Fall 2021: Division of Comparative Endocrinology

Message from the DCE Officers

Kathleen E. Hunt, Chair – chair.dce@sicb.org, Sara O’Brien, Program Officer – dpo.dce@sicb.org, Christine Lattin, Secretary – secretary.dce@sicb.org, Carla Madelaire, Student/Postdoctoral Representative – carlamadelaire@gmail.com

The next SICB conference is scheduled to take place in person in Phoenix, Arizona on January 3-7, 2022. The Society is also hoping to keep some of the best aspects of last year’s virtual format, like increased participation from international researchers and an extended time window to explore talks and posters, through its SICB+ option (more details below!). Our new DCE program officer Sara O’Brien has been working hard pulling together a great program for the next meeting, where DCE will be sponsoring an exciting line-up of oral presentation and poster sessions on topics including comparative endocrinology, stress, parental care, impacts of urbanization, hormones and behavior, seasonality, and ecotoxicology. DCE will also be programming several education and outreach oral presentation and poster sessions on topics including science communication, undergraduate teaching and research, and science advocacy. 

The Aubrey Gorbman best student talk competition and the Lynn Riddiford best student poster competition will both be occurring with a mix of in person and virtual offerings. Thirteen students will be competing for the Riddiford Award, and ten students for the Gorbman Award. As of now, Gorbman presentations are tentatively scheduled for Monday January 4 at 10 am. DCE members willing to volunteer to judge Best Student Presentations and Posters are needed! If you are interested in serving as a judge, please contact Sara O’Brien (dpo.dce@sicb.org) on how to get involved.

Overall, DCE received abstracts for 26 posters and 29 talks to be given in person at the 2022 meeting,  and will be co-sponsoring 4 symposia and complementary sessions: 1) “Best practices for bioinspired design education, research and product development”, 2) “Ecoimmunology: what unconventional organisms tell us after two decades”, 3) “Open source solutions in experimental design”, and 4) “The deep and shallow history of aquatic life’s passages between marine and freshwater habitats”. Note that anyone planning on presenting in person at the 2022 SICB Conference can still sign up to be part of SICB+ and make their pre-recorded talk or poster available for wider viewership on the SICB+ platform. So please consider signing up for SICB+ if you are already planning on presenting at the meeting.  

Tyrone Haynes, 2022 Bern Lecturer

For our 2022 Howard A. Bern Lecture, we are thrilled to announce that our speaker will be Dr. Tyrone Hayes. Dr. Hayes is based at the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California-Berkeley, where he is presently Department Chair. He is well known for his fascinating research on amphibian endocrinology, including investigations into the influences of steroid hormones on metamorphosis and sex differentiation, and the effects of endocrine-disrupting contaminants. Dr. Hayes has a well-earned reputation as not only a dynamic and creative scientist but also a wonderful speaker, and we are all greatly looking forward to hearing his Bern lecture! Be sure to put it on your conference calendars – January 5 at 7pm.

Several student-oriented events will also continue at the 2022 meeting:

  • Lunch with a Comparative Endocrinologist. Students will be matched with a comparative endocrinolo­gist for a networking meeting either online or in person. This is a great opportunity for students and post-docs to meet researchers whose work interests them and ask questions about research opportunities, funding, and the job market. If you are a comparative endocrinologist in academia or a trained endocrinologist who uses your scientific training outside of academia, and are willing to meet with students, please contact Student/Post-doc Representative Carla Madelaire (carlamadelaire@gmail.com).
  • DCE (Social Media) Data Blitz. For this virtual event, please prepare funny or cute material such as a short video (3 min max, TikTok might be useful here) or photos that explain your research findings or show your field site or lab work. Student/Post-doc Representative Carla Madelaire will tweet and post these photos and videos on Facebook during SICB. This is a super cool way to invite people to your talk, promote yourself, and spread the word about the results that took so much effort to obtain. Everyone is encouraged to participate, especially students participating in the Gorbman and Riddiford student presentation competitions. Even if you are not on social media, you can email Carla your material and she will post for you with your name and the date and time of your SICB presentation.


  • The Student-Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) will organize workshops both online and in person about different topics relevant to students and postdocs, and hold a networking event to meet some SICB rock stars. Stay tuned to SPDAC twitter (@SICB_SPDAC) for further information on those events, and also be sure to check out this helpful brochure SPDAC put together with tips for first-time SICB attendees.

Remember to register early – presenters are required to register by November 5th, and the early fee deadline is December 1st. The deadline for travel awards for students and post-docs (including the Charlotte Magnum Awards, Broadening Participation Travel Awards, and Dorothy M. Skinner Awards) was October 20.  

 Check the SICB meeting website regularly for updates on unfolding COVID safety mitigation practices to be observed during the meeting, which will follow both CDC guidance and local Phoenix, AZ regulations. International travelers should review travel restrictions well in advance of the meeting, and check the SICB website for details. The SICB website may also provide specific details regarding the layout, size, shape, air exchange, and temperature monitoring stations of the Phoenix Convention Center.   

Election results and upcoming elections

Results from the fall DCE election are in: our new Chair-Elect is Jamie Cornelius, and our new Secretary-Elect is Haruka Wada. Thank you very much to our entire excellent slate of candidates for being willing to serve their society. Kat Munley will also be starting as the new DCE Student/Post-doctoral Representative after the 2022 Meeting. (The SPDAC representative is a position appointed by the society president.) Kat is a PhD Candidate in Greg Demas’ lab at Indiana University, and studies how melatonin mediates seasonal changes in steroid hormones and territorial aggression in Siberian hamsters.

New DCE officers Jamie Cornelius, Haruka Wada, and Kat Munley.

A number of minor changes to the DCE bylaws also passed. These changes were designed to make the DCE bylaws consistent with current SICB and DCE policies and naming conventions, to remove redundancy, and to update language. Updated divisional bylaws are available on the DCE website.

There will also be an election for DCE Program Officer-Elect in spring 2022. Please consider running for this position or nominating your deserving colleagues; it’s a great way to connect with colleagues, contribute to your professional community, and learn how your society operates from the inside. If you have questions about what being a Program Officer for DCE entails, please reach out to Sara O’Brien at dpo.dce@sicb.org!

 It’s never too early to submit Bern nominations for the 2023 meeting, as well symposium ideas for 2024. Please send any ideas for Bern nominations, symposia, or officer candidates to the DCE Chair, Kathleen Hunt, at chair.dce@sicb.org.

Social media

If you are on Facebook, please join the DCE group. It’s a great place to ask questions about your research or endocrinology course materials, or to post or find out about potential job opportunities. If you are on Twitter, please follow the DCE account (@SICB_DCE). And you can always reach out to Student/Post-doctoral Representative Carla Madelaire if you have a paper announce­ment, job inquiry, question, or other SICB related information you would like retweeted! Just email or direct message her, or use @SICB_DCE to tag our Twitter account. During the meeting, you can follow and live tweet using #SICB2022.

We hope all DCE members, and their families, friends, and coworkers, are safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming conference.