Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB): 2008 Fall Newsletter
In this newsletter:
from the Chair
fall news is, of course, about the up-coming meeting in Boston where,
at the moment, the leaves are probably just starting to turn. Lets
all hope for a January thaw!
our program officer, Wendy Olson, notes in her message below, DEDB is
sponsoring one symposium "Cell-cell signaling drives the evolution
of complex traits," organized by John Torday, and there will be
several Evo-devo sessions as well as a plenary lecture by Sean
year Elaine Seaver will take over from Marcus Davis as DEDB
secretary. Many thanks to Marcus for doing all of those things such
as revising the bylaws and organizing nominating committees that the
membership hardly notices, but still need doing if SICB is to keep
going smoothly. I am very glad that Wendy Olson will continue as
DEDB program officer. She has done a yeoman's job of putting
together the evo-devo sessions for this meeting. Thank you Wendy for
all of your hard work.
broke precedent this year by postponing elections for DEDB officers
until this fall. We need to elect a chair to take over from me after
the 2010 annual meeting and a program officer to take over from Wendy
also after the 2010 meeting. The candidates for Chair-Elect are Mark
Martindale from the University of Hawaii and Maria Byrne from the
University of Sydney. Running for Program Officer-Elect are L.
Patricia Hernandez from George Washington University and Bob Zeller
from San Diego State. Please don't forget to vote.
Swalla, our past DEDB chair has recently sent the following message
to the devo-evo lists to which you are all subscribed. "The
University of Hawaii is seriously considering closing one of its two
marine labs, Kewalo Marine Lab, where Mark Martindale and Elaine
Seaver work. Marine labs are like evolutionary innovations, once you
lose them it may take a very long time to get them back. You can add
to the blog on the news story at this site:
http://www.starbulletin.com/ news/ hawaiinews/20080923_Kewalo _labs_proposed_ closure_protested.html."
Billie goes on to say "I've sent a message to Dr. David McClain,
the President of the University of Hawaii System and suggest that you
send one too, if you are concerned about this unique marine lab being
closed down. Dr. McClain's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org."
The trouble with the Kewalo lab is that it has a good view of
Diamond Head. In this day of pinched budgets, U. Hawaii sees selling
the property as a way to help alleviate budget deficits. I'm
afraid that real biology can't compete with the developers.
current membership list for DEDB includes over 300 people. I
encourage all of you to attend the meeting in Boston as it promises
to be of considerable interest to all of us devo-evo types. Boston
is a great town. Public transportation in Boston is excellent and
you can buy a map with all of the bus routes and subway (The "T")
routes at any newsstand. If you have a little extra time, I
recommend taking in the New England Aquarium, the Museum of Fine Arts
and the Museum of Comparative Zoology. I also recommend Legal
Seafoods. There's a branch on Rowe's Wharf across from the New
England Aquarium as well as in Logan Airport. Their clam chowder is
the best I've ever had, and as a native New Englander, I consider
myself an authority on such things.
from the Program Officer
Wendy M. Olson
leaves are finally turning - there must be a meeting coming up.
were 1372 abstracts submitted for the 2009 SICB Annual Meeting in
Boston, MA, setting us up for the largest SICB meeting in over 8
years. Definitely check the schedules ahead of time, because this
meeting will be busy! I just got back from the Program Committee
meeting in Boston, and I can tell you that the Westin Boston
Waterfront is a beautiful, new hotel. That's about all I can say,
because hurricane Kyle was in full swing at the time off the coast of
New England. Between the rain and fog, I could barely see across the
street. But it's near both the ocean and public transit lines.
is currently supporting one symposium at the 2009 meeting, "Cell-cell
signaling drives the evolution of complex traits," organized by
John Torday. And in addition to the Plenary, Bartholomew, and Bern
Lectures, there will be an additional lecture given by Sean Carroll,
which should be of interest to DEDB members. Paula Mabee may be
giving a workshop on evolutionary ontology, which is a pretty hot
topic in both evolution and development. Check the schedule for
final details. Also note that we will have a combined social with
DDCB, this year - just the two divisions (unlike last year's seven
or so). Separation anxiety? Or a better chance to talk
developmental genetics, morphogenesis, integration, and evolution
over free food and a couple of overpriced drinks? Be there or be
will all be happy to know that the abstract sorting went much better
this year, and we have some strong evo-devo sessions. I tried to
avoid overlap as much as possible, but please realize that it is
literally impossible not to have any overlap whatsoever, especially
given the size of the Boston meeting, not to mention the breadth of
finally, we have nine students signed up for the BSP competition. If
anyone is interested in being a judge, please let me know ASAP. The
more volunteers we have, the less any one of us has to do (i.e., the
more flexibility we have individually to get to the talks we really
want to see). I will be sending out a mass email to ask for
volunteers, as the meeting draws closer.
wishes, and I hope to see you all in Boston.
Message from the Secretary
Marcus C. Davis
mad scientists and hopeful monsters,
right DEDB members, we've got a lot to do in this Fall Newsletter!
We have some exciting candidates lined up for the positions of
Chair-Elect and Program Officer-Elect. Please take the time to look
over the candidate biographies included in this newsletter and then
VOTE when the ballots are issued!
also have some bylaws revisions on which to vote. The revisions were
requested by the SICB Executive Committee in order to match the
wording and guidelines of each division with that of the SICB
Constitution. There are also some additional provisions and
protections included that are a standard inclusion in other
divisions' bylaws but that we have yet to include in ours. In this
newsletter you will find the proposed revisions to our bylaws divided
by Article. Following each Article revision is a rationale to
explain the reasoning behind the proposed change. Someone owes me a
beer for doing this… I'm just not sure who. These proposed
revisions will appear again in the spring newsletter and voting will
occur by electronic ballot in the spring.
a final note, I'm departing as DEDB Secretary and the very capable
Elaine Seaver will take the reins at the Boston meeting. I thank the
two Chairs (Billie and Linda) and the two Program Officers (Ed and
Wendy) that I have had the pleasure of working with. But I'm not
going anywhere. You can look forward to my continued haunting of
DEDB for many years to come.
wishes and happy holidays!
Position: Professor of Marine and Developmental Biology, and
Director One Tree Island Research Station University of Sydney,
Ph.D. (Zoology), 1982, University of Victoria, Canada
Experience: Associate Editor, Marine Biology. Editorial board
memberships: Evolution and Development, since 2002; Biological
Bulletin, 2006-present; Invertebrate Reproduction and Development,
2004-present; Invertebrate Biology, 1998-present
Activities: Presented at the Complex-Life-Histories in Marine
Benthic Invertebrates Symposium
Memberships: Australian Marine Sciences Association, Australian
Coral Reef Society, Society for Invertebrate Reproduction and
Interests: My research interests are in the integrative biology
and evolution of marine invertebrates with a focus on the
Echinodermata and Mollusca. My multidisciplinary research involves
investigation of life history, reproduction, genetics, phylogeny and
environmental biology. I utilize the developmental diversity of
closely related echinoderms species as a model system to document
evolution of development and speciation.
Statement: I have followed the great work of the Division of
Evolutionary Developmental Biology as it has grown to be a major
Division of SICB and as an important focal point for the promotion of
Evo-Devo. My major goals are in the promotion of a multidisciplinary
approach to our understanding of generation of evolutionary novelty
through developmental change. As chair I look forward to promoting
interaction in the Division in all its facets.
Position: Professor and Director, Kewalo Marine Lab, Pacific
Bioscience Research Center, University of Hawaii
Ph.D. (Zoology), 1985, University of Texas, Austin. B.A.
(Natural Sciences), 1981, New College, Sarasota, FL
Experience: Postdoc, Harvard Medical School; Assistant
Professor, Univ. Chicago; Associate Professor, Univ. Hawaii;
Editorial board: Developmental Biology, Section of Molecular
and Developmental Evolution, Journal of Experimental Zoology,
Evolution and Development, Development, Genes, and
Evolution (D.G.E.), Acta Zoologica
since graduate school (prior to its name change). Co-Organizer, SICB
Symposium, "Evolution of Animal Body Plans". St. Louis, MO.
(1995), Co-Organizer, SICB Symposium, "Evolution of Development:
Patterns and Process,"
Albuquerque, New Mexico (1996), Member-at-Large, Society for
Integrative and Comparative Biology (1996-99), Co-founder of the new
Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (1999)
Society of Developmental Biologists, International Society for
am an experimental embryologist interested in the origin of
biological diversity. We study the cellular and molecular basis of
pattern formation in a phylogenetic context.
Statement: To understand biological diversity, we need to study
biological diversity using modern imaging and molecular techniques.
Detailed information from a handful of model systems has given us a
false sense of understanding of the complexity of biological
evolution, with theoretical ideas well ahead of the actual data
needed to make informed hypotheses. The landscape of biology is
changing in the ‘post-genomic era' and we need to think and train
the next generation of biologist in interdisciplinary ways (e.g.
morphological, molecular, computational) in order to exploit the vast
amount of information that will soon be available to us. The
Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology has been the driving
force in supporting the field of Evo-Devo here in the States as well
as in other nations. I will urge our constituents to develop
empirical approaches to study a broader spectrum of the biological
diversity present in the natural world and to lobby for a continued
understanding, appreciation, training, and financial support for
modern comparative biology.
Candidates Program Officer-Elect
position: Associate Professor, The George Washington University,
Eckerd College B.S. (1987); University of South Florida M.S.
(1994); Harvard University Ph.D. (1999)
experience: 2002-2008: Assistant Professor, The George
Washington University; 1999-2002: Postdoctoral Fellow Wesleyan
University; 2001: Visiting Professor, University of Washington Friday
Harbor; 1999-2000: Visiting Professor, Wesleyan University;
1992-1993: Adjunct Instructor, Eckerd College
Activities: I have been a member of SICB since 1991.
2007-2010: Student Support Committee; 2007-present chair Committee on
Broadening Participation; 2005-Participant in Symposium "Zebrafish
in Comparative Context"; 2004-Chair of Nominating committee for
DEDB; 2003-Organized roundtable discussion on increasing minority
representation within SICB for the Membership Diversity Committee;
2002-Nominating Committee, DEDB; 2002-present: member of the
Membership Diversity Committee; 2001: Chair of Nominating committee
for DEDB; 2001: Participant in Symposium "Molecules,
Muscles, and Macroevolution"; 2000-2002: Graduate
Student/Postdoctoral Representative for DEDB
Memberships: International Society for Vertebrate Morphology;
Society for Developmental Biology; American Society of Ichthyologists
and Herpetologists; American Association of Anatomists.
Interests: My lab is interested in the evolution of
morphological novelty. Surprisingly we are using the zebrafish for
much of our work. While the zebrafish has become a popular model
organism in biomedical studies, we propose that the wealth of
morphological novelties that characterize this cypriniform fish makes
it ideal for investigating the development of evolutionary novelties.
My research program focuses on understanding how developmental
processes (both early embryonic and later ontogenetic processes) are
involved in generating morphological variation and/or novelty within
cypriniforms. Moreover, I am interested in understanding the
long-term evolutionary consequences of such morphological variation.
Statement: Perhaps the greatest strength of SICB is in
its interdisciplinary approach to science. This is especially true
in a division that is integrative by definition. Some of our greatest
meetings have been characterized by interesting symposia that
encompass the interests of a seemingly disparate group of
researchers. As program officer I will strive to continue this
tradition of truly interdisciplinary investigation. We are a young
division, yet this spirit of learning from all disciplines has made
us a very popular division. Moreover, given our historical strength
in supporting students I will continue my commitment to increasing
student participation. I am especially interested in broadening
participation from underrepresented groups.
Position: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, San Diego
State University, San Diego, CA
Boston University, Boston, MA. B.A. in Biology Summa Cum Laude with
Distinction, 1988. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.
PhD in Developmental Biology, 1994
Experience: 2007-Present: Associate Professor, Department of
Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.; 2008: Visiting
Scientist, Kewalo Marine Laboratory, University of Hawaii;
2006-Present: Visiting Associate in Biology, California Institute of
Technology, Pasadena, CA.; 2005-Present: co-Faculty Director SDSU
Microchemical Core Facility, San Diego, CA.; 2001-2007: Assistant
Professor, Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San
Diego, CA.; 1998-Present: Faculty, Embryology Course, Marine
Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.; 1995-2000: Postdoctoral
research, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA.; SDSU faculty member in the
following cross-disciplinary programs: Coastal and Marine Institute
(2001-Present); Center for Applied and Experimental Genomics
(2003-Present); Computational Science Research Center (2005-Present).
Activities: Session Moderator, Evo Devo and Morphogenesis, 2007.
Memberships: Society for Developmental Biology, American
Association for the Advancement of Science.
Interests: My research interests focus on the evolution of
developmentally important gene regulatory networks. In particular,
my laboratory is interested in understanding how novel vertebrate
cell types, such as neural crest cells and hair cells, evolved from
an invertebrate ancestor lacking such cell types. We are currently
studying relevant gene regulatory networks operating in early
ascidian embryos to discover how pre-existing regulatory machinery
was co-opted during chordate evolution. Our laboratory uses a
combination of classical embryological approaches and molecular/cell
biology to address these questions. Our laboratory is also
developing novel tools (e.g. genome manipulation, transgenic embryo
production) and approaches (e.g. functional genomics) to facilitate
our research goals.
of Goals: The DEDB division provides an excellent forum for
evolutionary developmental biologists to come together to exchange
ideas. As DEDB program officer, I would continue the work of
previous program officers in developing ideas for symposia and
meeting sessions and obtaining funding to support these and other
programs. I would work with the program officers of other divisions
to improve interactions between the DEDB and other divisions. I
would strive to have greater student participation in our activities
and develop additional opportunities and competitions for students.
Because research funding for evo-devo is greatly strained (and has
been limiting for a number of years), I would work with others to
develop a strategy to lobby, on behalf of SICB, for increased
national support of our educational and research endeavors.
for changes in the bylaws of DEDB
proposed changes will appear on the spring ballot. Additions appear
in bold underline, deletions are indicated by a
member of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology who so
desires may become a member without payment of additional dues.
Notice in writing to the Secretary of the Division of Evolutionary
Developmental Biology shall be the only formality required.
Membership in the Division is open to all classes of members of
the SICB. It is acquired by registration with the SICB business
Article IV does not reflect current practice on how to acquire
divisional membership. We propose to change article IV to reflect
Officers of the Division shall be a Chair, a Past Chair, a
Chair-Elect, a Program Officer, a Program Officer-Elect a Secretary
and a Secretary elect. All Officers except the Chair, Past Chair,
Program Officer and secretary shall be elected by majority vote of
all those members responding to a secure electronic
ballot submitted to the entire membership of the division, as
required by the bylaws of the Society, at least sixty days before the
expiration of the current officers' terms. A brief biography of
each candidate shall be made available on the ballot. Election ties
will be handled according to the guidelines set in the SICB
Constitution. The post of Chair
will be filled automatically every two years by elevation of the
previous year's Chair-Elect. In addition, the office of Past Chair
shall be occupied by the individual whose term of office as Chair has
most recently ended. The post of Program Officer shall be filled
automatically by the elevation of the Program Officer-Elect, who will
be elected one year prior to the expiration of the Program Officer's
term. The post of Program Officer-Elect shall be limited to one year,
the year prior to his/her elevation to the office of Program Officer.
The post of Secretary shall be filled automatically by the elevation
of the Secretary-Elect, who will be elected one year prior to the
expiration of the Secretary's term. The post of Secretary-Elect shall
be limited to one year, the year prior to his/her elevation to the
office of Secretary.
The terms of all officers shall be
filled on the basis of the calendar year, beginning January 1.
The term of office of all elected officers and
appointed representatives shall begin at the end of the second SICB
Executive Committee meeting at the Annual Meeting in the year the
term is to begin and will end at the adjournment of the second SICB
Executive Committee meeting at the Annual Meeting in the year the
term is to expire. Graduate and postdoctoral representatives
are appointed by the Chair.
Article V does not specify the type of ballot used for officer
elections, does not specify that candidate biographies will be
included with the ballot, and does not specify resolution in the
event of an election ending in a tie. Furthermore, Article V
specifies DEDB officer terms associated with the calendar year, not
with the conclusion of the Annual Meeting as specified in the SICB
Constitution, Article II. Section 3. We, propose a change to Article
V to reflect current practice and to match the terms of the SICB
New Article Va. Vacancies in Office
the circumstance where an elected officer is unable to complete his
or her term of office, the following provisions are made: If the
office of Secretary or Program Officer is vacated early, the Chair,
in consultation with the Divisional Executive Committee, will appoint
someone to serve until elections can be held to fill the position.
If the office of Chair is vacant, the Divisional Executive Committee,
in consultation with the SICB President, will appoint someone to be
the interim Chair until an election is held.
Article V does not specify how an unexpectedly vacated office would
be filled. The SICB constitution, Article VI, Section III requires
that each division set such a guideline. In accordance with the
wording of other divisions and under the suggestion of the SICB-wide
Secretary we propose a new article Va - Vacancies in Office.