Fall 2022: Division of Phylogenetics & Comparative Biology

Message from the Chair

Samantha Price, chair.dpcb@sicb.org

Samantha Price
Samantha Price

The Division of Phylogenetic and Comparative Biology is ready for our biggest and best SICB Annual Meeting yet. Our division is growing slowly but surely – we had record-breaking 70 abstracts submitted this year that were associated with DPCB.

We have something really special planned for Austin in honour of David Wake: a special session showcasing the latest and greatest in amphibian research. We are also looking forward to hosting the annual David and Marvalee Wake Award for Best Student Presentation oral and poster sessions and the Ask-an-Expert booth. The Ask-an-Expert booth needs you! For more info about volunteering see Ryan Felice’s post.

Message From the Program Officer

Leigha Lynch, dpo.dpcb@sicb.org

Special session in honor of David B. Wake

Leigha Lynch
Leigha Lynch

During the SICB Annual Meeting in Austin in January 2023, there will be a special session organized by David Blackburn and Marvalee Wake titled “What Amphibians Have Taught Us About Organism-Focused Evolutionary Biology” that will be held in honor of the late David B. Wake. This collection of amphibian-focused research talks will highlight how deep knowledge of organismal biology has led to new and unanticipated questions, as well as the influence of David Wake’s influence on their work.

Confirmed speakers include David Cannatella, James Hanken, Elizabeth Jockusch, Kiisa Nishikawa, Daniel Paluh, Corinne Richards-Zawacki, Mike Ryan, Nancy Staub, and Molly Womack.

David and Marvalee Wake Award for Best Student Presentation

Our annual best student presentation award session will be held on the afternoon of the first day of the meeting. The competition was fierce for a spot in this session as we had many excellent applicants. Join us for some incredible talks and don’t forget to check our best student presentation contestants in the poster session as well!

Divisional Social

Mark your calendar! Our Divisional social this year will be hosted jointly with the Division of Botany and will be held January 5 during the poster session. This will be at the local botanical garden – more details soon.

Welcome to our new Program Officer-Elect

Molly Womack
Molly Womack

We elected a new Program Officer-Elect this year, Molly Womack (molly.womack@usu.edu). Molly is an assistant professor at Utah State University. Her research is focused on evo-devo and sensory ecology in frogs and she has been an active member of DPCB for many years. We are looking forward to her joining the team and leading the future of the division.’

Message from the Secretary

Ryan Felice, secretary.dpcb@sicb.org

Ryan Felice
Ryan Felice

The Ask-An-Expert Booth Returns! We are in search of Experts to volunteer with the 2023 Ask-An-Expert Booth. This year marks the fifth “Ask-An-Expert” booth: a flexible, open session where SICB members can seek assistance from Experts one-on-one. Each year, the Booth has been a wonderfully approachable and fun way of connecting SICB members with resources and recommendations for genomics, phylogenetics, comparative methods, and more. To date, over 100 SICB members of all career stages have stopped by the Booth to consult with an Expert or receive methods pro-tips and troubleshooting advice.

We are searching for postdocs, senior PhD students, and early-career researchers who are interested in serving as Experts this year. This is a one-hour commitment during one of the poster sessions.

In the past, we have featured experts in the areas of:

  • Phylogenetic comparative methods
  • Systematics
  • Ecological modelling
  • Geometric morphometrics
  • Data visualization
  • R and Python troubleshooting
  • Applying for jobs
  • Writing grants
  • And more!

If you are willing and able to help as an Expert in any area such as these, contact Ryan at secretary.dpcb@sicb.org now!

A Message from Emily Lessner and SPDAC

Emily Lessner
Emily Lessner

The Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) is currently focused on updating and providing links on the SICB website useful for those navigating the job market and other aspects of academia and non-academia. We are working to improve our committee website at https://sicb.org/student-postdoctoral-affairs-committee/ and the SICB resources on careers at https://sicb.org/resources/career-information/.

We are also working on a “Questions you didn’t know you had” session for postdocs, so please reach out if you have any suggestions! For the 2023 meeting, SPDAC is planning on coordinating a networking opportunity after the opening plenary session in addition to our usual workshop and booth. Finally, we are developing a digital form to allow individuals to submit concerns to SPDAC.