Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (DCPB): 1999 Spring Newsletter
This Newsletter by Section
Message from the Chair
Timothy J. Bradley
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the 1999 SICB Annual Meeting in Denver. Attendance at this year's meeting was very close to last year's, setting a two year trend for sharply increased attendance. In addition, we received information at the meeting that the Society was in a much improved financial position, having made a small profit in the past year. This is very good news indeed!
My thanks go out to the organizers of symposia sponsored or co-sponsored by the division: Jim Hicks and Frank Powell; Gretchen Hofmann and Martin Feder; Mark Sheridan and Stacia Sower; and Louis Guillette and Andrew Crain.
We continue to have a large number of excellent papers and posters competing for the Best Student Paper Award. The judging committee awarded two papers the honor of Best Student Paper. They were awarded to:
The Best Student Poster Award goes to Chugey Sepulveda of California State University, Fullerton for his poster entitled: "Are Tunas Faster or More Efficient Swimmers as a Result of Endothermy?"
Congratulations to these students for their outstanding presentations.
I remind the members of the division of the meeting of the Fifth International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Aug. 23-28.
Next year, the SICB Annual Meeting will be in Atlanta on Jan. 4-8, 2000. It should be a great meeting to start off the new millennium. See you there!
Message from the Program Officer
The 1999 SICB Annual Meeting in Denver offered us an intellectual slalom in North America's Winter Wonderland. A number of us were able to directly apply the knowledge acquired from our DCPB symposia and challenge our own "heat shock proteins" under conditions of "chronic hypoxia" while wishing we had "feathers" on downhill slopes in the days and mountains surrounding the meeting.
With a couple of minor hiccoughs, programming in our division went off smoothly, and we owe Neal Smatresk a vote of thanks for his efforts as outgoing program officer. He combined his usual creative efficiency with a high degree of irreverence and enthusiasm.
Our division has three symposia in the planning process for the Atlanta meeting (Jan. 4-8, 2000). They are:
There have been some informal discussions as to how the division will memorialize the legacy of Charlotte Mangum. One suggestion is that we select a symposium each year and recognize it as the "Charlotte Mangum Symposium." Since Charlotte was a person of eclectic research interests, it should not be difficult to identify a symposium that she would have attended. For example, the osmoregulation theme would probably be the most appropriate in Atlanta. Please provide me with input on this, especially those of you who worked closely with her. I should also direct you to Nora Terwilliger's touching obituary to Charlotte in the most recent volume of Crustacean Biology (19:206-208) and to the activities held in her memory at the Society of Experimental Biology meeting in Scotland (March 22-26, 1999).
If you are wondering about symposia for the Chicago meeting in 2001, look no further, YOUR time has come! If you have been regularly attending these meetings for any length of time, you should consider it your responsibility to contribute ideas for symposia. Publication of symposia in American Zoologist funds the Society in large part. Our very existence depends upon high quality symposia that will attract large audiences to meetings and that appeal broadly to the readership of the journal. Symposia that can be co-sponsored by other divisions or that are sufficiently broad to be considered Society-wide are even better (another of Charlotte's legacies!). In recent years, there have been several educational sessions and workshops, and these have been very well attended. So literally the sky's (or vent's!) the limit for the windy city!
The deadline for proposals for Chicago is June 7, 1999. After approval by the DCPB officers, proposals will be forwarded to SICB. The Society is planning to make it even easier to apply for NSF support through "bundling" symposia applications for a specific meeting. Email me with preliminary ideas at email@example.com. A couple of changes are on the horizon with programming of contributed papers. First, we will be moving entirely to electronic submission. Second, contributions will be initially sorted by topic through self-selection. Divisional program officers will be invited to opportunistically select groups of papers that relate to the same theme. This new MO should lead to more creative programming and less scheduling conflict.
Please consult Nora's section for reports on the upcoming IUBS/IUPS meetings. This year, there is a meeting for everyone!
Message from the Secretary
It was a pleasure to see many of you at the 1999 SICB Annual Meeting. As always, I did not have enough time in between sessions to speak with as many people as I had hoped. As a bonus, Denver's balmy January weather provided unexpected ease in movement between the hotel and other establishments.
This was the first year in which we had many interdisciplinary sessions to choose from, and those in which I was able to participate were certainly well-attended. The pre-meeting Educational Council Workshop was also well-attended and informative. Please encourage the Educational Council to plan more such workshops for future meetings, and plan to attend. If you have an opinion on the timing of such workshops, such as the pre-meeting afternoon session this year, give them some feedback on that as well.
In addition to the regular submissions to our division newsletter section, you will find a report from our journal Physiological Zoology. Also you will see that I will be finishing my term as secretary this year, and we have two excellent candidates for this post who have provided their cv's for your evaluation. Please vote! Finally, if you have comments about the electronic submission of this newsletter, please make them known to the SICB Business Office. As with anything new, comments, criticisms and suggestions will improve the quality of future submissions. It has been a pleasure serving this division as secretary, and I hope that many more of you will consider this type of service in future years.
Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Report
W. Wyatt Hoback, Student/Postdoctoral Committee Representative
Welcome back from the mile high city. If you have followed my messages in the past, you may be surprised to see yet another from me. After all, in my last message I asked for a volunteer to take over. It turns out that the student representative position actually lasts three years - longer than the term for the division chair! This may surprise you, but I believe that it indicates the importance of the position, and reflects how much impact students can make within our division and SICB as a whole. So, faithful readers, you will get two more messages from me, unless I graduate and land a job. But, I digress.
In an effort to improve our division and the Society, I would like to discuss the likes and dislikes of the 1999 meeting from your points of view. I obtained many of these opinions while waiting with you in line at the socials or in various sessions including the graduate student/postdoc training workshops.
The late-breaking symposium was well-received and stimulated many conversations with its combination of hope and foreboding as Drs. Pimm and Soulé recounted the toll of human impact on the natural environment and the species that inhabit it. Dr. Pimm suggested that at current rates, we will lose 25 to 50 percent of species. He also suggested that many of these extinctions are viewed by the public as a loss of the "weak and stupid" species. For example, the Oxford Dictionary includes the statement, "it went extinct" with its definition of the DoDo bird, apparently absolving humans of their role in its demise. In contrast, Dr. Soulé offered hope with "The Wildlands Project" which seeks to save species by saving habitats and linking preserved areas with corridors. The late-breaking symposium is a great idea that should be continued.
This year's first night Young Investigators Poster Session was generally liked. It gave an opportunity for graduate students to share their research and interact with both interested viewers and each other during a time when few other events were scheduled. Perhaps stimulated by the availability of beverages, the session was much better attended than in past years. The posters were generally among the best that I have seen, and the number of students who entered the competition was encouraging. This is different from the meeting five years ago in St. Louis when there were only two students from our division in the poster competition.
This year's student/postdoc workshop offered advice for students at all stages of their careers. For beginning students, representatives from funding organizations including NIH, NSF and Sigma Xi offered advice and prospects for generating funded grants. For students who are in the process of seeking tenure-track employment, topics included creating teaching philosophies, research philosophies and organizing to teach your first class. I won't give away any of the secrets here, but if this is my final column because of a job offer, you'll know that the advice was sound and that I paid attention.
Compared to last year, surprisingly few complaints were offered about the meeting this year. One of the common complaints concerned the dominance of heat shock protein papers this year. Many felt that the heat shock protein theme could have been combined into a separate breakout mini-meeting, thus allowing more diversity of subjects. On this point, the idea of combining talks by subject rather than by division was discussed and approved. This should improve the integrative nature of our Society, and I look forward to next year's meeting with this theme in mind.
A second complaint was tenured by several including the young lady who I met as her drink spilled and juggled plate fell to the floor. For socials, there should be an area to set plates and drinks! After all, making and renewing connections often requires the extension of one's hand, an act precluded or dangerous when carrying food in one hand and beverage in the other. In arranging socials, a larger room with seating around the edge could reduce this problem.
I am nearing the end of this message and as a reward, I offer a reminder and a secret. Reminder: as graduate students, take advantage of the Society's generosity in providing housing and free food. By volunteering to work a few hours, SICB will pay for your hotel room. Remember to check the box on the abstract submission form. Second, when you get your program next year, pay attention to the included flier. The flier contains information for all food available without charge and other information vital to graduate students.
Finally, the secret. For anyone who needs money to do research, seek grants at the following web site: http://web.fie.com/cws/sra/resource.htm. The Society of Research Administrators (SRA) has compiled this list of most granting agencies and grants available to students, postdocs and investigators. The site is easy to use and complete! It also provides hope that somewhere, somehow, every good idea is fundable. A second useful site is Grantsnet.org. Good luck!
1998 Physiological Zoology Annual Report
Gregory K. Snyder, Editor-in-Chief; Todd Gleeson and Steven Hand, Associate Editors; and Marcus Elmore, Managing Editor
During the report period, 147 manuscripts were submitted, a five percent increase over the previous year. As of this writing, 72 of those titles have already appeared in print, 10 are in press, 10 are still in review, and 55 have been rejected or withdrawn by the author(s). Assuming that the majority of those manuscripts still in review will eventually be judged acceptable, the acceptance rate for the period will be around 62 percent, an increase of nine percent. We are pleased with these trends, although the explanation for them is still not clear.
The small number of invited perspectives published this year was a consequence of fewer solicitations that arose as a result of Dr. Mangum's illness and the disruption that necessarily accompanied moving the editorial office. We anticipate soliciting four to six invited perspectives within the next 12 months, although it is not clear how quickly the manuscripts will move through the review and revision process to publication. We wish to reiterate that we rely in part on suggestions from the DCPB membership to identify and recruit authors for IP manuscripts.
The decrease in average time from submission to publication noted in last year's report continues. The lag time from acceptance to publication is now five months on average, despite a temporary increase which accompanied the move of the editorial office. This is a decrease from an 11 month average lag only a few years ago. Few, if any, other journals in the field can claim quicker publication. This is yet another reason for the members to submit their manuscripts to us.
We urge the membership to continue to direct their manuscripts to us!
Continuing Business From 1996-97
The editorial office was moved to the University of Colorado in early spring 1998, and although a few delays in review and publication accompanied the move, they had been made up in entirety by the end of the summer. The new managing editor, Marcus Elmore, has begun the process of computerizing the database of reviewers and the computerization of journal management, and expects to have the process completed by May. We urge members to make note of our new address and to visit our web page at the University of Chicago Press (www.journals.uchicago.edu/PBZ/home.html), where they will find the tables of contents for forthcoming issues as well as instructions to authors regarding the preparation of manuscripts for submission.
The University of Chicago Press began the process of moving PZ to online publication last fall. The entire process will take another year to complete, at which point the journal will be available in an electronic version to subscribing institutions as well as in a paper edition. The journal will be moving over the course of the next year to the electronic submission of manuscripts as well as the electronic distribution of proofs to the authors via the World Wide Web. The press will continue to make arrangements for those authors who lack access to the necessary computer resources to take advantage of this new process. We anticipate that once the entire system is in place, it will result in significant decreases in the time to publication.
The Editorial Board
We especially wish to extend our thanks to those board members who rotated off at the end of December, many of whom had provided us with two three-year terms worth of assistance and counsel.
International Union of Biological Sciences Report
Nora Terwilliger, DCPB Representative to the International
It is high time to register for the Fifth International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry. What a perfect place to spend a week in August, next door to the Canadian Rockies, a few minutes away from great hiking and scenery, rubbing elbows or chelipeds with ancient fossils from the Burgess Shale and the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology at Drumheller. No matter which phyla your research involves, you will find examples in this fascinating area of North America. The meetings are Aug. 23-28, 1999.
The program includes 45 symposia, six plenary lectures by M. Smith, R. E. Peter, M. McFall-Ngai,Y. LeMaho, M. Konishi and P. Hochochka, plus inexpensive accommodations in the dormitories, relatively low registration fees so you and your students can attend, and a host of added activities. There is also a satellite symposium on paleophysiology on Aug. 22 with a special tour of the Tyrell museum, as well as a guided hike up to the Burgess Shale (as the brochure says, "You must be fit and acclimatized to safely participate in the hike" - start walking up those stairs now).
Our DCPB division is co-sponsoring the following symposia: "Oxygen Binding and Related Proteins: Structure, Function and Evolution" organized by Heinz Decker (Germany), Toshio Gotoh (Japan) and Nora Terwilliger; "Physiological Challenges of Aquacultured Animals" organized by Lou Burnett and Karen Burnett, "Nitrogen Metabolism in Fish: Molecular and Evolutionary Aspects of Physiological Regulation" organized by Pat Walsh and Chris Wood (Canada), "Integrative Crustacean Biology: Evolutionary Trends" organized by Michelle Wheatly, Carl Reiber and Warren Burggren, and "Integrative Ecophysiology of Amphibian Integument: Tribute to Rudolpho Ruibal" organized by Harvey Lillywhite and Stan Hilyard. There are opportunities for poster presentations and good interactions with a lively bunch of international comparative physiologists and biochemists. DCPB is one of the charter members of this IUBS congress, so I hope you will be able to support the meeting by attending. Check out the conference web site for continuing updates: http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~iccpb99/. See you there.
The ballot for this election will arrive the week of April 19 via mail.
Candidate for Secretary
Jeannette E. Doeller
Current Position: Research Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Education: B.S., Plant Sciences, Clemson University, 1977; M.S., Botany, Clemson University, 1980; Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Clemson University, 1986.
Professional Experience: American Heart Association Fellow, New York affiliate, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1987-90; Fulbright Fellow, University of Innsbruck, Austria, 1990-91; Research Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1991-98.
SICB Activities: Member and participant as student, postdoc and faculty in contributed paper and poster sessions and symposia at the SICB Annual Meeting and regional DCPB meetings since 1981.
Other Memberships: AAAS since 1994; NSF Advisory Panel, Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology, 1994-96.
Research Interests: Cellular adaptations of marine invertebrates to inhospitable environments, specifically, in vivo and in vitro mitochondrial function and hemoglobin function in symbiont-containing and symbiont-free animals from low oxygen and high sulfide habitats
Goals Statement: SICB plays an important role in the professional development of scientists. I would like to promote increased student membership and enhanced diversity of the membership so more young scientists can benefit from the attributes of our Society such as the communication channels for political and professional issues, the excellent journal, and the unique direct interaction among scientists made possible at the Annual Meeting. I would like the opportunity to contribute to the continued excellence of SICB.
Craig L. Frank
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University.
Education: A.S., Biology, Herkimer Co. Community College, 1981; B.S., Biology, SUNY at Albany, 1984; M.S., Biology, Kansas State Univ., 1987; Ph.D., Biology, University of California, Irvine, 1992.
Professional Experience: 1992 NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada; 1994 NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada; Assistant Professor, 1994-present, Biological Sciences, Fordham University.
SICB Activities: Member since 1988; Best Student Paper Award, 1989; Symposium speaker, 1996; DCPB session Co-Chair, 1999.
Other Memberships: American Society of Mammalogists, Sigma Xi and the Ecological Society of America.
Research Interests: The physiological and biochemical adaptations of vertebrates to: a) low temperatures, b) food shortages and c) xeric conditions. The integrative evolutionary biology of mammals. The interface between behavior, physiology and nutritional biochemistry.
Goals Statement: I would make the office of secretary more efficient by increasing the use of both the Internet and the latest computer software in the handling of DCPB documents.
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