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DCPB: 1998 Spring Newsleter

This Newsletter by Section

Message from the Chair

Timothy J. Bradley

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the 1998 SICB Annual Meeting in Boston. Overall, attendance at this year’s meeting was up sharply from previous years, reflecting, I think, an increased interest in our field, the society and integrative approaches in biology.

My thanks go out to the organizers of symposia at the meeting: Don Mykles and Linda Mantel; Tim Bradley and William Zamer; and Brian McMahon and Charlotte Mangum.

There were a large number of excellent papers competing for the DCPB Best Student Paper awards. The judging committee awarded three papers the honor of Best Student Paper. These were awarded to:

  • Anna Ahn of the University of California, Berkeley for her paper entitled "A Motor and a Brake — Similar EMGs in Two Adjacent Leg Extensor Muscles Result in Completely Different Ways."
  • Christy Carello of the University of Colorado, Boulder for "The Effect of Speed and Grade on the Kinematics and Energetics of Terrestrial Locomotion in Mountain Quail (Oreortyx pictus)."
  • Brian Bettencourt of the University of Chicago for his paper "Laboratory Evolution of Hsp70 Expression in Drosophila Melanogaster: Functional Consequences and Molecular Bases."

The Best Student Poster Award was awarded to Colleen Farmer of the University of California, Irvine for her poster entitled "Intracardiac Shunting and Oxygenation of the Heart."

A major topic at the divisional business meeting was the large number of national and international meetings upcoming in the next few years. This is an excellent time to bring forward ideas for new symposia. SICB will hold its meetings in Denver, Atlanta and Chicago in the next three years. International meetings will be held in Calgary and Cambridge UK. Please contact our program officer, Neal Smatresk, with your suggestions for future symposia.

Finally, it is with great sadness that we received word of the death of Charlotte Mangum. Charlotte has done so much through the years for the division and the society. We will miss her greatly. Her influence lives on through her many contributions to the field, to colleagues and to the students she has guided and influenced.

Message from the Program Officer

Neal Smatresk

The 1998 SICB Annual Meeting in Boston was a great success, and DCPB attendance was wonderful. Aside from a few minor scheduling problems, the contributed sessions and posters ran well. We also had a huge number of student award presentations.

The symposium schedule is more or less set for the Denver meeting, with symposia on "Animal Consciousness: Historical, Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives," on Thursday, Jan. 7, "Organismal, Ecological and Evolutionary Significance of Heat Shock Proteins and the Heat Shock Response," on Friday, Jan. 8, and "Endocrine Disrupting Contaminants: From Gene to Ecosystems," on Sunday, Jan. 10. We would still like to encourage workshops. The central programming committee has suggested the day before the symposia start would be a perfect time to run them.

With the Denver meeting set, our attention has moved to the Atlanta 2000 meeting, which we hope will be a major chance for us to showcase DCPB. We would like to get one-page proposals in the next month from those of you with good symposium ideas. After approval by the DCPB officers, full proposals will be prepared and sent forward to SICB. I have current guidelines for proposals if you are interested. We would like to have three or four major symposia for the Atlanta meeting, possibly with one of them as a society-wide symposium.

We also need symposium proposals for the Cambridge Biology 2000 alphabet soup (SEB, SICB, ANZCPB, CSZ) meeting scheduled July 30-Aug. 3, 2000. Some of the ideas we have kicked around so far include life on the edge; organisms in extreme environments; cold tolerance; the biology of exploited species; new techniques in physiological data analysis (a workshop); comparative cardio-respiratory coupling; oxygen chemoreceptors in diverse tissues; the energetics of intermittent locomotion; and the energetics of growth.

We also continue to look for a "BIG QUESTIONS" symposium. Ideas surfacing for big questions at the meetings included a review of transport mechanisms, and "putting molecules back into organisms." If you want ownership in one of these ideas (and some have already called me about them) or have another symposium idea, e-mail me at Let’s talk about it!

There are a few other odds and ends which came up at the program officers meetings I would like to pass along. First, to keep abstract submission costs down, it is critical that we use electronic submission. It is likely that you will pay a premium next year if you want to submit your abstract the old-fashioned way. Also, remember when developing your symposium ideas to keep in mind that you must apply for funding to get back half your registration, and that the American Zoologist has the "right of first refusal" on all proposals.

Message from the Secretary

Nancy Sanders

As I was finishing my thoughts for this column, I received the sad news of Charlotte Mangum’s death. Charlotte had a tremendous influence on my development as a scientist (and on the development of so many others). She will be greatly missed! The final comments in my secretary’s report are a summary of the past year’s business for Physiological Zoology, based on the report forwarded to me by Charlotte.

It was a pleasure to see so many of you at the SICB Annual Meeting in Boston! Special thanks to outgoing DCPB secretary, Karen Martin, for her years of service, and for taking notes for me at our business meeting while I was back at Truman for our first day of classes. As always, I left the meeting with exciting new ideas and information.

Rather than duplicate information, let me steer you to the report of our program officer, Neal Smatresk, for information on symposia planned for next year’s meeting in Denver, and for the 2000 meeting in Atlanta. We have many interesting symposia to choose from. Speaking of symposia, don’t miss Nora Terwilliger’s report on the upcoming international conferences. Calgary is coming up sooner than you think!

Some other business: Michael Greenberg gave a pitch for fundraising (and fund-raisers) for the Grants-in-Aid of Research program. He encouraged all members to participate when asked. Our student representative, Wyatt Hoback, has some perspectives on this as well (see his article).

This year’s Bartholomew Award went to Dr. Gretchen E. Hofmann. I am told she gave a great presentation. Congratulations Gretchen! Thanks to the Bartholomew Award Committee: Robert Roer, Barbara Block and Ross Ellington.

On a separate note, I would like to make our membership aware of a name change for another society. The Association of College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE), formerly the Association of Midwestern College Biology Teachers (AMCBT), is the only national society dedicated solely to issues of college and university level biology education. The annual meeting is generally held in October at one of the member universities. Membership in this society also includes a subscription to the quarterly pedagogical journal Bioscene: The Journal of College Biology Teaching. You can visit the web page for details at: http// (soon to be changed), or contact the executive secretary, Marc Roy, at Annual dues are a mere $25 ($15 for students). This is a great complement to the research-oriented societies you may hold membership in. Furthermore, the annual meeting is fun, informative and quite affordable — registration is generally in the range of $55-75, including some meals. Check out the web site!

Finally, I will report on the highlights of Physiological Zoology from July 1996 - June 1997, summarized from Charlotte’s notes. During this time, 82 manuscripts were published (79 as primary research reports), an increase of 17 percent over the previous year. A total of 144 manuscripts were submitted, an increase of 29 percent over the previous year. There was a substantial increase in papers submitted by first-time authors affiliated with institutions outside the United States. The time between acceptance and publication is now down to five months; this is one of many reasons to encourage SICB members to submit manuscripts to PZ.

The format of the journal was changed from a full page to two columns. Also, as of January 1999, the journal will assume its new name, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. The editors emphasize that the change is nominal and long overdue; thus there will not be a change in scope. The membership is urged to continue submissions in ecological and organismic physiology. The editors believe that the name change will only reflect what has been the reality for quite a while.

The editorial office was moved to Colorado early in 1998. Greg Snyder is now the editor, and Todd Gleeson and Steve Hand are associate editors. The table of contents of PZ can now be viewed on the Internet ( or via links from the SICB site or the editor’s site. Again, SICB members are invited to submit articles to our own journal, PZ. The full address for submissions and information is: Physiological Zoology Editorial Office, Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology, Ramaley RM N122, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0334 U.S.A.; 303/735-0297; Fax 303/735-1811; e-mail:

Thanks for reading!

Advanced Biology Training Course in Antarctica

The National Science Foundation sponsored course, "Integrative Biology and Adaptation of Antarctic Marine Organisms," will be held in Antarctica at the United States’ McMurdo Station for one month, starting January 1999. A diverse teaching faculty will offer students the possibility of working on a wide range of Antarctic organisms, as well as working at different levels of analysis.

Applications are invited from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other research scientists. Full scholarships are available. To obtain an application form, contact: Director, Science Support, Attn. McMurdo Biology Course, Antarctic Support Associates, 61 Inverness Drive East, Suite 300, Englewood, CO 80112, USA; 303-790-8606; Application deadline is June 15, 1998.

IUBS and IUPS Report

Nora Terwilliger, DCPB Representative to the IUBS and IUPS

International Union of Physiological Scientists (IUPS)
The United States National Committee (USNC) for the IUPS met in Houston in January. A major item on the agenda was a review of the IUPS Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia. A Congress budget shortfall has prevented the local organizers from reimbursing invited speakers and symposia organizers. Although the Russian Academy of Sciences, the official host of the Congress, guaranteed credits, they unfortunately do not have enough funding. The USNC and other members of IUPS are searching for an equitable way to maintain the reputation of IUPS and cover the outstanding expenses.

The next IUPS Congress will be in New Zealand in 2001, and the United States will host the IUPS Congress in 2005 in Washington D.C. There was some discussion in Houston about physiology becoming more comparative and integrative. Although the IUPS meetings seem to be a long way off in the future, now is the time for DCPB members to think about potential topics for sessions and symposia that are truly comparative.

International Union of Biological Scientists (IUBS)
The IUBS, like IUPS, is a scientific union for which there is a U.S. National Committee at the National Research Council in Washington, D.C. It’s the Section of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry of the IUBS which puts on those truly comparative congresses, such as the ones in Liege, Baton Rouge, Tokyo, Birmingham United Kingdom, and next summer, 1999, in Calgary. The final program of the Calgary congress, under the leadership of B. Milsom, chair, and B. McMahon and J. Wilkens, co-chairs of the local organizing committee, is being crafted and should be available soon.

The themes for the 5th International Congress will be biochemical control, cell and molecular control, endocrinology and development, physiology and regulatory control, and neurosciences. A preview of the symposia and workshop titles promises a truly interesting Congress, all within a few hours drive of spectacular mountains to the west, flatlands and buffalo jumps and dinosaurs to the east, and the comfortable setting of the University of Calgary campus. So think ahead to Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry in Calgary, August 1999.

Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Report

Wyatt Hoback, DCPB Representative to the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee

Fortunately my plane for Nebraska got out of Boston just before the arrival of the big snow and ice storm. Although, in retrospect, perhaps being stranded in a city with good food, great accommodations, and fabulous art museums wouldn’t have been all bad. At least, I got to come home to a share of the college football National Championship (sorry Michigan alumni), and the good life of blowing snow and sub-zero weather.

I met many of you at this meeting and dutifully reported your suggestions to the appropriate committees. In a continuing effort to address your compliments and complaints, I’d like to use the space in this article in the hopes that next year’s meeting in Denver will be even better.

So, fellow members, would you like the good news or the bad news first? Long ago, in a junior high school class on writing for newspapers, I learned that most people only read the title and maybe the first paragraph or two. Thus, I’ll start with the good in the hopes that I will pique interest in the things which could be improved. One of the highlights of the meeting was the late-breaking symposium by Stephen J. Gould and Lynn Margulis. Both are wonderful speakers. From them, I learned about the time scale of punctuated equilibrium and the symbiont hypothesis of speciation. In addition, the symposia, talks and posters were of high quality and it was pleasant to have all sessions in the same area. At last year’s meeting, it seemed like a half mile of hallways between rooms.

The attendance at the student/postdoctoral workshops increased substantially this year for perhaps three reasons. First, the workshops were better advertised with the suggestion of knowledge leading to jobs. Second, the workshops were scheduled just prior to the student mixer and didn’t conflict with other events. And third, there was better word-of-mouth advertising this time.

Within our section, the Bartholomew Award presentation by Gretchen Hofmann was excellent. The graduate students and postdoctorals were very pleased by Brian Tsukimura’s successful efforts in making the graduate luncheon and the graduate social a great time. We all appreciated the food and beverages!

In addition, on behalf of many, many students and postdoctorals, I would personally like to thank the society for its support of student attendance by paying for housing of students who volunteer a few hours.

And now, for the dislikes. First of all, the costs of beverages and the scarcity of food by the time the Gould/Margulis lecture ended made the opening reception a disappointment to many. Missing in this year’s program were the traditional few blank pages in the back for taking notes. This left many scrambling for hotel stationary, and others filling the limited margins with synopses and abbreviations which will surely not be interpretable in a few weeks (like mine are already).

On the subject of papers and posters, the judging of the student competition was not clear and students generally felt that their participation in the competition was neither appreciated nor supported. To improve these perceptions, there are three suggestions. First, guidelines and sample judges sheets could be sent to all students in the competition. This could improve the quality of the competitors presentations. Second, prizes should be given in both oral and poster categories. These two media differ greatly and should not be judged against each other. Third, somehow scheduling the student competition into the first few days and then presenting awards at the division meeting would both encourage greater student participation and acknowledge the extra effort put forth by those in competition. Within SICB as a whole, I am impressed by the Division of Animal Behavior in awarding first place in both categories plus runners-up. I personally believe that more awards will generate more competitors and better quality presentations in the future. Once more students enroll in the competition, subdividing the categories into masters and Ph.D. levels may also increase participation.

One other complaint that should be addressed prior to next meeting is the electronic abstract submission which would benefit from having a preview option. In addition, the posting of the program and all abstracts on the World Wide Web might increase awareness of the current research and hot symposium topics at the Annual Meetings.

Now, here is some gentle prodding. It would be useful for the society to place ribbons on the graduate student representatives name badge, as is done for other representatives. This would help people recognize their representatives and facilitate a more open exchange of opinions and ideas.

Finally, as a reward to the students and postdoctorals who have made it to the end of this column, I offer you an opportunity. I’ve finished a year of service as student representative and at next meeting, I will look to pass the handbook, and trappings of this post on to another interested party. If you plan on attending the next three meetings, and you have the desire to make a difference, please e-mail me.

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
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