Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB) and Division of Developmental and Cell Biology (DDCB): 2006 Fall Newsletter
In this newsletter:
from the Chair
Billie J. Swalla
Greetings from the Chair!
are back in full swing and many of us are continuing the ever
challenging balancing act with teaching, research, and our families.
Good luck in finding the balance that works best for you.
we look toward the future for the Division of Evolutionary
Developmental Biology, I can almost hear the whir of sequencing
machines, churning out more genomes, allowing comparisons to be made
at a genomic level across organisms. New technologies are
coming into play for sequencing, bringing down the cost and allowing
even more sequencing reads at a lower price. We will need to
begin to think in terms of gene networks, not just single genes and
pathways, but how entire networks evolve and change to create
morphology. Comparative genomic studies will need to become
more complex and sophisticated, going beyond the current practice of
using as many genes as possible to compare phylogenies, to
comparisons of losses and gains within specific gene families.
We are just beginning to think about the depth of genomic studies -
genomes of several closely related species gives different
information than comparing genomes across large phylogenetic
distances. Soon the sea urchin genome will be available, and
members of the mollusc and polychaetes should not be far behind.
Already, it's been reported that sponges contain all of the important
developmental signaling pathways that we consider fundamental for
metazoan development, suggesting that more studies need to be
concentrated on sponges, cnidarians and ctenopores. There is
much to be learned from these genomic studies and we've only just
begun. If you would like to put together a symposium on Genomes
or Genetic Networks for a future meeting, please contact me.
of the ways that we are trying to promote Evolution & Development
and Developmental & Cell Biology is through the SICB WEB site for
site is set so that a different WEB site comes up each time you
access the site. There are some very cool pictures up now, but
we would like to get more participation. It's never too
late! Please send your contributions to Frietson Galis
and she will see that your research is posted on the site.
would like to see more of you take leadership roles in the DEDB and
DDCB divisions in SICB. If anyone is willing to represent our
divisions on various SICB committees, and learn how decisions within
the Society are made, please contact me. It is fun to meet the people
in other divisions, and learn about other topics of research within
SICB. Please let me know if you are willing to consider helping
out. Thanks to our officers and those of you that are serving
on the Student Support Committee that meets in Phoenix. We
really appreciate your time, energy and input to our success as a
vibrant SICB Division.
Press is now publishing "Integrative and Comparative Biology".
hope that you've noticed the beautiful covers of the last few issues
and have enjoyed reading papers on-line as soon as they are
accepted. Once the backlog of accumulated papers is published
this year, we expect that symposia will begin to be published in a
very timely manner. This is our journal, so keep publishing
some of your best research results in it. We hope to get it
indexed in PubMed soon.
are all the women speakers? I continue to be surprised and
appalled to see symposia that are put on at meetings without a
balanced gender ratio. They are always tipped towards the Y
chromosome. Check your own departmental seminar series.
Are there 50% female speakers? If not, then you should point it
out and ask that it be improved. Women have made up at least
50% of the graduate student population since the 1970's, but almost
40 years later, there is still not parity in faculty positions or
symposia in the U.S.A. If you are organizing a symposium and can
not think of any women in your field, contact me. I will give
you at least 5 names of topnotch female speakers. I will also
give you the name of several other possibilities to increase the
diversity of your speakers. We need to recognize that science
is done by a diverse group of people and we should welcome that
I hope that you all keep abreast of the political candidates that you
will elect, and be sure that they believe that funding basic science
should be a national priority. Make your voice heard.
Remember to vote!
the holidays.......spend time with your families......turn in an NSF
you in Phoenix in 2007.
from the Program Officer
from Puerto Rico, the Island of Enchantment (no hurricanes so far
this is my last newsletter as program officer of Division of
Evolutionary Developmental Biology/Division of Developmental &
Cell Biology (DEDB/DDCB). It has been an honor and pleasure to serve
you all. Wendy Olson, Ph.D. of the University of Northern Iowa,
Cedar Falls, IA will become your new program officer during the
2007 divisional meeting. Wendy will be DEDB/DDCB's third program
submitted 1080 abstracts for the 2007 Society for Integrative and
Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona! The
meeting will be held January 3-7, 2007. The headquarters hotel for
the meeting is the Hyatt Regency Phoenix. You may register online
for the hotel (http://phoenix.hyatt.com/groupbooking/phxrpsicc2007
call 1-800-633-7313 or 602-252-1234 for reservations [be sure to
mention that you are a SICB meeting attendee]). The SICB rate at the
Hyatt is $129 single/double.
Plenary Session and Welcome Reception oral and poster sessions will
be held at the Phoenix Convention Center directly across the street
from the Hyatt Regency. Our divisional meeting and social is
scheduled to be held on Friday, January 5, 2007 in the Hyatt Regency.
will sponsor two symposia: "Evolutionary and functional
genomics of sperm, sperm storage and fertilization,"
organized by T. Karr and S. Pitnick and "Linking genes and
morphology in vertebrates," organized by F. Galis and D.
Carrier. Both symposia promise to provide exciting insights into the
developmental and functional basis of morphological diversity. These
symposia as well as the contributed paper and poster sessions will
provide a strong stimulus for integrative studies that link
developmental biology, genetics, genomics, and functional morphology.
The Linking genes and morphology in vertebrates symposium
is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Kudos
to Frietson and David for their efforts and success in obtaining
checking the SICB website (http://www.sicb.org)
and reading the DEDB/DDCB newsletter for updates regarding the 2007
meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.
of the last things I really need to get done this year is to have
members review and agree on the keyword list that SICB uses for
DEDB/DDCB abstract submission. This really was an issue this year.
A significant portion of DEDB/DDCB oral and posters presentations
were sorted and grouped and sessions formed by DSEB - Division of
Systematic & Evolutionary Biology. The keywords used by our
members linked their presentations with DSEB. This can create
problems for us in the future if we continue to show low numbers of
oral and poster presentations. The revision of keywords will make
programming easier and provide better linkages with symposia and
contributed papers and posters. I finally have the list of keywords
and I will get this list posted on the electronic bulletin board for
your review and comment. I really need membership input! I hope to
have a vote on this issue at this year's meeting.
University Press as our new publisher for "Integrative and
Comparative Biology (ICB)" has done an outstanding job in
publishing our symposia. It is clear that SICB and the new editor
have solved most of the issues that made ICB a less
attractive choice for symposia organizers to publish their symposia.
Keep checking the SICB website for updates.
is all for now. Keep sending your primary research papers to
Evolution and Development (Blackwell Publishing),
Molecular and Developmental Evolution (Wiley), American
Naturalist (University of Chicago Press), and Biosciences
(AIBS). Also send your symposia to Integrative and Comparative
Biology (Oxford University Press). The list of journals
supporting the DEDB/DDCB division keeps growing. We need to support
those publications. I hope to see you all in Phoenix, Arizona.
Message from the Secretary and Secretary-elect
Frietson Galis and Marcus Davis
Dear members of the DEDB and DCDB,
Our divisional webpages have been embellished with illustrations and descriptions of the research of several members. We hope that more members will contribute to this database. Please, provide a paragraph on your research and illustrate this with an image in jpg-format (firstname.lastname@example.org
). For inspiration you can check our web pages:
If you would like to announce a meeting that is of interest for our members, please also email this (email@example.com
The program of the meeting in Phoenix looks very interesting and attractive, especially for evolutionary developmental biologists. Don't miss it. We also encourage you to attend the business meeting and social.
We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!
Frietson and Marcus
Message from the Student/Post-Doc Representative
fellow graduate students and post-docs! It is that time of year
again, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Phoenix. DEDB
members have presented cutting-edge research in recent years, and
this year should be no exception. DEDB is sponsoring two symposia
that are sure to be outstanding: Linking genes and morphology in
vertebrates (organized by F. Galis and D. Carrier) and Key
transitions in animal evolution (organized by B. Schierwater, S.
Dellaporta & R. DeSalle).
generous student funding from the society continues this year, and
there are some dates that everyone should mark down on his or her
calendar. The deadline for Student Support is quickly approaching
(Oct. 27), so be sure to apply. Getting your registration fees paid,
or particularly housing for only $75 co-pay in exchange for a
half-day of work is a great deal, so take advantage! Don't forget
to apply for a GIAR or FGST if you are eligible, the deadline for
both is also drawing near (Nov 19th). Up to $1000 and
sure to attend the Grad Student/Post Docs Welcome and Meeting
Orientation, even if this is not your first meeting, as there are
always new tidbits of information to pick up. It is January 3, 2007,
5:30 pm. This year the Graduate Student Workshop will be extremely
informative, specifically for those of us beginning to publish our
work. The workshop, "What Editors Want", will be held
Saturday, January 6, from 6:00-7:00 pm. As always, I encourage you
all to become more involved in SICB. One key recommendation is that
everyone should attend the DEDB business meeting. See you all in