HomeVolume Fall 2008

Division of Ecology & Evolution (DEE): 2008 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Officers

George Bakken (Chair), Michelle Nishiguchi (Chair Elect), Mike O'Connor (Program Officer) and Michael Finkler (Secretary)

Greetings from the DEE officers. We are looking forward to returning to Boston for January's meeting where DEE will be cosponsoring four symposia:

1. The Biology of the Parasitic Crustacean

2. Genomics and Vertebrate Adaptive Radiation: A Celebration of the First Cichlid Genome

3. Cell-Cell Signaling Drives the Evolution of Complex Traits

4. PharmEcology: A pharmacological approach to understanding plant-herbivore interactions

The DEE webpage is still featuring the research of its division members (see http://www.sicb.org/divisions/dee.php3). If you would like to contribute material to the site, please submit text files as either Word or text documents, images as either .tif, .jpg, .png, or .gif, and movies as .avi or .mpeg, to Michael Finkler (mfinkler@iuk.edu).

Judges Needed

We will soon be soliciting volunteers to serve as judges for the DEE best student presentation competitions. Last year 48 students participated in the paper and poster competitions. Thanks to the assistance of 21 volunteers, we were able to minimize the number of presentations each judge had to evaluate. We hope that the DEE membership will continue this high level of participation in an invaluable experience for our students. Please contact Michael Finkler (mfinkler@iuk.edu) if interested.

Business Meeting

We encourage all DEE members who come to Boston to attend the divisional business meeting on Tuesday, January 6. Attendance at this important session has been low in recent years given the large membership in the division. We would appreciate your input on how we might make the division more supportive of your interests.

New Officers

We congratulate Art Woods of the University of Montana, who the membership selected as our new Chair-Elect (term begins at the end of the Boston meeting), and Mike Sears of Southern Illinois University, who has been elected as our new program officer (term begins at the end of the Boston meeting). The division will be well served through their leadership. We are also pleased to announce that Sarah Berke of the Smithsonian SERC has graciously agreed to serve and was appointed by the President as our representative to the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee.

Also at the end of the Boston meeting, George Bakken will become Past Chair and Michele Nishiguchi will become Chair. Mike Finkler continues to serve as Secretary.

As we noted in the spring newsletter, our bylaws need to be revised to bring them into line with the Society generally and with some proposed changes regarding officer terms and the creation of two new positions (secretary-elect and program officer-elect). The proposed bylaws revisions are shown below. These proposed changes will be discussed at the DEE business meeting in Boston and placed on a ballot in the spring 2009.

Sad News

Finally, we are saddened to announce the loss of our immediate past program officer Jennifer Elwood, who passed away on 3 September 2008 due to complications from breast cancer. Jennifer received her Bachelors Degree from Lehigh University, her Masters Degree from Old Dominion University, and her Doctorate from Drexel University. She was most recently an Assistant Professor of Biology at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland. Her research interests were in vertebrate evolution, functional morphology and physiological ecology with particular emphasis on salamanders. She was an accomplished laboratory and field biologist, a gifted teacher, and a member of several professional societies. We express our deepest sympathy to Jennifer's family, friends, and colleagues.

DEE Bylaws Revisions

The proposed changes are shown below.

Additions are shown in bold underline.

Deletions are indicated with a strikethrough.

Questions or comments about these changes can be addressed at the DEE business meeting in Boston. The proposed changes will appear again in the spring newsletter and voting will occur later in the spring.

(As amended May 30, 1980; January 1, 1985; May 20, 1986; September, 1990; December 1995; January 2000; January 2008)

Article I. Name and Purpose

Section 1. Article I. Name

The official name of this division shall be "The Division of Ecology and Evolution."

Section 2. Article II. Purpose

The purpose of this Division shall be to advance, coordinate, and assist research and publication of knowledge regarding the ecological and evolutionary relations of organisms, and to act as a liaison agency between investigators in the several scientific disciplines involved.

Section 3. Article III. Organization

The Division of Ecology and Evolution shall be a subdivision of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology and shall be governed in all its operations by the Constitution and Bylaws of that Society.

Article IV. Membership

Section 1.

Membership in the Division is open to all classes of members of the SICB. It is acquired by registration with the SICB business office, e.g., via the SICB web site or when the member pays dues.

Any member of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology may become a member of the Division of Ecology and Evolution by notifying either the Division Secretary or the Society Secretary of his/her intent. No additional dues payment shall be required.

Article V III. Administrative Organization

Section 1. Officers

A. The officers of the Division shall be Chair, Past Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, Secretary-Elect, Program Officer, and Program Officer-Elect. These six offices shall constitute the Divisional Executive Committee and shall be responsible for the affairs of the Division. The term of office of all elected officers 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.

B. The term of office for the Chair, Chair-Elect, Program Officer, and Secretary shall be two (2) years. The term of office for the Secretary-Elect and Program Officer-Elect shall be one (1) year.

C. In 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 Divisional 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.

Section 2. Elections

A. All Officers except the Chair, Past Chair, Program Officer and secretary shall be elected by majority vote of all those members responding to a 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.

B. Elections for Chair-elect and Secretary elect shall be held alternate years. Elections for the secretary-elect, and program officer-elect will be held such that their term of office begins 1 year prior to the end of the term of office for the chair, secretary, and program officer. Balloting for a new Chair-Elect will be conducted in the second year of office of the incumbent Chair and Chair-Elect.

C. The Past Chair, Chair, Program Officer, and Secretary, upon the completion of the second year in office, shall automatically be succeeded by the Chair, Chair-Elect, Program Officer-elect, and Secretary-elect, respectively.

D. Election of officers shall be by e-mail and paper mail ballots. The Secretary shall make e-mail ballots available during the fall election on the SICB webpage and mail paper ballots to those members who request paper ballots. A brief biography of each candidate shall accompany the paper ballots and be available on the SICB webpage. Elections of officers shall be held by both paper and appropriately secure electronic ballots. A brief biography of each candidate shall be made available on the ballot. The Secretary shall count, tabulate, record the votes received by 1 December and notify the candidates for office of the results. In the event that a vote results in a tie, the members of the Divisional Executive Committee shall vote to resolve the tie. In the event of a tie vote by the officers of the division, the division chair shall cast the deciding vote.

The Chair-Elect shall be elected biennially and shall then automatically become Chair for the two years following his/her tenure as Chair-Elect. The Secretary and Program Officer shall be elected triennially and hold office for three years, but not to commence in the same year; neither shall be eligible for reelection.

Section 3. Procedures for Nominations

The Nominating Committee shall consist of three members of the Divisional Executive Committee and one member-at-large. three persons. (1) Chair-Elect, (2) the most recent Past Chair, or if she/he is not available, the next most recent Past-Chair, and (3) an appointee of the Chair. Two candidates shall be presented for each office. The Nominating Committee must certify to the Secretary that each candidate has declared a willingness to run for office, and to serve if elected. The candidates shall be announced in the Spring Newsletter of the Division. Additional nominations for any office may be made in writing to the Secretary by ten members of the Division prior to 1 August.

Section 42. Divisional Executive Committee

In intervals between meetings, Management of the Division is vested in the Divisional Executive Committee consisting of the officers of the Division, student and postdoctoral members excluded.

Section 56. Committees

Committees will be formed as needs arise. Members will be appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Divisional Executive Committee. Standing committees on Education, Membership and Policy shall consist of three members, each appointed for three-year terms, one new member being appointed to each committee annually by the Chair in consultation with the Executive Committee. The joint NSF Study and Advisory Committee, a standing committee, shall consist of two members of the Division appointed by the Chair to serve four-year staggered terms, plus two members from each of those other academic societies in ecology and evolutionary biology which elect to participate. Special committees, authorized by the Executive Committee, shall be appointed by the Chair for one year. The need for each special committee will be reviewed annually by the Executive Committee. Committee reports shall be presented at the annual meeting and printed (in full or in abstract) in the Newsletter.

Section 67. Finances

The necessary expenses of the Division shall be paid from the treasury of the Society, but in no year shall the total expenses of the Division exceed the amount allocated for this purpose in the annual budget of the Society. No officer or member of the Division shall have authority to incur any expenses in the name of the Society, except as above specified.

Article I VI. Duties of the Officers

Section 1. Chair

The Chair shall preside at the business meetings of the Division, shall be responsible for the programs and meetings of the Division, and shall promote in every way practical the interests of the Division. The Chair shall represent the Division on the Executive Committee Council of the Society.

Section 2. Chair-Elect

The Chair-Elect shall assume the duties of the Chair whenever that person is temporarily unable to act.

Section 3. Secretary

The Secretary shall keep the records of the section, prepare the newsletters, and perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned for secretarial attention. Normally, a minimum of two Newsletters shall be distributed each year to inform the members of Division activities.

Section 4. Secretary-Elect

The Secretary-elect shall assume the duties of the Secretary whenever that person is temporarily unable to act.

Section 54. Program Officer

The Program Officer shall arrange programs for meetings of the Division and shall coordinate special programs with Program Officers of the parent and related societies. The Past Program Officer shall serve one year as a member of the Divisional Executive Committee of the Division.

Section 6. Program Officer-Elect

The Program Officer-Elect shall assume the duties of the Program Officer whenever that person is temporarily unable to act.

Section 7. All Officers

All officers are expected to notify the Chair when they are temporarily unable to carry out their duties or are unable to complete their term. In the event the Chair is temporarily unable to carry out the duties of the office or is unable to complete the term of office, the Secretary should be notified.

Article VII. Meetings of the Section

Section 1. Business Meeting

The business meeting of the Division shall be held at least once a year, ordinarily concurrent with the regular annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. If a concurrent meeting is not feasible, then the Divisional Executive Committee of the Division shall decide when and where the annual business meeting will be held.

Section 2. Special Meetings

Divisional meetings may be held at other times and places on call of the Chair or when requested by ten (10) members of the Division. Notice shall be sent to each member of the Division sixty (60) days in advance of any meeting.

Article VIII. Quorum

Fifteen members shall constitute a quorum of the Division and three a quorum of the Executive Committee.

Article VII IX. Amendments to the Bylaws

Proposed amendments to the Bylaws may be originated by the Divisional Executive Committee or by the members of the Division. Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds vote of those responding by e-mail or mail ballot provided that notice has been given to all members at least sixty (60) days in advance.

Article VIII X. Best Student Paper Awards

A certificate and monetary prize will be awarded for a) the Best Contributed Paper, and b) the Best Poster presented by a student at the annual meeting. Students who have not yet taken the Ph.D. degree, as well as new Ph.D's who have received the degree not more than 12 months prior to the meeting, are eligible to compete for the awards. The work presented must be original and must be carried out principally by the student presenting the paper or poster. Students submitting abstracts of work to be presented at the Annual Meeting may apply to compete for the awards. A student who applies must be a member of the Division of Ecology and Evolution, and a prize can be awarded only once to any student. If, in the opinion of the judges, none of the papers or posters presented is deserving of an award, the awards may not be presented that year. In the case of a tie, duplicate awards may be presented. The Chair of the Division will appoint an awards committee who will act as judges. All papers identified as competing for the prize must be attended by at least two judges, and preferably by three judges. No member who has a student competing for a prize shall be eligible to vote or comment on their student.

Criteria for judging papers and posters are modeled after those used in the judging for the 1989 best student paper competition. Each judge receives, in advance, an evaluation form which has the name of the student, the paper or poster number, and a copy of the abstract. The form is provided to aid the judge in evaluating the paper or poster for content and presentation. The content and presentation of the paper or poster will be judged upon:

Content (60%)

1. Originality of the research

2. Efficacy of approach and methods used

3. Freedom from statistical or analytical flaws

4. Logical connection between conclusions and data

5. Importance of research

Presentation (40%)

1. Clarity of the objectives

2. How well the presenter helped the audience follow the various parts of the presentation and recognize the parts as integrating into a whole

3. How well the presenter integrated the presentation into the fabric of science represented by the work and showed the importance of the contribution to the field

4. Ability of the presenter to answer questions

5. Quality of graphics

6. Lack of annoying distractions from the research presented

The results of the judging shall be tabulated by the Secretary, and a copy of the results given to at least one other member of the Divisional Executive Committee before leaving the meeting.

Link to officer list on DEE page