Message from the Chair
The turnout for this years 1998 SICB Annual Meeting in Boston was phenomenal. DIZ
was right in the middle of it, with a large number of posters and papers. The immense
diversity of topics, levels, and subdisciplines spanned by DIZ is evident in the six
symposia our division co-sponsored:
- "Comparative Embryology of Myogenesis"
- "Coral Reefs and Environmental Change - Adaptation, Acclimation or
- "Evolutionary Relationships of Metazoan Phyla"
- "The Compleat Crustacean Biologist: A Symposium Recognizing the Achievements of
Dorothy M. Skinner"
- "Development and Evolutionary Perspectives on Major Transformations in Body
- "Evolutionary Physiology."
I wish to thank program officer Damhnait McHugh, who not only adeptly arranged the
overall program, but co-organized one of the symposia! Most sessions were well-attended,
and although those left standing might not have been too happy about it at the time,
standing-room only and overflow audiences at some sessions showed the strength of our
Excellence in posters and talks by students is encouraged with an award competition.
The judging of 18 talks and seven posters was ably coordinated this year by Jan Pechenik,
under whose divisional chairmanship the practice of awarding books to prize winners was
established. At the business meeting this year, the ante was raised, so prize winners were
also given a years membership in the American Microscopical Society, which provides
them with the journal Invertebrate Biology. Thus, first prize for the best student
poster and first prize for the best student talk is $100 cash, renewal of SICB membership
(at the graduate student rate), membership in AMS, and $50 in books as well as, of
course, a lovely certificate suitable for framing and an impressive C.V. entry.
Second prize in each category is renewal of SICB membership and membership in AMS. In
case of a tie for first place (as we have had at two successive meetings now), cash and
book prizes are split. Through these awards, we demonstrate the centrality of both
literature and society membership to sound professional development. DIZ is grateful to
John Wiley and Sons and Oxford University Press for donating credit toward the purchase of
books by the winners.
Awarding prizes is one way DIZ seeks to encourage not only student participation in the
SICB Annual Meetings, but student excellence. Another way is to provide feedback to the
competitors. The scoring sheets used by members of the Graduate Student Best Paper/Poster
Awards Committee (blanks of which were printed in the Fall 1996 newsletter) were sent by
Jan Pechenik to each entrant. As was noted by members of the 1996 judging committee, it
seems easier to produce an excellent talk than an excellent poster. Therefore, Jan also
sent to each competitor a copy of Tom Wolcotts articles "Mortal Sins in Poster
Presentations" and "Mortal Sins in Oral Presentations," as well as Chuck
Booths "Observations on Best Student Presentation Awards," all of which
appeared in the SICB Newsletter last year. Thank you, Jan, for the time you
obviously invested in this important activity, and to all who judged. Special thanks are
due to the competitors. Without you, the judges would have had nothing to do!
Its not too early to begin planning for that presentation at the 1999 SICB Annual
Meeting in Denver, Jan. 6-10, 1999. Although it is too late to submit a proposal for a
symposium, you have until April 15 to get one in for the Annual Meeting in Atlanta to be
held Jan. 4-8, 2000. After this years wonderful showing in Boston, DIZ will not be
as well-represented by symposia in Denver, so lets get cranking on plans for Atlanta
and beyond, into the third millennium. Contact Damhnait for details.
The DIZ business meeting in Boston was very well-attended, indeed, filling the meeting
room. We accomplished some important business, as outlined in the minutes taken by new
division secretary, Susie Balser. Outgoing secretary, Donna Wolcott, was thanked for her
service; she tracked deadlines, coordinated communications, and cracked kindly whips,
making the rest of us look good! Michelle Duval also finished an eventful term as DIZ
representative to the committee, having been able to stay on a year longer than she
originally thought she could. Her shoes will be hard to fill but three people
volunteered at the meeting to try! In the end, the wonderful dilemma was solved by a coin
toss. Shea Tuberty of Tulane University became the DIZ representative to the
Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee for the next three years. The names of the other
two who volunteered to serve, as well as a graduate student who did so later, were duly
noted. Their enthusiasm is much appreciated and their talents will be used!
Gordon Hendler reported on the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship, another way in
which DIZ encourages students. (By the time you read this, it will be too late to apply
for the 1998 award, but keep it in mind for the future.)
Finally, as a show of support for our division and discipline as well as, of
course, to keep abreast of the latest developments in invertebrate zoology please
consider joining the American Microscopical Society. For just $18 if you are a student, or
$36 if you are not, you will receive four issues of the journal Invertebrate Biology.
Send your dues to the American Microscopical Society, P.O. Box 1897, Lawrence, KS
66044-8897, along with your name, postal address and e-mail address.
Message from the Program Officer
The 1998 SICB Annual Meeting in Boston was a great success! We had over 40 DIZ
contributed papers and almost 30 DIZ posters, with very strong student participation in
both categories. Invertebrate biologists also featured well in the systematics and
evolutionary biology sessions and the interdivisional sessions, particularly the one on
coral reefs. The DIZ-sponsored symposia also added a great deal to the meeting program
this year. Well done!
Plans for the Jan. 6-10, 1999 meeting in Denver are well underway. The abstract
deadline is August 14, 1998 and we are strongly encouraging electronic submissions by all
members this year. In Denver, our division will co-sponsor the following two symposia:
- "Evolution of Starfishes: Morphology, Molecules, Development and Paleobiology"
Co-organizers: Daniel Janies and Daniel Blake
- "Teaching Biology and the WWW" Co-organizers: Michael L. Blum and Stephen
Looking ahead to our January 2000 meeting in Atlanta, keep in mind that the deadline
for submitting symposium or workshop proposals is April 15, 1998. It may seem very early
to begin planning a symposium for 2000, but a full 20-month lead time is necessary if
symposium proposals are to be developed, applications for outside funding submitted, and a
final schedule of symposia generated for the meeting. It takes a good deal of time and
effort, but having just co-organized the metazoan phylogeny symposium, I can attest to the
excitement and satisfaction it brings! So, if you have ideas for a symposium or workshop,
either divisional or society-wide, please contact me or Willy Bemis (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible. We will
do all we can to help. Also, let me know if there are any suggestions that you have for
programming of our upcoming meetings in Denver and Atlanta. I welcome any and all of your
Message from the Secretary
First and foremost, I would like to thank Donna Wolcott for making my transition to the
position of DIZ secretary so beguilingly smooth. I know that I will find continuing her
excellent service a challenge. I also extend gratitude to the other DIZ officers and
members who have been patient with my queries and helpful with their answers. Special note
is made of the efforts of Christine Bennett at the SICB Business Office without whose help
I would have been lost in compiling my first newsletter.
At the meeting of SICB secretaries, several topics of general interest to DIZ members
were discussed. In 1998, the newsletter will entertain advertising on a trial basis.
Advertising will be limited to four pages and will not increase the total number of pages
of the newsletter. A question arose concerning the possibility of printing the newsletter
on recycled paper. After checking with the printer, Christine Bennett reports that we
currently use recycled paper. Along these same lines, we discussed the possibility of
giving the membership a choice between having the newsletter sent as either a printed or
an electronic copy. The electronic medium not only saves paper, but is considerably less
expensive. Anyone with comments concerning this issue should contact me.
Tom Wolcott, SICB secretary, suggested that we provide a listing, in the newsletter or
via the web, of research and study opportunities at field stations. Currently web sites
are listed in the DIZ newsletter for summer courses at several marine stations and one
inland station, but this list is not complete.
Joe Graves began an invigorating discussion concerning the involvement of minorities
and women in divisional symposia. With the goal of increasing diversity and our range of
perspectives, DIZ members are asked to consider the representation of minorities and women
when planning future symposia.
During the DIZ business meeting, Mike Greenberg did an excellent job of gently, but
factually reminding us that, as a society, we could do more to support an area we all know
to be vital to the future of our professions and to science graduate student
research. I too bemoan the increased dues and meeting costs, but encourage DIZ members to
donate time, money, or both to the Grants-in Aid of Research program.
I have always assumed a collection of cleverly drawn animals was carefully saved in a
notebook somewhere or the previous talented secretaries whipped-out the entertaining
illustrations that appear as the masthead to the DIZ newsletter. Although, in part, this
is certainly true, neither case fully applies for the next three years. In an effort to
save yourselves from seeing the same illustration multiple times or seeing my creative
attempts, I ask that you consider submitting ideas or original drawings as possible
mastheads for future newsletters.
Best Student Paper Awards
This years DIZ Best Student Paper/Poster Competition had 25 entries, divided
among 18 talks and seven posters and showed an increase of 11 presentations over last
years competition. The 1998 Best Student Poster Award went to Dean Wendt of Harvard
University (which was practically visible from the meeting venue), for a poster entitled,
"Effects of Larval Swimming Duration on Growth and Reproduction of Bugula neritina
(Bryozoa) Under Field Conditions." A second prize was not awarded.
The two talks that tied for first prize in the oral presentation category were not only
on biomechanics, but both were given by students from the University of California,
Berkeley. M. J. McHenry, whose basketball visual aid blurred the line between science and
sports, spoke on "Twitching, Twisting and Twirling in Tunicate Tadpole
Toddlers." Kim J. Quillin gave a talk entitled "Ontogenetic Scaling of Force
Production in Hydrostatic Skeletons."
Second prize for an oral presentation was awarded to A. Kushmaro of Tel Aviv
University, for his talk, "The Role of Temperature in Bacterial Bleaching of
Corals." The Adrian Wenner Strong Inference Award of $100 cash and a years
membership in both SICB and AMS was made to S.C. Schenk of Florida State University, for a
talk, "Elucidating the Cue to Post-Autotomy Chela Reversal in a Xanthid Crab."
Congratulations to all!
Check Out Summer Courses in Invertebrate Biology
Minutes of the DIZ Divisional Meeting
Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Report
Shea Tuberty, DIZ Representative to the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee
Allow me to quickly introduce myself. I am a fifth year doctoral student at Tulane
University in New Orleans studying vitellogenesis in crayfish, mudbugs as they are known
around here. Boston was my first SICB Annual Meeting and I came away with a wealth of
information about the present trends and future directions of developmental biology as
well as many contacts and possible job leads. I now know that attending past meetings
would have undoubtedly positively influenced the outcome of my research. I urge those of
you out there who have yet to attend a meeting to apply for student support funds from
your school and SICB and get to Denver next year!
From what I gathered from many students who have participated in past meetings, this
one was better attended and organized than meetings in recent years. The timing of the
meeting after the New Year may have made attending slightly easier for the students. I
overheard a few professors talking of how the new time is cutting into their lecture prep
time for the spring semester. Whatever the reason, Im sure many of you would agree
that this was a great meeting for students to present their recent work and converse with
more established scientists.
One of the major responsibilities of the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC)
each year is to organize the student/postdoctoral evening workshops. Here students can
learn important information about how to find a postdoctoral position and/or land an
actual job "out there in the real world!" This years student/postdoctoral
workshop was directed by Nora Terwilliger of the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. Those
of you who attended would probably agree that the workshop leaders were very knowledgeable
and often quite entertaining! The new question/answer format for these workshops (as
opposed to the seminar style) allows specific problems and questions of those attending to
be addressed and may provide a more productive use of the time. This years workshops
were well-attended. The committee would like to nurture this growing interest by providing
workshops that best meet the needs of the students and postdoctoral fellows. If you have
any suggestions or ideas for topics or any additional student activities at next years
meeting in Denver, please feel free to e-mail me and Ill pass them on at SPDAC
Congratulations to M.J. McHenry and K.J. Quillin, co-winners of the oral presentations,
and to D. Wendt, winner of the poster competition. Also, kudos go out to A. Kushmaro,
second prize winner of the oral competition, and to S.C. Schenk, the Adrian Wenner Strong
Inference Award winner. Students are encouraged to enter the Best Student Paper
competition. After preparations for presenting your work at the SICB Annual Meeting,
competing for the Best Student Presentation Award is relatively easy, and the prizes make
the effort very worthwhile.
Finally, Id like to bring the DIZ student members attention to the fairly new
journal entitled Invertebrate Biology published by the American Microscopical
Society. The student membership cost is a mere $18 per year. The journal includes papers
on all aspects of invertebrate biology including but not limited to microscopy, cell and
molecular biology, ecology, physiology, genetics, systematics, behavior and biogeography.
The editor is Dr. Vicki Pearse who can be contacted via e-mail at: email@example.com.
Sixth International Polychaete Conference
Curitiba Brazil, Aug. 2-7, 1998
Contact: Dr. Paulo da Cunha Lana (firstname.lastname@example.org)
XIV International Congress of Arachnology
Chicago, June 27-July 3, 1998 (USA)
Contact: Petra Sierwald (email@example.com)
1998 World Congress of Malacology
Washington, D.C., July 1998 (USA)
Contact: Robert Hershler (Hershler.Robert@nmnh.si.edu)