Fall 2021: Division of Animal Behavior

Message from DAB Leadership

Kendra SewallChair.DAB@sicb.org; Kathleen LynchDPO.DAB@sicb.org; Allison Welch, Secretary.DAB@sicb.org; Connor Philson (Student Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative)

With the upcoming SICB 2022 meeting, we are looking forward to the opportunities to interact in-person as well as to participate virtually via SICB+. We are excited to explore this new format and are pleased to be able to include attendees who may not be able to attend in-person while taking a step toward reducing the carbon footprint of our annual meeting.

Whether you attend in-person or virtually, we hope you will participate in many of the DAB events and opportunities, especially those that support our students and early career members! Please join us for the following:

Blue dasher dragonfly, Pachydiplax longipennis (Photo credit: Avery Russell)

 DAB Mentoring Program: In an effort to help DAB members, especially students, get broader perspectives and advice, we are organizing a virtual mentoring program this year. We hope this opportunity will help people connect, whether they are attending virtually or in person. Look for more information via email to DAB members in December.

Student talk and poster awards: Our best student presentation competitions highlight and celebrate the outstanding work of students in DAB. This year, the Marlene Zuk competition will include student talks presented in special in-person and virtual sessions. Our Zuk Award finalists are featured below. The Elizabeth Adkins-Regan poster competition will also include both in-person and virtual formats. Regardless of how you participate in SICB this year, please attend our students’ talks and posters and consider volunteering to serve as a poster judge.

Building community: Please join us for the DAB Members Meeting on January 4 and for the DAB Social. Our Members Meeting (formerly known as the DAB Business Meeting) is a chance to meet fellow DAB members, learn more about our Division, and find ways to engage with our group, and our Social provides further opportunities to get to know each other. All DAB members and prospective members are warmly encouraged to attend both the Members Meeting and the Social! We want to involve members at all career stages and from diverse backgrounds and areas of interest!

Events for students and post-docs: The Student/Post Affairs Committee (SPDAC) booth this year will provide networking opportunities with knowledgeable SICB members. These members will have varying backgrounds and areas of expertise and will be available for career advice and research conversations. If you’re new to SICB or need a place to jumpstart your networking at the conference, this is the place! SPDAC’s big event this year will be a science communication workshop. With a short presentation at the beginning of the workshop, the majority of the time will be in smaller breakout groups with science communication experts, allowing for a more personalized experience and learning environment. No matter whether you interact with SICB online or in-person, SPDAC is looking forward to the conference and is here to help!

Symposia: Be sure to check out the following five DAB co-sponsored symposia at our 2022 SICB meeting. Because we are so integrative, our division supports a lot of symposia. However, we have relatively few symposia with a specific focus on behavior. If you have ideas for a future symposium that would focus on behavior please contact our Program Officer, Kathleen Lynch. Organizing a symposium can be a great way to highlight your work, and all symposium papers are published in Integrative and Comparative Biology.

  • S1. Best practices for bioinspired design education, research and product development, Jan. 4, Organizers: Marianne Alleyne, Aimy Wissa, Andrew Suarez, William Barley
  • S2. Evolutionary conservation and diversity in a key vertebrate behavior: “walking” as a model system, Jan. 4, Organizers: Haley Amplo, Alice Gibb, Sandy Kawano
  • S4. Ecoimmunology: what unconventional organisms tell us after two decades, Jan. 5, Organizers: Vania Assis, Stefanny Monteiro
  • S7. Phenological plasticity: from molecular mechanisms to ecological and evolutionary implications, Jan. 6, Organizers: Cory Williams, Lise Aubry
  • S8. Morphology and evolution of female copulatory morphology in Amniotes, Jan. 6, Organizers: Patty Brennan, Günter Wagner
Yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) hatchling and eggs (photo credit: Kathleen Lynch)

Leadership opportunities: Getting involved in SICB service and leadership is an excellent way to build your network and service portfolio, particularly for early career members. DAB will be holding an election for Divisional Program Officer in Spring 2022, for a term to begin in 2023. Please consider nominating yourself or someone else for this position!

We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix (January 3-7) and/or virtually via SICB+ (January 14 – March 31)!

Zuk Award Finalists

Ten students have been selected to compete in this year’s Marlene Zuk Award competition for Best Student Presentation. These finalists will present the results of their research in special “Zuk Award” in-person and virtual sessions. Our judging panel, composed of the DAB executive committee, Chair-elect Avery Russell, and graduate student/postdoc rep Conner Philson selected the finalists on the basis of their extended abstracts. The finalists are (in reverse alphabetical order): Daniela Yardeny, Dale Stevens (in-person only), Natalia Perez-Campanero, Elyse McMahon, Molly McDermott (virtual only), Keren Levy, John Jones, Maëliss Hoarau, Olivia Harris, and Ananda Shikhara Bhat (virtual only). Please join us in congratulating these finalists, and please join us for the Zuk Award sessions!

Welcome DAB’s Incoming Chair, Avery Russell!

Avery Russell, Incoming Chair of DAB

It is our pleasure to welcome Avery Russell as the incoming DAB Chair. Avery is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Missouri State University and has been a SICB member since 2014. His research interests are in the behavioral and evolutionary ecology of plant-animal-microbe interactions, and he has substantial experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at multiple institutions.

As DAB Chair, Avery looks forward to facilitating opportunities for early career researchers, promoting interdisciplinary research, and continuing to build a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in DAB and SICB.

DAB Bylaws Amendments

Several proposed amendments to the DAB Bylaws were voted upon this summer and passed. Updated bylaws, reflecting these changes, are available on the DAB website.