Fall 2022: Division of Comparative Biomechanics

DCB Officers and Elections

Current DCB Officers

Through January 2023, your DCB officers are:

Welcoming New Division Leaders

Chair-Elect Misty Paig-Tran
Incoming Chair-Elect Misty Paig-Tran
Andrew K Schulz
Incoming SPD representative Andrew K Schulz

Last spring, we held our election for the DCB Chair and had two outstanding candidates: Stephanie Pierce, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University and Misty Paig-Tran, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Cal State Fullerton. Our thanks to you both for running for the position and your dedicated service to the division. Congratulations to Misty Paig-Tran on being elected as the DCB Chair! Misty will begin her term as Chair-Elect at the end of the 2023 SICB conference when Brooke Flammang, current Chair-Elect, will take over as Chair. Misty will assume the position as DCB Chair at the end of the 2025 annual meeting. Thank you for your commitment to the division’s leadership team!

We also would like to welcome our new Student/Postdoc representative Andrew K Schulz who will join the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) as DCB’s representative in January 2023. As SICB 2023 gets closer, we want to thank our outgoing SPDAC representative: Armita Manafzadeh. Thank you for all your hard work and commitment towards our division!

Carl Gans Young Investigator Award Winner

Photo of Alejandro Rico-Guevara
Alejandro Rico-Guevara is the 2023 recipient of the Carl Gans Award

We had a number of excellent candidates for the Carl Gans Young Investigator Award. We would like to congratulate the winner:  Dr. Alejandro Rico-Guevera, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Curator of Birds, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington.  In recommending the winner to the divisional officers, the Gans Award Committee had this to say about Dr. Rico-Guevera: “Dr. Rico-Guevera uses a uniquely integrative approach to explore the trade-offs of avian morphology, feeding, and behavior, concentrating on hummingbirds. Dr. Rico-Guevera has developed specific high-speed macro-imaging and tracking techniques to allow for the collection of behavioral data on large-scale dynamics of hummingbird flight and feeding in the field as well as feeding biomechanics in the lab.”  Dr. Rico-Guevera will give the Gans Award keynote address at the annual meeting this January.

Our most sincere acknowledgement to the Gans Award Committee members Drs. Anabela Resende Da Maia (chair), Venkata Amarnadh Surapaneni, Raul E. Diaz, Jr, Peishu Li and Talia Moore.  Their hard work has made a significant and positive contribution to the Division.  In considering this year’s nominees, the committee wanted to acknowledge the runner-up as an Honorable Mention, Dr. Nicholas Burnett.

Best Student Paper Competition 2023

We had 20 eligible submissions for the DCB Best Student Paper competition! Of these, DCB officers chose the top 8 finalists to compete for the annual Mimi A.R. Koehl and Stephen A. Wainwright Award for Best Student Presentation in Biomechanics. Officers decided that we will not hold a competition for the Stephen Vogel Award for Best Student Poster in Biomechanics this year. Keep an eye out for the special session dedicated to DCB student award finalists at the 2023 meeting! This year’s finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • Christian Brown. “Skydiving salamanders: How some lungless salamanders jump, glide, and generate lift”
  • Alice Leavey. “Modeling the effect of different skeletal proportions on hindlimb mechanics in frogs”
  • Theodora Po. “The collective and central control of locomotion in sea stars”
  • Divya Ramesh. “Studying terrestrial fish locomotion on wet deformable substrates”
  • Gargi Sadalgekar. “Template-level robophysical models for studying sustained terrestrial locomotion of amphibious fish”
  • Bradley Scott. “Competition from jawed vertebrates was not the only cause of Heterostraci (Agnatha) extinction”
  • Mikayla Struble. “Terrestrial to Aquatic Locomotor Transitions in Notophthalmus viridescens
  • Melody Young. “Climbing is hard (at least for humans)”

 Unfortunately, a number of submissions for the BSP paper award were deemed ineligible because they did not follow the BSP rules for extended abstracts.  If this was the case for you, please try again for SICB 2024!

Upcoming Regional SICB Meetings

Thanks to the organizers of three regional SICB meetings.  Information can be found here:

  • Midwest Regional Meeting at the University of Chicago.  Interest form
  • Southeast Regional Meeting at Duke University.  Tweet @patek_lab for registration form.
  • Southwest Regional Meeting at Cal State San Bernardino.  Save the date info.

Symposia at SICB 2023

Here are the topics that DCB is sponsoring for SICB 2023:

  • Pathways to adulthood: environmental, developmental, and evolutionary influences on the ontogeny of form and function
  • Neuroethology in the age of gene editing: New tools and novel insights into the molecular and neural basis of behavior
  • Biology at birth: the role of infancy in providing the foundation for lifetime success
  • Envisioning a Diverse, Inclusive & Safe Future for Field Biology
  • The role of mechanosensation in robust locomotion
  • Large-scale biological phenomena arising from small-scale biophysical processes

Students and Postdocs

The DCB Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative is available to serve as (1) a liaison between the student and postdoctoral members of our division and the division leadership, and (2) an advocate for the amazing research you’re all doing.

If you are a student or a postdoc and you have suggestions, comments, concerns please contact Armita Manafzadeh by email (armita.manafzadeh@yale.edu) or Twitter (@armanafzadeh) with your SICB-related feedback, and she will pass them along to the DCB officers.

Social Media

To keep up with our latest news please check our Facebook group, and feel free to send us your questions or tag @SICB_DCB_DVM in any tweets you’d like us to signal boost to our community!