HomeVolume Fall 2008

Division of Invertebrate Zoology (DIZ): 2008 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Janice Voltzow

Dear Invertebrate Zoologists, Have you ever been to any of these places?

Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory (University of the West Indies, Jamaica), Duke University Marine Laboratory (Beaufort, North Carolina), Friday Harbor Laboratories (University of Washington), Forfar Field Station (Andros Island, Bahamas), The Whitney Laboratory (University of Florida), Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce (Florida), Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (Florida), Los Roques (Venezuela), Harvard Forest (Petersham, Massachusetts), Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, Massachusetts), La Parguera (University of Puerto Rico), El Verde Field Station (University of Puerto Rico), Kewalo Marine Laboratory (University of Hawaii), Heron Island Research Station (The University of Queensland, Australia), One Tree Island Research Station (University of Sydney, Australia), Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

Chances are, if you're like me, you had your first real sense of the excitement of invertebrate zoology through an early experience at a field station. I have had the good fortune to have visited all of the above, and hope that my list continues to grow. If you have had a similarly rich experience at field stations, please consider donating to this year's auction to benefit the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship fund. This scholarship provides support for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students to have their first meaningful experience at a field station. We're hoping for an eclectic mix of books, art, memorabilia, and other treasures to tempt you. But we need your help in two ways. First, please think of what you have that you might donate: a vintage FHL tee-shirt, your first dissecting kit, your own creative product, or anything else you think might bring in bids. You can bring your treasures with you to Boston or send them to me, whichever is easier. Second, please be sure to come to the auction with an open mind and an open wallet. Each year the selection committee, currently chaired by Bruno Pernet, receives an increasing number of competitive applications. Your donations will make it possible for more students to have that first field experience that can be so important to their careers. I look forward to seeing you in Boston and encourage you to give generously!

I would like to congratulate this year's winner of the Libbie Hyman Scholarship, Dennis Evangelista of the University of California at Berkeley. Dennis used his award to study invertebrates and biomechanics this past summer at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories. Helping Bruno on this committee were Will Jaeckle and John Zardus. I greatly appreciate all their work.

This meeting marks the end of my term as chair of DIZ. I thank the other officers who have worked with me during my tenure, Tom Wolcott, Bob Thacker, Amy Moran, Renae Brodie, and Jim McClintock. I am especially grateful to Dianna Padilla, who will take over the reins of DIZ at the end of the Boston meeting.

I look forward to seeing you in Boston!


Biomechanics class posing on the dome, designed by Steve Vogel and built as a class project, summer 1981

Pear Tree Bottom, Jamaica, summer 1979

Message from the Program Officer

James McClintock

Dear DIZ members,

The SICB program committee convened in Boston at the end of September to tour the Boston conference venue and plan the 2010 meetings in Seattle. Based on the outcome of this meeting, I am pleased to inform you that we can all look forward to another great meeting in Boston in January 2009, as well as in Seattle in 2010. There were an all time record number of abstracts submitted for the Boston meeting, with a final count of approximately 1400, up from about 1000 last year! This continues our recent string of large and well-attended meetings. DIZ is co-sponsoring two symposia: (1) "The Biology of the Parasitic Crustacea" organized by Jeffrey Shields and Christopher Boyko; sponsored by The Crustacean Society, DEE, DIZ, DSEB and AMS, and (2) "Cell-Cell Signaling Drives the Evolution of Complex Traits" organized by John Torday, sponsored by DCE, DEDB, and DIZ. Both of these symposia, along with all the others that will be held in Boston, have their own web pages you can access via the SICB meeting page.

The Boston meetings will take place at the impressive Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, which is easily accessible from the airport and with walking distance of a number of restaurants. DIZ will again be joining several other divisions for an evening social on Monday night at the Westin Waterfront Hotel. Don't miss the Opening Plenary Address by veteran science correspondent and award-winning TV journalist Ira Flatow who is the host of Science Friday.

Immediately following our social, please plan to take part in yet another exciting Invertebrate Auction that is currently being organized by our DIZ Chair, Janice Voltzow, with the assistance of our former Program Officer, Amy Moran. If you have something you would like to provide for the auction, please contact Janice at voltzowj2@scranton.edu. I encourage you to participate, as this has been a wonderful way to raise needed funds for our Libbie H. Hyman fund that "provides assistance to students to take courses or to carry on research on invertebrates at marine, freshwater, or terrestrial field stations."

The 2010 meeting will be held in Seattle and DIZ will be involved in sponsoring both of the society-wide symposia including "Advances in Antarctic Marine Biology" organized by James McClintock, Amy Moran, Charles Amsler, Bill Baker and Art Woods; and "Animal Regeneration: Integrating Development, Ecology, and Evolution" organized by Alexa Bely and Sarah Lindsay. DIZ will also be sponsoring an additional three symposia including "Marine Ecosystem Engineers in a Changing World: Establishing Links Across Systems" organized by Sarah Berke and Linda Walters; "Assembling the Cnidarian Tree of Life" organized by Paulyn Cartwright and Mary-Megan Daly; and, "Evolutionary Paths among Developmental Possibilities: A Symposium Marking the Contributions and Influence of Richard Strathmann" organized by Michael Hart and Bob Podolsky. Congratulations to these organizers on both their timely topics and their superb proposals! Good job!

Janice Voltzow is ending her term as Chair of DIZ at the 2009 Boston meetings and Dianna Padilla will be moving into the Chair position. It has been a great pleasure working with Janice, and I know I speak enthusiastically on behalf on our entire division in thanking her for her outstanding efforts over the past three years!

I have enjoyed my first year as Program Officer for DIZ very much, and I would like to thank Amy Moran, our past DIZ program officer, for her friendship, guidance, and for filling in for me at this year's Program Committee meeting (I had covered her last year when she was deployed to Antarctica). It's never too early to think ahead about symposia for 2011- proposals will be due in August 2009; so please contact me well in advance with your ideas.

I am very much looking forward to seeing you and our other 1,399 fellow participants anticipated to attend the Boston meetings this January!

Message from the Secretary

Renae Brodie

Dear DIZ Members,

I hope that many of you will be able to make it to the meeting this year in Boston, where we will have our second invertebrate auction. Personally, I am hoping to add to my mounted crab collection.

I would like to thank everyone who voted for DIZ chair and welcome Dianna Padilla, who will be taking over for Janice Voltzow at the end of the 2009 meeting. I want to thank Janice for her able leadership and good cheer during her term as chair. Speaking of elections... Please read through the proposed changes to our division bylaws at the end of this newsletter, which clarify language and reflect advances in technology. We no longer vote by mail, for example, and new members join DIZ using an online form. These changes are part of a wider effort led by the Society-wide Secretary, Lou Burnett, to bring all of the divisional bylaws up to date. If you have any questions or comments about the proposed changes, please bring them up at the DIZ business meeting in Boston. The proposed changes will be reprinted again in the spring newsletter and voting will occur later in the spring.

Finally, if you'd like to post a picture and paragraph describing your research on the Researchers Database, please send them to me at rbrodie@myholyoke.edu.

Message from the Graduate Student - Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Jann Vendetti

Dear graduate students and post-docs,

I hope that you had a productive and enjoyable summer. I spent a sweltering 9 weeks in Japan working with a colleague, traveling to museums, and learning about the research and lifestyles of Japanese faculty and graduate students. I appreciate, now more than ever, the many funding opportunities that we have as American students, through both large funding agencies and from small grants. SICB offers two grants for graduate students, both with deadlines that passed in early November. The GIAR (Grant-in-Aid of Research) funds up to $1,000 of research costs and the FGST (Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel) provides up to $2000 for travel to a distant laboratory, museum, or field site. If you missed the deadline this time, keep them both in mind for next year.

If you are a graduate student near completion you will be happy to hear that SICB's upcoming Boston meeting will feature a student/postdoc workshop with you in mind. Tentatively titled, "How to Find a Postdoc Position & How to Apply for an Academic Job", this panel discussion and Q&A should be informative, interactive, and most of all--useful. If you are a postdoc looking for a job, check out the SICB job announcement site, it just might list just what you are looking for (http://www.sicb.org/jobs.php3).

Welcome back to the Fall semester and good luck to all student DIZ members who are in the process of preparing their talk or poster for Boston's meeting. What a way to usher in the Year of Science 2009 (http://www.yearofscience2009.org/)!

Jann at a temple in Rikuzen-Takata, Japan in Iwate Prefecture

An advertisement for museum recognition/exhibits of the publishing of the Origin. This was a popular flyer in paleontological museums

Message from the Student Awards Committee Chair

Ben Miner

Another meeting is upon us, and we have many students vying for DIZ's Best Student Paper and Poster awards. I encourage all post-graduate members who are attending the meetings in Boston to sign up as judges. This year attendees were given the option to sign up for judging during registration. However, you are still welcome to volunteer as a judge. Judges are asked to referee 4 or fewer presentations. Simply email me (benjamin.miner@wwu.edu).

Unlike past years when I have assigned judges particular talks, this year judges will go online and select the talks they want to judge. When the schedule is complete, I will email your assignments and judging instructions-typically mid December.

I thank past judges for their time and effort, and ask for their continued help. If you have not volunteered as a judge, I strongly encourage you to volunteer. Judges are often in short supply yet necessary to continue to offer student awards. If you have any questions about what is required of a judge, please email me.

See you in January.

Message from the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship Committee Chair

Bruno Pernet

Twelve candidates -- a mix of undergraduates and graduate students, from schools all around the United States -- applied for the 2008 Libbie Hyman Memorial Scholarship, which is intended to support coursework or research on invertebrates at a field station. As I suspect will generally be the case, the committee (Will Jaeckle, John Zardus, and I) found it difficult to select just one of these to receive the scholarship. But after some discussion, we settled on one student who we felt best addressed all the application criteria, and who we felt could really make excellent use of the award. That student was Dennis Evangelista, a second-year graduate student in Mimi Koehl's laboratory at UC Berkeley. Dennis used the award to support his participation in two courses, Biomechanics and Marine Invertebrate Zoology, at Friday Harbor Labs during summer 2008. Look for him in Boston, where he will present results of one of his class projects, on the biomechanics of amphipod jumping. Thanks much to Will and John for their service on the committee, as well as to Ruedi Birenheide for making the web-based application process work efficiently.

We're looking forward to hearing from another group of strong candidates in 2009 -- so please encourage your best students to apply! Applications are due March 6, 2009 and the application form is available at http://sicb.org/grants/hyman/. If you or your students have questions about the application process, please feel free to contact me via email (available at that site).

One of our goals is to increase the number of awards that can be routinely given out to two per year, so we encourage you to contribute to the Scholarship Fund. One undoubtedly entertaining way to do so will be by participating in the 2nd DIZ Auction at the 2009 meeting. Who knows what fabulous invertebrate-themed items you might pick up (me, I'm hoping for more polychaete paraphernalia), or which respected colleague you might crush in a bidding war! Since all auction proceeds will go to the Scholarship Fund, they may eventually help fund field station coursework or research by your very own students. Of course, we also welcome direct contributions made via the SICB website (click on Donate to SICB on the SICB web site or send to:

SICB Business Office
Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship Fund
1313 Dolley Madison Blvd., Suite 402
McLean, VA 22101

Checks should be made payable to SICB and marked as a "Contribution to the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship Fund." All contributions are tax deductible. Thanks for your help!

Proposed Changes to DIZ By-Laws.

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 DIZ business meeting in Boston. The proposed changes will appear again in the spring newsletter and voting will occur later in the spring.

Article III

Any member, Student Member, Emeritus Member or Corresponding Member of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology may become a member of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology by registering with the Secretary of the Division and/or the Executive Director of the Society selecting this divisional affiliation on the online registration form. A member may withdraw from the roll of the Division at any time by notifying the Secretary of the Division and/or the Executive Director of the Society.

Rationale: Membership in the society is already defined in the SICB constitution. This article currently states that the Division Secretary is responsible for adding or removing DIZ members from the rolls. This hasn’t been done for some time and would cause a great deal of extra and unnecessary work.

Article V

The Officers of the Division shall be: Chair, Past Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, Past Secretary, and Program Officer and Past Program Officer. The Chair-Elect shall be elected triennially. The Chair-Elect should attend the annual meeting that follows her/his election. At the end of this annual meeting, the Chair-Elect shall automatically become Chair for three years. He/She shall serve as Past Chair during the succeeding two years. The Secretary and the Program Officer shall be elected triennially and shall hold office for three years. The expiration date of the terms of the Chair, Secretary and the Program Officer shall be arranged so that only one of them need be elected in any one year. The officers shall assume their duties at the end of the second SICB Executive Committee meeting at the next Annual Meeting the next annual meeting following their election.

The above officers, together with the retiring Secretary and retiring Program Officer (if any) shall constitute an Executive Committee and be responsible for the affairs of the Division.

Rationale: We propose to add the Past Secretary and Past Program Officer to the list of officers at the beginning of this article; this change also allows us to make the last paragraph clearer.

Article X

The Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of three members who shall submit to the Secretary on by March 1 a list containing not less than two candidates for each office to be filled. The Nominating Committee must certify to the Secretary that each candidate has declared a willingness to run for office and serve, if elected. The candidates shall be announced in the next Newsletter of the Division. Additional nominations for any office may be made in writing to the Secretary by any ten members of the Division not later than April 1.

Rationale: This small change to Article X would allow the nominating committee to give the Divisional Secretary a list of candidates before March 1.

Article XI

Elections of officers shall be held by mail both paper and appropriately secure electronic ballots. The Secretary shall mail ballots to the membership of the Division in May. A brief biographical sketch for each candidate shall accompany the ballots. The Secretary or SICB Executive Director shall count, tabulate, record the votes received by August 1, and notify the candidates for office of the results of the election. The DIZ Secretary shall make certain that ballots are made available to the entire membership of the Society and allow one month for their return, the due date being stated on the ballot. The Society-wide Secretary shall be responsible for overseeing the counting, tabulation, and recording of the votes and shall notify the candidates of the results of the election. In the event that a vote results in a tie, the members of the DIZ Executive Committee shall vote by mail to resolve the tie.

Rationale: These changes will update our voting procedure to reflect the fact that voting is now done on-line with the option of paper ballots, rather than by mail.

Link to officer list on DIZ page