Division of Vertebrate Morphology (DVM): 2005 Fall Newsletter
In this newsletter:
from the Chair
I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at the
SICB meeting in Orlando Florida in January. The warm climate will be
a treat for those of us from the cold parts of the world, even if we
have to share the hotel with people in giant mouse and duck costumes.
Indeed, "dining with favorite Disney characters" is listed as one
of the special features of the meeting hotel! Something we can all
look forward to.
Elections were held for DVM Secretary and DVM
Program Officer and I am pleased to welcome Gary Gillis as the DVM
Secretary Elect and Jeff Walker as the DVM Program Officer Elect.
DVM Program Officer elect: Jeff Walker
Secretary elect: Gary Gillis
Kudos to George Lauder and Dan Lieberman for so
capably and generously organizing the Northeast Regional DVM meeting
this fall. It was held mid-September and was a great success with a
total of 58 (!) five-minute talks given all in just one day.
I would like the DVM membership to start thinking
about a proposal that we will discuss at the DVM business meeting
this year. The Davis Award Committee from last year (David Carrier,
Steve Deban, Nate Kley, Callum Ross, Adam Summers, Roshna Wunderlich)
has suggested some possible ways in which the Davis Award competition
and the process of judging the entries might be improved.
Most importantly, the committee suggests that
students be allowed to compete only once for the Davis Award.
Currently many students compete at an early stage in their research,
at a time when the work will be greatly improved in a year or two.
Given only one shot, students would tend to take the process more
seriously and plan over a period of years for the best time to
compete. This would emphasize to everyone that the award is intended
to recognize truly outstanding research and significant contribution
to the field.
This change would also have the effect of reducing
the number of participants in any year. The value of a reduced number
of participants is that all of the talks could be presented in a
single session. Other societies do this (e.g., Society of Vertebrate
Paleontology). Having all of the talks presented in a single session
would make the competition talks an event, calling attention to the
Davis Award and to the students participating. All of the students
competing would be on display, as would the DVM. In these respects,
the competition would present students with challenges more similar
to those they will encounter in job interviews.
Having all of the talks presented in a single
session, early in the meeting, would also allow the winner to be
announced at the Division social, rather than months later in the
newsletter. The committee believes that the net effect of these
changes would be a more rigorous competition and an elevated
significance of the award.
I look forward to a spirited discussion of this
proposal at the DVM business meeting. I hope that students in
particular will come and give their opinions.
from the Program Officer
Here in the Northwest my kids are anxiously awaiting the accumulation of snow that will open the ski and snowboard runs, but my mind keeps drifting back to my recent visit to the venue of our upcoming Orlando meeting as part of the organizing committee. I can verify that having ice only come in a tall one from the poolside bar can make for a pleasant interlude and there is something about lounging in the outdoor hot tub that is particularly conducive to contemplating the grand mysteries of biology.
The meeting program has been set and it looks like another very good meeting. We have nearly 200 abstracts from members associated with the Division. Touring the facilities in Orlando we will obviously have presentation rooms with adequate space this year, solving one of our problems from last year. The poster sessions with the dedicated afternoon time-slot continues to grow in popularity. We have two Division sponsored symposia this year, Biomechanics and Neuromuscular Control and Zebrafish in a Comparative Context. Two very different symposia that demonstrate the diversity of perspectives in the Division and the potential of our members to interface with virtually all areas of modern biology. For more details on these symposia and the others offered in Orlando visit the meeting website.
It has been a treat to participate in the organizing process with the other Divisional representatives and the Society PO Kate Loudon. This was Kate's final meeting as PO and the ease with which I was able to do my job came largely due to Kate's management of the overall program, her ability to work through problems in a positive way and her general enthusiasm for these endeavors. This year also marks my final year as DVM DPO and the experience has been both enlightening and gratifying. The mantle will be passed to Jeff Walker for the Phoenix meeting and I anticipate Jeff will benefit from the same support and understanding of the Division membership that I've received over the last couple of years.
Last spring I mentioned that the Society of Experimental Biology has stated an interest in discussing the possibility of a joint SEB-SICB meeting. That society has recently been in contact with our Society officers. There are numerous logistical factors to be considered that should not be underestimated, but such a meeting could make for a special experience. SEB will be sending an officer, Christine Trimmer, to Orlando to meet with our membership and officers to discuss the potential for the project. I'll introduce her at the DVM Business meeting where she will make a brief presentation of the SEB perspective on the meeting. If you see Chris please welcome her and take some time to chat. One suggestion for the location of a joint meeting is Iceland. I understand they have some great (geothermic) hot tubs as well - something to think about. I'm looking forward to seeing you all in Orlando.
Message from the Secretary
Revision (submitted by A.R. Biknevicius)
You will be
receiving soon by e-mail a ballot concerning a proposed DVM bylaw
revision. Your responses will be entered directly onto a balloting
website and the results will be announced at the 2006 DVM business
meeting. Below is the ballot issue:
A proposal was forwarded at the 2005 Division of Vertebrate
Morphology (DVM) business meeting at the San Diego SICB meetings
concerning term limits for the DVM Program Officer. Current DVM
bylaws state (Article VIII - Program Officer):
Program Officer shall arrange for the programs of the Division. This
person shall serve two years, asynchronous with the Chair-Elect,
without eligibility for re-election."
(Bertram) and former (Carrier, Tobalske) program officers noted that
there is a large learning curve for the post so that peak
effectiveness only occurs in year 2 and that additional service might
not be onerous to the individual and actually would be beneficial to
the division. Frank Fish proposed that the term of the Program
Officer be modified as following (changes capitalized):
Program Officer shall arrange for the programs of the Division. This
person shall serve two years, asynchronous with the Chair-Elect, and
SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR ELECTION TO ONE ADDITIONAL TERM."
proposal was met with unanimous approval by the DVM membership
attending the 2005 business meeting.
of 2005 Northeast regional SICB-DVM meetings at Harvard University
(submitted by Dan Lieberman and George Lauder)
On Saturday, September 17th, the Northeast
regional meeting of the Division of Vertebrate Morphology was held at
Harvard University. Organized by Dan Lieberman and George Lauder,
people registered and 58 talks
were presented in a successful (and busy) one-day format.In order to
fit everyone in, all talks were limited to 5 minutes, but 20 minute
breaks were scheduled each hour to allow plenty of time to interact
Although 5 minutes does not provide time to
present a complete study, most speakers got right to the point and
used their time to give the audience a general sense of their
research question, methods and conclusions. The talks were scheduled
randomly by topic so each hour treated the audience to a wide
diversity of work. There was a great deal of interaction during the
numerous breaks, lunch, and dinner. Box lunches were provided which
allowed all participants to stay at the meeting and chat during
lunch, and dinner was catered in Romer Hall of the Museum of
Comparative Zoology, permitting viewing of the public museum exhibits
as everyone relaxed after the papers.
We were fortunate to have participation from a
variety of visitors outside the immediate Northeast area who added
greatly to the meeting atmosphere. Although this was primarily a
"Northeast meeting," we very much encourage participation of
anyone with an interest to attend future meetings.See you there!
Link to officer list on DVM page