committee 1995; SICB Student Support Committee 2006, 2007

Other Memberships: AAAS; American Society for Limnology and Oceanography; American Society of Naturalists; British Ecological Society; Ecological Society of America; Estuarine Research Federation; Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; Sigma Xi; Society for the Study of Evolution

Research Interests: Population and community ecology in the intertidal zone; biophysical ecology - heat, mass, and momentum transport in rocky and sedimentary intertidal systems; marine biogeography and climate change.

Statement of Goals: The breadth of SICB and DIZ have always appealed to me, and the annual meetings provide an excellent way for students and faculty to interact with researchers in a wide range of fields. I see the chairs of divisions as instrumental in this process, in fostering the interdisciplinary flavor of the society through collaborative symposia, workshops and meeting sessions among divisions of the society.

Link to officer list on DIZ page