Fall 2021: Society-Wide Newsletter

Click here for more information about SICB 2022!

Message from the President

Melina Hale, president@sicb.org

Melina Hale

Hello SICB colleagues and friends!  As we come to the end of this year that has seen wonderful steps forward (COVID vaccines!), major setbacks (delta variant), and worlds of work and worry in our day-to-day lives, I want to start by expressing gratitude for the SICB community. Members have contributed in divisions and committees across SICB, attended forums, sent ideas and questions, voted in SICB elections, and submitted abstracts for the in-person 2022 conference and SICB+ virtual components of the meeting. When so much is going on, just taking time to read this newsletter and keep up with SICB activities is awesome! And no matter how or how much (if at all) you participated in SICB this year, we are glad you are a part of the SICB community. Thank you.

Through the newsletter you’ll see updates on a range of fronts, highlighting some of the effort of the past year and upcoming activities. Here I will briefly mention several areas of particular focus this year. I would love to hear from you on these topics and others – by email or in virtual meetings (president@sicb.org) or, excitingly, in person at the January 2022 SICB conference!

We’re coming to Phoenix! Photo credit: Brett Burk

Governance and Transparency. This year we have been working to clarify governance and improve transparency in SICB’s work and decisions. Open forums through the year have provided a venue for providing updates on SICB and to answer questions and hear ideas. Videos of the forums are posted online so that they are accessible to all. We will continue forums in 2022 and are looking at other ways to engage in small focus groups (virtual and in-person) on specific topics of importance.

This year there was also a review and edit of the constitution and bylaws and subsequent vote on amendments. This major effort, led by SICB Secretary Michele Johnson, has helped to improve this important governance document that had become out-of-date. We also continue to work on diversifying committees and increasing inclusivity in elections.

One thing that is important for everyone to know is that you, as a SICB member, have access. You have the right and are welcome to attend the Executive Committee meetings that occur at the beginning and end of the annual meetings and on occasion through the year. Executive Officers also have weekly working meetings through the year that you can attend to see that ongoing effort. Please look at the monthly Member Updates for announcements of forums and other ways to engage or email with questions (president@sicb.org).

We will continue to clarify governance and work to improve transparency and inclusion in 2022. The executive officers of the society and in divisions and leadership on committees are volunteers and have discrete terms. It is critical for the health of the society that there is strong engagement of up-and-coming generations of leaders and that leadership represents well the many aspects of diversity present in SICB’s community.

Phoenix Convention Center. Photo credit: Jake Socha

Conference Planning and COVID Safety. SICB Program Officer, Jake Socha, reports on overall planning for the SICB 2022 in-person conference and SICB+ later in the newsletter. Here I want to say a few words about COVID safety planning for the conference, which has been a top priority. We are fortunate that the site of the 2022 conference is a large convention center and we are working with SICB’s management company, Burk Associates Inc (BAI), and the convention center to maximize space use to allow for distancing and to decrease density and implement other safety measures.

As often repeated, we will abide by CDC guidance at the time of the meeting and in some areas have stricter policies, given that attendees are converging from so many home locations. Policies that have been announced may be revised to be stricter but will not be changed to be more lenient.

Please look for information on additional COVID-related safety measures in emails from SICB in the coming weeks. In October we asked for member input on several elements of COVID planning for the conference. Thank you to those who weighed in. We have been reviewing the input and are using it to inform planning. The most recent updates on COVID safety planning were emailed on Friday, November 5th and include information on vaccination policies, childcare arrangements, and enforcement of safety policies during the meeting. On the conference website we’ve posted messages and continue to update COVID-related policies. In October, additions included announcement of an indoor masking policies and a vaccine/test registry.

The SICB website and operations. SICB communications editor, Molly Jacobs, reports later in the newsletter on the roll-out of SICB’s new website. Thanks again to Lou Burnett who led that effort for several years and to Molly who led the final transition this summer. Thanks to the website committee for their work with Lou and Molly, and to the BAI staff who oversaw the database integrations and other underlying functionality of the site. It was a huge effort to capture the information and roles of the old site and recreate them in a new, modern platform. Now that it is being used by the society, we’ll continue working to fix issues raised and hope to add new capabilities in the coming year. We know a new site is an adjustment and hope you can take time to explore it in the coming months.

Primarily Undergraduate Institutions. After discussion with SICB members from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions in the Spring of this year, I was pleased to charge a working group led by Jerry Husak to research and report on how SICB could better engage and support PUI members. The group provided their report this summer, which included concrete recommendations and action items. You can view the report here and please see the item below by Jerry. In this year’s spirit of experimentation, I am pleased that we are able to move forward and try some of these recommendations for the SICB 2022 conference and will continue this work in the coming year. Thank you to Jerry and the committee for this terrific contribution to SICB!

SICB 2023 Meeting Venue.  There has been online discussion about Austin, Texas as the site of SICB 2023 and a range of perspectives expressed on whether SICB should keep its contract with the current venue or move the meeting. In both cases, arguments are responding to anger at Texas laws. While there is widespread agreement that new Texas laws are reprehensible, the question is the SICB response and its impact. The executive officers have also been discussing and researching this issue with BAI and considering broader implications for SICB. The SICB 2023 meeting will be a focal topic of the December member forum and we aim to have small in-person meetings on this topic at SICB 2022 and virtually and hope that you will contribute to the conversation.

Message from the President-Elect

Patricia Hernandez, president.elect@sicb.org 

Patricia Hernandez

Hello everyone. I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that SICB is always looking for people to join our many important committees.

If you would like to be considered please complete this form. Please be sure to indicate your career stage, as this is important information for determining which committees are most appropriate.

Thank you for your contributions to our society!



Message from the Program Officer

Jake Socha, programofficer@sicb.org 

Jake Socha

Welcome to year 2 of the COVID conference era! Last year we were all virtual, and we did our very best given the situation. Now, we are truly excited to be able to offer an in-person conference again. In terms of meeting elements, we’re able to run similarly to the last time we were in person. So in many respects (but not all), Phoenix should look and feel like a regular meeting, including talks, plenaries, workshops, and socials.

We also realize that many people can’t come to Phoenix, for numerous reasons, so we have developed new programming to help out. The biggest item is SICB+, an all-virtual online platform of our scientific content. It will host both talks and posters not seen in person, as well as many presentations given in person. If you are presenting in person, I am personally begging you (please!) to volunteer to provide your talk or poster in electronic form after the conference. Yes I know that entails additional work to record your talk, but put yourself in others’ shoes: what if you wanted to come to Phoenix, but just couldn’t attend? You’d want to see as much of the conference as possible. That extra work you’ll be doing is for those people. At the moment, less than 50% of in-person presenters have volunteered to provide their content for SICB+. We can do better! There will be another opportunity to say yes to SICB+ coming soon. Please consider it, and spread the word.

In addition to SICB+, in Phoenix we are going to try to stream (and record) some plenaries, as well as bring in a live audio connection (by Zoom) to some meetings. Note that we are not attempting to have a hybrid conference—we don’t have the capability to stream everything. The internet requirements that we would need, in addition to other logistics, are prohibitively expensive. However, for our special sessions, including symposia and some Best Student Presentation (BSP) competitions, recorded talks will be played where appropriate. Our symposia benefit in particular, because they include numerous international speakers who simply are constrained from traveling. Overall we’re taking things in steps—if things go well, we hope to add other features in future years.

Some numbers here for the quantitatively curious amongst us (which is almost everyone). We received about 1,700 total abstracts, which is very similar to last year (2021: 1,720), but less than the last in-person meeting (2020: 1,896). For in-person Phoenix, we have about 800 talks and 478 posters. Interestingly, that’s about the same number of talks as pre-pandemic (2020: 891), but fewer posters (2020: 710). At virtual SICB last year, we had far more talks than posters (2021: 1,146 vs. 388). Our symposium numbers are consistent: 122 talks this year (2020: 123; 2021: 128). We have an additional 250 SICB+ presentations that are virtual-only, and 586 in-person presenters offered to provide their material electronically as well. That brings the SICB+ total to 836 presentations. Let’s get that number closer to 1,700. We can do it!  

Program highlights: The open plenary (on January 3) will be the past presidential address given by Lou Burnett, former SICB President and Professor Emeritus of Biology at the College of Charleston. On subsequent days and evenings, the program includes other big society-wide lectures. Let’s congratulate this year’s plenary speakers for their awards: Martha Muñoz (Bartholomew), Tyrone Hayes (Bern), Talia Moore (Gans), and Sara Brownell (Moore). The program also features Best Student Presentation poster and talk competitions for each division. Finally, our 11 full-day symposia highlight the integrative breadth of SICB. Our symposia bring together diverse scientists from different backgrounds, career stages, and approaches to take a deep dive into forward-looking topics. Look for the proceedings of each symposium throughout 2022 in our society’s journal Integrative and Comparative Biology (ICB), and check out the full list of symposia here.

An excellent spot for a coffee between sessions! Photo credit: Jake Socha

Let’s talk about the venue. The Phoenix Convention Center is large and spacious. In terms of ventilation, our building (West) has a MERV rating of 15, which is excellent. If you have other COVID safety questions, check out our page here. For the caffeine-addicted, there’s a coffee shop inside, and a Starbucks right outside the building. There’s also a place inside for nursing mothers. There are lots of convenient food options close by, including a food court right across the street. And, the convention center is a short walk from the main conference hotel.

Lastly, just a few words about workshops and socials. Yes, we will have them! The workshops will be in the convention center, and range in topics from technique training to mentorship to lab and team management. Some will require a sign-up. Check here for a full listing and for more details, which will be provided soon. And thanks to all of our volunteer workshop organizers! Socials will be held both in the convention center and off-site where possible. For those indoors, we have chosen large spaces, and many off-site socials will allow us to be outside as well.

The Program Committee has been meeting all year to put together a program that best suits everyone’s needs. We’ve received input from many people beyond the committee as well, from members to Executive Officers. We are truly grateful for all of your insight and help. The Program Committee includes myself, Thom Sanger (Program Officer-Elect), Kathleen Lynch (DAB), Janet Steven (DOB), Matt McHenry (DCB), Sara O’Brien (DCE), Mike Sears (DCPB), Matt Rockman (DEDB), Laura Mydlarz (DEDE), Sarah Diamond (DEE), Karen Chan (DIZ), Jeff Riffell (DNNSB), Leigh Lynch (DPCB), Nicole Danos (DVM), Bruno Pernet (AMS), and John Zardus (TCS). At our Programming Meeting in September, we were also joined virtually by Public Affairs Committee Chair Shaz Zamore, who helped compile suggestions for presentations to include in SICB press releases, and by ICB Editor-in-Chief Ulrike Müller. Please make sure to thank these folks for their efforts in making this annual meeting a success!

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at #SICB2022!

Message from the Secretary

Michele Johnson, secretary@sicb.org

Michele Johnson

In our annual society-wide officer elections last spring, Janet Steven was elected as the incoming Program Officer-Elect, and Kory Evans was elected to the position of Member-at-Large. Janet and Kory will take office at the end of the 2022 conference in Phoenix. Congratulations to these new society leaders, and thanks to all who voted!  The full Election Report for 2021 officer elections is available here.

Over the summer and fall, we’ve also held elections to overhaul the SICB Constitution and Bylaws, the documents that govern the work of our society. After months of work by society leaders, the Executive Committee proposed a series of amendments that clarified the structure of our leadership, corrected inconsistencies and errors, and used gender-inclusive language. Our members voted in strong support of these changes, and our governance is now more transparent as a result. The current version of the Constitution and Bylaws is available here, on the SICB website.

In addition, six divisions (DAB, DCE, DEE, DNNSB, DPCB, and DVM) have recently updated their bylaws in a series of elections. These amendments include a wide range of changes, such as simplifying election procedures, clarifying procedures for awards, and updating language. These important changes improve the governance of our society at the division level, making it easier for all members to participate in our work together. All divisional bylaws are maintained on the divisional websites.

While this has been a major effort, we aren’t finished yet! Look for updates from your divisions in the coming months, as we continue working to make our governing documents reflect our best practices in a clear and inclusive way.

Message from the Treasurer

Miriam Ashley-Ross, treasurer@sicb.org 

Miriam Ashley-Ross
Miriam Ashley-Ross

If it’s Fall, then it’s a new Fiscal Year for SICB, and we have some clarity on the previous fiscal year (that ended June 30). I am happy to report that, after all the uncertainty of the 2021 virtual-only annual meeting, SICB remains firmly in the black. Our revenue from the 2021 meeting (including registrations, sponsorships, and exhibitor fees) totaled approximately $230,000. That is considerably below the typical revenue for previous in-person meetings (for reference, revenue for the 2020 Austin meeting was ~$470,000), but the cost of a virtual-only meeting is lower. Overall, SICB ended FY2021 approximately $86,000 in the black, which puts us in an excellent position as we move back to a largely in-person meeting in Phoenix.

Speaking of the Phoenix meeting, we are still in an uncertain situation. The Executive Officers have tried to make our Best Guess as to how many members will attend in person, and how many will opt for a virtual-only option. Based on the responses to the post-meeting survey last year, we knew that overwhelmingly the membership wanted an in-person meeting, but that the virtual format was so well received that we wanted to offer some online components. The result is what you’ve seen on the Annual Meeting page – you have the option of selecting either in-person attendance, or opting for the virtual-only SICB+, which will run from January 14 – March 31. All in-person registrations come with SICB+, so you won’t miss anything! We’ve set meeting registration rates so that, if our predictions are correct, we’ll end up just barely in the black for the meeting.

Besides the Annual Meeting, an important component of SICB’s finances are our investments in various funds. We use the largesse from these funds to support the Mangum program and the named lectures/prizes (e.g., Bartholomew, Bern, Skinner, etc.). At the end of FY2020, the total value of the investments had taken a loss of approximately $15,000, as the stock market overall went down due to COVID lockdowns and uncertainty. In FY2021, the stock market rebounded, as did SICB’s investments; we are firmly in the black and growing, which will support the aims of the funds.

Message from the Communications Editor

Molly Jacobs, comm.editor@sicb.org 

Molly Jacobs
Molly Jacobs

SICB is excited to roll out the new SICB website this fall!  This website is the culmination of years of work by many SICB members – if you haven’t yet, please check it out!

In 2022, I look forward to working with divisions and committees to develop their website content, and to working with SICB leadership to develop and improve SICB’s communication practices.  I welcome all your communications ideas – catch me in person (if all goes well) in Phoenix at SICB 2022, or reach out by email (above).

Message from the ICB Editor

Ulrike Müller, editor.icb@sicb.org

Ulrike Müller

Invitation to propose special issues of ICB. ICB would like to invite proposals from the SICB community for special issues. ICB is expanding its scope beyond publishing papers arising from symposia at the annual SICB meeting. We are now inviting proposals for special issues, that is: groupings of papers arising from the SICB community around topics relevant to our community.  After piloting the first such grouping in 2020 on stress, we collaborated in 2021 with Jumpstart Biology on a special issue around the topic of how we can re-integrate biology.  For 2022, we are working on two paper groupings around the topics “Reefs and Climate Change” headed by Kory Evans, and “Genomics” headed by Anthony Snead and Fernando Alda. Please share with us your ideas for topics that you would like to see in ICB. We offer collaborations at many levels of commitment, from pitching ideas over inviting papers to acting as guest editor for your own paper grouping.

Welcome to new editors. ICB would also like to welcome Andrea Liebl (associate editor), Ben Dantzer (assistant editor for DEE), and guest assistant editors Christian Cox, Nagayasu Nakanishi, Jerry Mekdara, and Paul Schaeffer.  We invite graduate students and early-career scientists to reach out to us if you are interested in serving as an editorial peer reviewer or guest editor.

ICB news. ICB would like to share two news items. First, upcoming in November on the ICB blog are stories written by high schoolers who attended our 2021 annual meeting (symposium 5) and collaborated with their teacher to write blogs about their favorite presentations. Please check it out

Second, ICB is proud to announce that associate editor Cori Richards-Zawacki is leading a new institute to study resilience and infectious disease. The Resilience Institute Bridging Biological Training and Research (RIBBiTR) is a new center at the University of Pittsburgh funded by a five-year, $12.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. For more information, contact Professor Richards-Zawacki at cori.zawacki@pitt.edu.

Message from the IOB Editor

Adam Summers, editor@iob.sicb.org 

Adam Summers, IOB
Adam Summers

The journal continues to showcase the breadth of SICB research and we are taking great advantage of the easy translation of integrative and comparative biology to the general public. One of our AltMetric standouts, Carrier’s group’s article on beards as defense against punching, has been awarded an igNobel Prize! Our run of high AltMetric papers continues with contributions from the Division of Animal Behavior, Division of Botany, and the Division of Comparative Biomechanics. 

We all try to get our science in front of as many people as we can, that is one reason to publish in an open access journal. Before you send something off to PLOS One or a for-profit #OA outlet, consider both the publishing experience and the post-publication publicity. We will ensure that the review process is supportive, fair, and aimed at improving your manuscript. After acceptance we will work to raise the profile of the work so it gets the notice it deserves. Your Author Page Charges are supporting your society, and we are making a real effort to highlight the work of our members. Send us a manuscript, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and let us know how we can better serve you as a scientist. 

Message from the Primarily Undergraduate Institution Working Group

Jerry Husak, Working Group Chair, jerry.husak@stthomas.edu 

Jerry Husak

The PUI Working Group (Rachelle Belanger, Michele Johnson, Kristopher Karsten, Matthew LeFauve, Jason Macrander, Thomas Sanger, Kari Taylor-Burt, Lisa Whitenack, and me) worked over the summer to develop initiatives that will help better serve integrative biology faculty at PUI institutions, as well as graduate students and postdocs who seek to work at a PUI. (See our Summer 2021 Report here.) In addition to discussing long-term goals, we have some exciting things happening in Phoenix at the meeting! 

  1. Informational booth in the exhibitors’ hall will provide information about PUIs, answer questions, and build connections. We’ll have a place to post questions, request collaborations, and share equipment. Stop by and chat! 
  2. A workshop geared toward funding at non-R1 institutions – stay tuned for details! 
  3. An interactive poster at a poster session(s) for opportunities to make connections, build community, and ask/answer questions. 
  4. Social gathering for PUI faculty, as well as grad students and postdocs interested in PUIs. This gathering is open to all meeting participants! More details at the meeting – check the message board! 

Finally, we’ve been collecting data on SICB participation by PUI faculty, and we’ll be supplementing that by assessing the success of these initiatives in Phoenix. All of these steps will help us move toward more long-term actions by the society. If you’re interested in getting involved in future work, please talk with us at the meeting.

Message from the Student-Postdoctoral Affairs Committee

John R. Hutchinson, Student-Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Chair, chair.spdac@sicb.org 

John Hutchinson

Greetings from SPDAC!

We are developing plans for SICB2022, as below. We also plan to release pdfs of all our “how-to” brochures to the public; with a new mental health and wellness brochure that is very timely. In addition, at the SICB2022 meeting we will have:

  1. Our booth, flexibly designed so that it may be entirely online or a hybrid depending on the meeting. Two things will be scheduled there: A) Networking meetups with knowledgeable SICB members (divisional reps are seeking them) at varied career stages, so students and postdocs can have one-on-one or small group chats with them about science and beyond; B) Quick skills sessions, in which volunteers (we want you!) teach or share anything useful (exercise, software tricks, improv, you name it!) for students and postdocs.
  2.  A science communication workshop. This will be designed for online usage but then could be adapted for in-person SICB. We’ll have pre-recorded videos, again by volunteers (contact us!), maybe 15 minutes long, introducing a skill in “scicomm” so others can practice it. These could include but not be limited to:
    1. Sharing and composing stories about your science
    2. Art/editing scicomm audiovisuals
    3. Ways to maximize accessibility of scicomm
    4. Open software tools for scicomm (including art, video editing)
    5. More? Free-for-all social networking at end?

These videos will be used as a springboard for breakout sessions with the volunteers, our reps and any others, in which groups can discuss the videos and get further feedback and advice on improving their scicomm.

Watch this space for more updates!

Message from the Broadening Participation Committee

Rita Mehta, Broadening Participation Committee Chair, chair.bpc@sicb.org 

Rita Metha
Rita Mehta

If you, your students, colleagues or friends are planning to attend the annual meeting in- person or will be participating in SICB+, consider applying for a BP Professional Development (PD) Award. The BP PD Award is formerly known as the BP Travel Award, a name we are trying to phase out. The PD Award does not require a letter of recommendation and the link to the application can be found here. Applications are due by Monday, November 15th at 5pm PST.  These awards are for all SICB members and we are especially excited to support those who are participating in the annual meeting for the first time. 

The BP committee is excited to announce the inaugural award winner for the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice award for 2021. We would like to congratulate Dr. Mary Salcedo (she/her/hers)  for an outstanding application and for her amazing efforts in promoting equity and inclusion in the sciences. Dr. Salcedo is a current National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology (Broadening Participation) in the Socha Lab at Virginia Tech. As an engaged SICB member for the last decade, she has served as a Broadening Participation and LGBTQIA+ mentor. She also serves on the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans (SACNAS) Membership Committee to improve member experiences. 

Mary Salcedo

Dr. Salcedo regularly engages undergraduate and graduate students in her work with insect wings and the biomechanics of how those circulatory flows are produced within those wings.  Dedicated to undergraduate mentorship and training, Dr. Salcedo recently led an undergraduate team in the field to investigate wing expansion hydraulics in Brood X cicadas, and led the team through to publishing their results. The committee was particularly impressed with Dr. Salcedo’s “Undergraduate Expectations” research document that provides undergraduates with clear research expectations in the research process (freely available here). Dr. Salcedo is also a talented teacher, designing two novel pre-college courses at Harvard and Cornell, that combine museum collections, entomology, and biomechanics to help students build experimental intuition between biology and engineering fields.  Last year, in the rush to switch to a virtual platform, Dr. Salcedo wrote a user-friendly virtual SICB captions guide for the 2021 annual meeting to improve virtual SICB’s accessibility. We look forward to congratulating Dr. Salcedo more formally at the 2022 meeting. The BP committee would also like to thank the nominators, letter writers and applicants in this inaugural pool. Everyone who was nominated and applied was an impressive candidate, and we appreciated learning about the various efforts to increase DEIJ in STEM.  

You can learn more about Dr. Salcedo through her website (https://www.maryksalcedo.com/)

Message from the Public Affairs Committee

Contributed by the PAC – James Murray, Misty Paig-Tran, Ryan Hulett, Sebastien Alvarado, Phoebe Edwards, Noah Bressman, Shaz Zamore (chair)

The Public Affairs Committee has plans for at least two workshops at the Phoenix meeting.  One will be about applying for jobs after the pandemic’s impact.  Another will be about decolonizing science, data research, and learning environments, including working with native populations, and local engagement in fieldwork.  We may be able to include some others…

Last year, we recruited and mentored six amazing student journalists who have written stories featured on SICB’s new website.  Peishu Li wrote about Brett Aiello’s work with hawkmoth and silkmoth flapping flight mechanics.  Jackie Childers wrote about Elizabeth Derryberry’s study of birdsong response to reduced noise during COVID-19 shut down. Emily Lau wrote about convergent evolution of ink in the sea hare, pygmy sperm whale, and cuttlefish as explained by Lauren Somontis. Jacey van Wert wrote about Jordan Kennedy’s work on the engineering or beaver dams. Sara Zlotnik wrote about “Seafinding” in newly hatched baby sea turtles. And Andrew Saintsing wrote about Jon Harrison’s work on how hypermetric scaling of tracheal systems keep insects small.  The committee will also be seeking a new group of journalist applicants for the upcoming year.

We encourage you all to use the #SICB2022 hashtag in your social media ahead of the meeting!  And the committee is responding to the input we have received about social media policy for the upcoming meeting and will employ our student interns to help things run more smoothly.

Message from the Educational Council

Lisa Whitenack, Educational Council Chair, chair.edcouncil@sicb.org 

Lisa Whitenack
Lisa Whitenack

The Educational Council has been hard at work preparing for the 2022 annual meeting. We are collaborating with Ulises Ricoy for the Teaching and Learning X (TAL-X) workshop, which will focus on establishing science identity and using low-cost approaches to neuroscience to engage marginalized communities. We are excited to announce that the John A. Moore Lecturer for SICB’s closing plenary will be given by Dr. Sara Brownell. Dr. Brownell is a faculty member at Arizona State University who uses qualitative and quantitative data to better understand how to create more inclusive undergraduate biology learning environments. Finally, we have selected this year’s winner of the M. Patricia Morse Award for Excellence and Innovation in Science Education: Dr. Michelle Nishiguchi. Dr. Nishiguchi is a professor at UC Merced where she studies host-microbe interactions and microbial ecology. Fittingly, one of her colleagues wrote “Nish can articulate the symbiotic relationship between teaching and research to a broad audience, helping others see how fundamental science can impact our daily life and bring this understanding to those who may not see themselves in science initially.” Please join us in congratulating Dr. Nishiguchi! 

As a reminder, we continue to provide COVID-19 teaching support through maintaining databases for resources for online biology instruction and online guest lecturers. SICB’s Research and Education Resources library (RER) is currently under construction, as we think about how to best serve the SICB community. Stay tuned for more updates in the future months!

Message from the Development Committee

Lara Ferry, Development Committee Chair, chair.development@sicb.org 

Lara Ferry

Hello All!

I am looking forward with excitement to SICB in Phoenix, where I reside, and I hope you are as well!  Fingers crossed for both good health conditions and good weather during the meeting.  We sometimes get our entire annual rainfall in the first week of the year!

A few reminders from the Development Committee.  First, in case you didn’t get a chance to read the committee’s report in the Spring 2021 newsletter, check it out here to see a list of our 2021 Grants in Aid of Research Award winners. Within the GIAR, we have a few awards that are “named” awards, honoring in memoriam several of our past presidents and other leaders within SICB.  You have the opportunity to donate specifically to these named funds on our website.  The GIAR named funds, as well as individual SICB funds that support various initiatives, all can be found on that page.  Finally, a reminder that we have added an extremely easy way to start thinking about establishing a legacy gift to SICB as part of your Estate Planning.  With all of these options, we want to be sure that you know that you can be in control of where your funds go, and through the website you can be sure to direct your contribution(s) to the initiative(s) that resonate with you.

Lastly, don’t forget some of the easiest ways that you can help SICB to support (primarily our student) members.  First, you can name SICB as your charitable organization of choice in Amazon Smile. A portion of your shopping dollars will go to SICB, as long as you remember to shop on your Smile page. And, if you are in a shopping mood (it has been a “click to add to cart” kind of year!), as always, remember to order your SICB Apparel. Show your support of SICB and its programs, and benefit SICB at the same time.

Phoenix at sunset, as seen from the conference hotel. Photo credit: Brett Burk