HomeVolume Spring 2008

Society-Wide Elections
Candidates and Biographies

Click on a candidate's name to jump to her/his biography and statement.

Candidate for President Elect

  • Steve Hand
  • Kenneth P. Sebens

    Candidates for Program Officer Elect

  • Bret Tobalske
  • Brian Tsukimura

    Candidates for Treasurer Elect

  • Charles E. Booth
  • Robert Roer

    Candidates for Chair of the Educational Council

  • Robert D. Podolsky
  • Andrew M. Smith

    Candidates for Member-at-Large

  • Raymond Henry
  • Adam P. Summers

    Candidate for President Elect

    Steve Hand

    Current Position: Thompson Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

    Education: B.S., Zoology, Louisiana State University (1973); M.S., Zoology and Physiology, Louisiana State University (1975); Ph.D., Physiology, Oregon State University (1980); Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD (1980-1982).

    Professional Experience: Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette (1982-1986); Assistant through Full Professor of Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder (1986-2000); Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University (2000-2005); Thompson Professor , Louisiana State University (2002-present); Visiting Scientist, Mass General Hospital, Boston (2005-present). Associate Editor, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology (1997-2001); Associate Editor, Journal of Experimental Zoology (1990-1994). Editorial boards, Journal of Comparative Physiology (1992-2004), Physiological Zoology (1996-1997).

    SICB Activities: Member (1973-present); Chair, Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (2000-2002); Bartholomew Award Committee (member, 2004-2006, Chair, 2005-2006); U.S. and Foreign Travel Awards Committee, American Society of Zoologists for the 2nd International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (1988).

    Other Memberships: Fellow, AAAS; member, American Physiological Society; Executive Board Member, Mitochondrial Physiology Society; member, Sigma Xi.

    Research Interests: Molecular and integrative physiology of animals; mechanisms of metabolic depression during anoxia and diapause; mitochondrial bioenergetics; sensing and signalling within mitochondrial-based pathways for apoptosis; desiccation tolerance in animals; biostabilization of cells during dehydration and freezing.

    Statement of Goals: The strong traditions of SICB continue to be ones of fostering the scientific development of students and post-docs, and providing a forum for scientists engaged in fields that are integrative and interdisciplinary. I will work as an advocate for the Society at the national and international levels, based upon listening to the ideas and considering the needs of our members. I will try to expand Society membership with scientists representing all levels of biological organization, and will cooperate closely with the Executive Committee, standing and temporary committees, and the management group to facilitate thoughtful and effective development of innovative scientific programs and directions for the society. Publicizing the annual meetings, and particularly highlighting the scientific discoveries presented there, are activities that should be continued and expanded.

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    Kenneth P. Sebens

    Current Professional Positions: Director, University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories (since 2005), Professor, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle (2005-present)

    Education: B.A. with Honors, Honors Program, Biology, 1972, University of Connecticut, Storrs; Ph.D., Zoology, 1977, University of Washington, Seattle

    Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, Department of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University (1977 - 1982), Associate Professor and Curator, Harvard (1982 - 1985), Associate Professor, Biology, Northeastern University (1985 - 1986) Professor (1986 -1992), Director, Marine Science Center, Northeastern University (1985 - 1991), Professor, U.M. System Center for Environmental Science, Horn Pt. Environmental Labs (1994 -1997), Professor, Zoology/Biology, University of Maryland (1991 - 2005), Professor, Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston (2003 - 2005), Dean, College of Science and Mathematics, UMass Boston (2003 - 2005), Mercer Award, Ecological Society of America 1984, "Outstanding Ecological Paper, 1982", Fellow, A.A.A.S. 1986, Fulbright Senior Scholar Award 1998-1999

    SICB Activities: ASZ Nominating Committee (1986 - 1989, 2003 - 2004); ASZ Centennial Local Committee (Co-Chairperson) (1988 -1989); Invited speaker in SICB Symposium (2002), presentations at ASZ and SICB; Meetings (1978 - 2007)

    Other Memberships: American Society for Limnology and Oceanography; The Oceanographic Society; A.A.A.S.; Sigma Xi; Ecological Society of America; International Society for Reef Studies (Gov. Board Member,1992 - 1997); Marine Flora and Fauna of the Northeastern United States, N.O.A.A. Tech. Repts. Editorial Board (1988 - 1997), Editor (1997 - present); Pew Fellows Program, Nominating Committee (1997 - 1998); Phi Kappa Phi, Faculty Membership, 1987; New England COSEE Advisory Committee (2004 - 2005); Marine Resources Committee San Juan County WA (2005 - present); SeaDoc Society Science Advisory Committee (2005 - present); National Association of Marine Laboratories Board Member (2006 - present); Western Association of Marine Laboratories (Pres. Elect, 2007-present)

    Research Interests: Subtidal benthic populations and communities in both temperate and tropical locations, indeterminate growth and optimal size in marine invertebrates, long-term change in rocky subtidal habitats in the Gulf of Maine, rocky subtidal community ecology in the San Juan Islands WA, coral ecology focused on the diverse sources of nutrition for reef corals and the influence of hydrodynamics on coral particle capture, nutrient uptake, calcification and growth rate.

    Goals Statement: I enjoy the breadth of interests in SICB, and the spontaneous development of interest groups around exciting new research topics and areas within the area of integrative and comparative organismal biology. SICB has become the primary place to share new information for some of these specialties, and I would like to see this trend continue. I would foster the concept of thinking and talking across disciplines and across levels of biological organization, i.e., the molecules to ecosystems approach that has become very productive. SICB is also a wonderful venue for graduate students and postdocs to share their first research findings with a larger community of scientists; I would make sure this continues and expands, that funding for their participation is increased, and that diversity of new members is a goal. I recognize the importance of keeping the membership informed and excited, reaching out to meet new needs and interests, and increasing the membership and the visibility of SICB. Encouraging timely symposia is one great way to generate enthusiasm, and I would make sure SICB continues this trend. SICB has recently taken on more of an advocacy role for organismal biology, evolutionary biology, biology education and related disciplines both within the funding community and to the public at large. This is an important direction for SICB, and for its new leadership, which can only increase the visibility and impact of SICB.

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    Candidates for Program Officer Elect

    Bret Tobalske 

    Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology, University of Portland, Oregon

    Education: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Zoology, B.S. 1988; University of Montana, Missoula, Zoology, M.A. 1991; University of Montana, Missoula, Organismal Biology and Ecology, Ph.D. 1994

    Professional Experience: 2004-present: Associate Professor, University of Portland; 1999-2004: Assistant Professor, University of Portland; 1998-1999: Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard University; 1997-1998: Visiting Assistant Professor, Allegheny College; 1996-1997: Post-doctoral Scholar, University of Montana; 1994-1996, Post-doctoral Scholar, Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Jura, France

    SICB Activities: Division of Vertebrate Morphology Program Officer (2002-2004); member since 1991; primary affiliations are Division of Comparative Biomechanics and Division of Vertebrate Morphology

    Other Memberships: American Ornithologist's Union; Cooper Ornithological Society; Groupe Ornithologique du Jura; Oregon Academy of Science; Sigma Xi; Society for Experimental Biology

    Research Interests: Biomechanics and Physiology of Bird Flight. I use a variety of techniques in the laboratory and in the field to measure wing motion, muscle contractile behavior, and aerodynamics with an overall goal of improving understanding of how flight shapes the ecology and evolution of birds and other flying animals.

    Statement of Goals: The program is excellent in its present form, so rather than changing anything fundamental, I am seeking to maintain this strength by encouraging cooperation among divisional program officers and motivating opportunities for student and post-doctoral involvement. I feel that the worthwhile symposia are generally those that bring new people to SICB who would otherwise not attend the yearly meeting. I would seek to enhance the international flavor of SICB; one potential mechanism for this would to develop a one-time joint meeting with the Society for Experimental Biology.

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    Brian Tsukimura 

    Current Position: Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, California State University, Fresno

    Education: University of California, Berkeley, A.B. Zoology, 1981; University of Hawaii at Manoa, M.S. Zoology, 1985; Ph.D. Zoology, 1988

    Professional Experience: Professor of Biology, California State University, Fresno 2005- present; Interagency Ecology Project - Mitten Crab Workteam, 1999 - present; Associate Professor of Physiology, 2000 - 2005, California State University, Fresno; Assistant Professor of Physiology, 1994 - 2000, California State University, Fresno; Acting Assistant Professor, Illinois State University, 1992 - 1994; Lecturer in Biology, Illinois State University, 1990; Postdoctoral Fellow, Endocrinology, Illinois State University, 1988 - 1992

    SICB Activities: My first annual meeting was 1986 ASZ, Nashville, and I have attended every meeting to date except 1987 (New Orleans). Chair, Student/Post-Doctoral Affairs Committee, 1995-1999; Chair, Student Support Committee, 2002-2006 (implemented and increased number of FGST awards); Member SICB Program Committee as The Crustacean Society Liaison to SICB, 2004 to present. Participation in the Midwestern Regional Conference on Comparative Endocrinology (co-organizer, 1990), and Western Regional Conference on Comparative Endocrinology.

    Other Memberships: The Crustacean Society; American Microscopical Society; Western Society of Naturalists; American Association of the Advancement of Science; Sigma Xi; Sierra Foothill Conservancy

    Research Interests: Comparative endocrinology of the regulation of development, growth, and reproduction using crustaceans (Branchiopoda, Brachyura, Astacidae and Penaeoidea). Current studies focus on the influence of environmental factors on reproduction and development, and the regulatory hormones integrating these influences, particularly on vitellogenin synthesis and larval growth. Recent studies on the invasive Chinese mitten crab have diversified my research to include invasive species ecology, particularly with respect to larval population dynamics on adult year class strength, and taxonomy, where we are developing larval keys for local decapod crustaceans. In addition, we have started examining selenium toxicity as a stressor on tadpole metamorphosis.

    Statement of Goals: Since my first meeting in 1986, I have found that the SICB annual meetings serve as a forum for our Society members to share data and exchange ideas. If elected, I will make my primary objective to collaborate with SICB divisional program officers to encourage our membership to develop proposals for integrated and high profile symposia and workshops, and provide guidance to SICB divisional program officers and symposia organizers in their fund raising efforts (i.e., travel funds) to bring together integrative biologists to continue developing "big picture questions," as well as on the latest techniques, paradigms and theories. My second objective is to continue to organize the key words lists and options during abstract submission, as well as continue to simplify the process. I will continue to strengthen ties and increase the collaborative and integrative efforts between SICB divisional program officers and their divisions.

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    Candidates for Treasurer-Elect

    Charles E. Booth

    Current Position: Professor of Biology, Eastern Connecticut State University

    Education: B.A., College of Wooster (1974); M.A., College of William and Mary (1977); Ph.D., University of Calgary (1983); Postdoctoral Fellow: 1982-4, McMaster University

    Professional Experience: Assistant through Full Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University, 1984-present; Biology Dept. Chair, ECSU,1992-95; Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Miami, 1987

    SICB Activities: Member since 1975; DCPB representative to Integrative and Comparative Biology Editorial Board (2006-2010); Judge and Committee Chair for DCBP and DIZ Best Student Paper Award competitions; DCPB Nominating Committee

    Other Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Science; Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society

    Research Interests: Exercise physiology of crustaceans; mechanisms of pH regulation in marine crabs; effects of environmental stresses on regulation of pH and ion balance and respiratory gas exchange in aquatic animals

    Statement of Goals: As SICB Treasurer, I would work with the other members of the Executive Committee and Burk and Associates to assure prudent monitoring of the financial affairs of the Society in accordance with the SICB Constitution and By-Laws.

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    Robert Roer 

    Current Position: Professor of Biology & Marine Biology, Dean of the Graduate School & Research, University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Education: Sc.B., Aquatic Biology, Brown University (1974), Ph.D., Zoology, Duke University (1979)

    Professional Experience: Visiting Scientist, Zoology Department, University of Reading, England, 1975; Assistant Professor, 1979-1985, Department of Biological Sciences (now Biology & Marine Biology), University of North Carolina Wilmington, Associate Professor, 1985-1990, and Assistant Director of the Institute for Marine Biomedical Research, 1981-1986; Professor, 1990-present, and Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies, 1994-2002; Dean of the Graduate School and Research, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2002-present

    SICB Activities: I presented my first paper as a graduate student at the ASZ meeting in Toronto in 1977, and I have been an active participant in the annual ASZ/SICB meetings ever since. Over the years, I have chaired numerous sessions, participated in symposia, and judged student poster and paper awards. From 1994-98, I served on the DCPB Bartholomew Award selection committee, and was chair of the committee from 1997-98.

    Other Memberships: Sigma Xi, American Physiological Society; The Crustacean Society (Charter Member); American Association of University Professors; Phi Kappa Phi; American Association for the Advancement of Science

    Research Interests: Mechanisms of membrane transport in osmoregulation and in biomineralization, crustacean molting physiology and biomineralization, crustacean osmoregulation, control of mineral nucleation in crustacean cuticle

    Statement of Goals: SICB has served as my principal society, scientific home, and most significant means of interacting with my colleagues for over 30 years. My experiences as a graduate student and new faculty member at the ASZ/SICB meetings helped shape my career and established life-long friendships and collaborations. The SICB, more than any other society, has served to promote and showcase comparative biology, and provide both undergraduate and graduate students a welcome introduction to the discipline. It is vital to these functions that the fiscal health that has been restored to SICB be maintained and safeguarded. I will work closely with the Executive Committee and with Burk and Associates to ensure that this is the case.

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    Candidates for Chair of the Educational Council

    Robert D. Podolsky

    Current Position: Assistant Professor, Biology Department and Grice Marine Laboratory, College of Charleston, Charleston SC.

    Education: A.B. Biology, Princeton University, 1985; M. S. University of Florida, 1989; Ph.D. University of Washington, 1995

    Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, Biology, College of Charleston, 2005-present; Assistant Professor, Biology Department, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1999-2005

    SICB Activities: Member and regular meeting contributor since 1992; DIZ student paper award (1992) and Adrian M. Wenner award (1995); regular student paper and poster judge for DIZ & DEE; symposium participant 2003 ("Selection and Performance in Nature"); symposium organizer and participant 2006 ("Marine Life Cycles"); Membership Diversity committee 2004-2005; Educational Council 2008

    Other Memberships: Society for the Study of Evolution, American Society of Naturalists, Sigma Xi

    Research Interests: Evolutionary and physiological ecology; life-history evolution and larval ecology; fertilization ecology; phenotypic plasticity; marine invertebrate form and function.

    Statement of Goals: As a professional organization and annual meeting, ASZ/SICB has been my highest priority since early graduate school. I have benefited often from its focus on student development and its unique role in the conceptual integration of a broad range of disciplines. In both regards the society has significant opportunities to contribute to biology education, and I see important goals in at least three areas. 1) To play a more active role in developing the SICB Digital Library (DL), for example by working with division chairs to establish new disciplinary sections and editors and by coordinating with symposium organizers to encourage submissions. I would like to consider turning the DL into a more interactive "wiki" that preserves the original content and credit but allows users to enhance exercises from their experience. 2) To create other means for sharing teaching expertise, for example by creating a page of links to members' course websites organized by discipline. I also want to explore developing a workshop series, "Teaching and Learning X," with the discipline X rotating from year to year. As a fixture of the annual meeting, these workshops would allow faculty to exchange their most innovative and effective teaching methods, hopefully with regular contributions to the SICB-DL. 3) To explore ways to contribute to current national discussions about the effectiveness of the general biology curriculum in training future scientists and non-scientists, particularly regarding the unifying role of integrative biology. I am currently a member of the Council and would welcome the opportunity as Chair to move forward these and other members' ideas.

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    Andrew M. Smith 

    Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology, Ithaca College

    Education: AB, Dartmouth College (1987); PhD, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1992)

    Professional Experience: Assistant through Associate Professor of Biology, Ithaca College (2000-present); Assistant through Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Butler University (1994-2000); Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, Davidson College (1994); NATO-NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratoire Arago, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI) Banyuls-sur-Mer, France (1992-1993); NSF-Predoctoral fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    SICB Activities: My first annual meeting was in my second year of graduate school, and I have gone on to present at fourteen meetings. In recent years I have served as a session chair and as a judge for the best student paper competition.

    Other Memberships: Sigma Xi.

    Research Interests: I study biological glues, in particular those that are visco-elastic gels. Many mollusks secrete dilute gels that are powerful adhesives. I am interested in the biochemistry and mechanics of these gels, and am currently trying to determine the mechanism by which they form strong attachments.

    Statement of Goals: I have always been a strong proponent of teaching excellence, and feel I have a well-developed understanding of the skills involved in great teaching. My experience includes receiving grants to implement teaching innovations, publication in an educational journal, and winning a university-wide teaching award. I have supervised thirty-nine undergraduate researchers, more than a quarter of whom are co-authors of peer-reviewed papers. My goal for the Education Council of SICB is to build on and expand the education-related activities at the annual meeting. The fact that we often have dedicated sessions for education topics is important -- we should expand the profile of these sessions. I feel that we can do this by adding focused workshops on educational topics of specific interest, with associated paper sessions, highlighted by an invited speaker. In addition, the new SICB digital library is an excellent resource that we should continue to develop. A particular interest of mine is integrating research into teaching. SICB has always played an essential role in the development of young scientists. Thus, we are in excellent position to serve as a forum for the advancement of education.

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    Candidates for Member-At-Large Elect

    Raymond Henry

    Current Position: Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

    Education: B.S. (1973), M.S. (1978) College of William and Mary; PhD (1981) University of Texas at Austin; Postdoctoral Fellow (1981-1983) University of Pennsylvania

    Professional Experience: Assistant through Full Professor, Auburn University (1983-present); Associate Chair, Department of Biological Sciences (2002-present); visiting scientist, Mt. Desert Island Biological Lab (1998-present).

    SICB Activities: Member since 1977 (DCPB, DIZ, DCE); Symposium speaker (1982, 1990); Symposium organizer and speaker (bimodal breathing symposium, 1991); Judge for student paper/poster awards (multiple years).

    Other Memberships: American Physiological Society; Society for Experimental Biology; Crustacean Society; AAAS.

    Research Interests: Comparative physiology and biochemistry of carbonic anhydrase; salt and water balance; cell volume regulation; nitrogen metabolism; bimodal breathing and the transition from aquatic to aerial respiration; neuroendocrine regulation of carbonic anhydrase gene expression in response to environmental salinity in euryhaline crustaceans.

    Statement of Goals: SICB is the major comparative and evolutionary biological society in the country, and as such I believe we should play a more active role in public outreach and education, especially in the area of K-12 science education. Our society is well positioned to help improve science literacy in the next generation of students and to contribute to the national dialog on critical issues such as biodiversity, habitat preservation, sustainability, and climate change. Within the society itself, I would advocate for more interdisciplinary efforts (e.g., integrative symposia sponsored by multiple divisions) that not only review the current state of knowledge but also highlight major new avenues of research, so that the society can have more of an active role in defining the future of our field.

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    Adam P. Summers 

    Current Position: Associate Professor, UC Irvine

    Education: Swarthmore College 1986 - BA Math, BS Engineering; New York University 1991 - MS Biology; University of Massachusetts, Amherst 1999 - PhD Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

    Professional Experience: Miller Fellow UC Berkeley 1999-2001; Asst. Prof. UC Irvine 2001-2007; Associate Prof. UC Irvine 2007 - present

    SICB Activities: Membership Committee (2004-2007); Student Support Committee (2004-2005), Chair (2006-2007); D. Dwight Davis best student paper judge - DVM (2001, 2005, 2006); Best paper judge DCB (2008); Chair of the best poster prize naming committee (2000); Post-doctoral representative for the Division of Vertebrate Morphology (2000-01); Graduate student representative for the Division of Vertebrate Morphology (1995-98)

    Other Memberships: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists; Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles; American Physiological Society; Society of Experimental Biology; American Elasmobranch Society; Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

    Research Interests: Form, function and comparative biomechanics of skeletal biomaterials

    Statement of Goals: As the member-at-large I will endeavor to bring the perspective I have gained as a member of three divisions - DVM, DCPB and DCB to the leadership of the society. SICB is my intellectual home, my first publication was an abstract in American Zoologist and the support and guidance I have received from the SICB community has been instrumental in making me into a broad minded biologist. I hope, as a member-at-large, to repay some of the attention and care that has been given to me by the generous people who have given their time and energy to the society. I strongly believe that the backbone of our society is the students and that the very interdisciplinary nature of our organization is its greatest strength. We were integrative biologists before it was fashionable and this inclusive agenda is what ensures that the society remains relevant going forward.

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