Division of Vertebrate Morphology: Newsletter Spring 2020

Please vote in the Spring 2020 Elections (candidate biographies can be found below). The deadline is April 19th, and the ballot can be found in the link provided here.  http://burkclients.com/sicb/elections/2020.php

Message from the Chair, Patricia Hernandez, Chair.DVM@sicb.org

Hello all. Thank you to everyone that helped make our meeting in Austin a great success. I think that our meetings just keep getting better and better! 

Among the many wonderful symposia and contributed talks a personal highlight for me was the D. Dwight Davis Best Student Paper presentations, which I had the great honor of chairing. Spanning a broad diversity of vertebrate morphology all of the talks were truly excellent. The winner was Jack Phillips of UCONN for his fascinating presentation “Novel Air-breathing Modes in Anuran Tadpoles.” Thank you Jack for introducing us all to single and double bubble sucks. The Karel Liem poster award went to Brenan Wynd for his poster “Allometric growth and shifting diet in the large-bodied traversodontid cynodont, Exaeretodon argentinus, with implications for modeling growth in distorted specimens.”  Thank you to DVM Chair-elect Rick Blob for organizing judging of presentations and posters, and thank you to all the judges involved.

SICB Attendees by the pool in Austin
SICB Attendees by the pool in Austin

During the meeting several students approached me regarding the seemingly prohibitive language associated with the poster competition. We are now looking at that language to see what changes can be made there to increase the number of students competing for this award. 

During the upcoming spring elections, we must select a new Secretary-elect. We are fortunate to have two excellent candidates vying for the position, Vanessa Young and Kristen Stover. Please see their candidate profiles below. Thank you to Marianne Porter and Marguerite Butler who served as our nominating committee. Thank you, Vanessa and Kris for being willing to serve your division.

As we start thinking about our next meeting in Washington, DC please know that we will be supporting several excellent symposia (see Mason Dean’s statement below). Also, we are already actively shopping for good symposium proposals for our 2022 meeting in Phoenix, AZ. As we have done in the past our program officer is collecting good symposium ideas; this offers an opportunity to suggest symposium ideas even if you are not quite ready to organize the symposium. If you would like to discuss the possibility of organizing a symposium please reach out to our wonderful program officer, Mason Dean.

As regards our next SICB meeting, I am taking advantage of being a local and am trying to find a more “lively” setting for our DVM/DCB social. If anyone has any suggestions of what might be fun, please reach out to me at phernand@gwu.edu.

Have a great spring everyone!

Message from the Program Officer, Mason Dean, DPO.DVM@sicb.org

Austin was a blast! We had 2278 total attendees and over 1800 abstracts, ~25% of those from DVM/DCB. Thanks to Phil Anderson for his hard work in helping programming the abstracts and to all of you for your excellent contributions to the scientific content; it’s fantastic to see DVM so prominent at the meeting. Thanks also for coming out and making the on-site DVM/DCB social a success – it wouldn’t have been possible without Kiersten Formoso and Aaron Olsen’s killer playlists! 

Our student members continued to shine: the dedicated sessions for the Dwight D. Davis Best Student Oral Presentation competition and the Karel F. Liem Poster Presentation competition again showcased wonderful presentations. Thanks to the judges for their hard work and congrats to Jack Phillips and Brenan Wynd for their winning presentations!  We’re looking forward to continued top-notch presentations by our student members at the 2021 meeting in Washington, DC.

..and now on to Washington! In DC, we are co-sponsoring a fantastic and diverse symposia line-up: 

  1. An Evolutionary Tail: Evo-Devo, Structure, and Function of Post-Anal Appendages (Janneke Schwaner)
  2. Biology Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning through Authentic Research, Design, and Community Engagement (Ali Hansen)
  3. Bridging Disciplinary Gaps to Advance Canine Science (Caleb Bryce)
  4. Physical Mechanisms of Behavior (Patrick Green)
  5. Sending and Receiving Signals: Endocrine Modulation of Social Communication (Karen Maruska)
  6. The Biology of Sticky: Adhesive Silk, Fiber, and Glue Biomaterials Across Eukaryota (Mercedes Burns)
  7. The Integrative Biology of Pigment Organelles (Florent Figon)

If you’re thinking of organizing a future symposium, note how these topics (and previous symposia: http://www.sicb.org/archive/symposia.php) link multiple divisions, this is key to a successful symposium!  Speaking of which…

We’re already looking for symposia for SICB 2022 in Phoenix, AZ. We need your help to keep DVM on the forefront! Think about topics in your research field that are under-addressed and/or cutting edge, and can build bridges with other divisions and scientific societies. We are particularly excited in timely topics that interest multiple SICB disciplines, and that address the broader impacts criteria of NSF. 

Write to me if you want to chat about developing symposium ideas or if you need help with the application process, I can share previous, successful applications and give you pointers. You can also suggest ideas for symposia here, free of obligation: https://forms.gle/CAsbBkC3UjNGYJcw8. Once you’re ready to submit a proposal, the submission and proposal guideline website will be live soon! The deadline for symposium proposals is in late August this year, then the Program Committee will select the final symposia for 2022 at our meeting this fall. 

What other DVM-y conferences are you attending this year? Between now and the next SICB, there are plenty of conferences where you can get your morphology fix:

Upcoming conferences:

When you attend other conferences, remember to talk up SICB and our journals to the researchers you meet — it’s a great way for us to connect to other societies and can help recruit new SICB and DVM members. Consider organizing a SICB symposium with someone from another society — this is a perfect way to build interdisciplinary perspectives into our symposium topics from the start.

Have a fun and successful spring! — Mason

Message from the Secretary, Angela Horner, Secretary.DVM@sicb.org

Happy 2020 everyone! As others have noted throughout this newsletter, Austin 2020 was an excellent meeting with many opportunities for socializing, consuming barbeque, and seeing some of the most interesting and fun science talks in the field of biology (author’s opinion). 

I would like to solicit more fodder for our researcher database (available on our webpage, sicb.org/divisions/dvm). Please consider submitting your best picture and brief research description to add your name to the (presently short) list of DVM researchers. 

Additionally, program officer Mason Dean and I would like to solicit the names, dates, and locations of all meetings that may be of interest to our members to add to the website. Special thanks to those of you who continue to call attention to societies and conferences for under-represented groups, such as SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) and ABRCMS (Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students). 

Before the candidates for Secretary (hey, I just got here!) introduce themselves, some notes and miscellanea from the meeting:

  • Students impacted by the California travel ban to Texas: as SICB will be in Texas again in 2022, please reach out to your division chair and SICB executive officers to inquire about additional avenues for financial support. Please see the President’s comments regarding inclusivity and support for our LGBQT+ members.
  • Steven Wainwright’s tremendous impact on the field of functional morphology will be honored with an eponymous grant in aid of research (GAIR); details forthcoming.
  • In order to better align with other SICB division twitter feeds and to be more easily searchable, the new Twitter handle for DVM and DCB will be @SICB_DCB_DVM. It’s currently being managed by Kara Feilich (kfeilich@umich.edu) and Armita Manafzadeh (manafzadeh@brown.edu). Please send them your publications, questions, and memes.
  • Regarding elections, you can vote even if you are not current with dues (I’ve done this myself a time or four), so please take the time to review the candidate bios below and watch for announcements from SICB regarding elections.

DVM Secretary-Elect Candidate Biographies

(Ballot: http://burkclients.com/sicb/elections/2020.php)

Kris Stover

Kris Stover
Kris Stover

Current Position: Assistant Professor, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Education: BS, Biological Science, Ohio University, 2009 (thesis w/ Susan Williams), MS, Marine Biology, College of Charleston, 2012 (Lou Burnett), PhD, EEB, Brown University, 2017 (Beth Brainerd and Tom Roberts)

Professional Experience: 2019 to present, Assistant Professor of Anatomy, Department of Biomedical Science, WVSOM. 2017-2019, Postdoctoral Researcher at University of California, Irvine with Manny Azizi

SICB Activities: Active SICB member since 2009 (13 presentations, 11 first-author), DVM D. Dwight Davis Award 2018, DVM-DCB regional meeting attendee (Northeast, SWOB, and Southeast), DVM student presentation judge

Other Memberships: American Association for Anatomy, Sigma-Xi, Poultry Science Association

Research interests: Comparative morphology and biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system, especially across time (growth, aging, and evolutionary time scales). Current projects include investigating the effects of aging on muscle shape change in a rat model and comparing hind limb bone morphology and biomechanical limits in domestic turkey strains with Aviagen Turkeys Inc.

Goals Statement: I am excited at the potential to contribute to DVM in a more impactful way, as SICB has been my home meeting since I was an undergraduate. I have greatly benefited from all of the opportunities offered to student members over the years, as well as the division’s promotion of classes, events, and positions available in our field of study. As DVM Secretary I would continue to communicate pertinent opportunities to our members, as well as increase the visibility of the current projects, publications, and symposia coming from our division. I hope to give back to the division that never fails to scientifically inspire me and to support our members’ professional development at all levels. 

Vanessa K. Hilliard Young

Vanessa K Hilliard Young
Vanessa K Hilliard Young

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Biology, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN.

Education: BS, 2010 Erskine College; MS, 2012 University of Arkansas – Little Rock; PhD, 2017 Clemson University.

Professional Experience: 2017-present, Assistant Professor of Biology Saint Mary’s College

SICB Activities: Student Member of SICB (2012-2017); Active Full Member of SICB (2018-present); DVM & DCB Student Presentation Judge (2018, 2019), Broadening Participation Mentorship Program (2018, 2019), SICB Code of Conduct Ally (2020), DCPB Ask-An-Expert booth (2020), SICB Workshop Panelist: Panel on Research and Working at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (2020)

Other Memberships: International Society of Vertebrate Morphology, Sigma Xi, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

Research Interests: Evolutionary and functional morphology, comparative biomechanics, ethical practices and strategies to promote inclusion and diversity in classroom and research environments

Statement of Goals: I am excited and honored to be nominated for the DVM Secretary-Elect position!  As a student, I was well supported by SICB, not only financially through the SICB GIAR and student travel awards, but also personally and professionally by this community of friends and mentors.  Because of this foundation of support, I am eager to start giving back to SICB and getting involved in new ways. During my time as a SICB member, I’ve seen the Society make great strides in promoting a welcoming meeting environment.  In this position, I plan to work with other officers to continue the Society’s progress toward making the SICB a safe, inclusive, and welcoming community for members of diverse backgrounds. I also see promotion of DCB-DVM regional SICB meetings as a way to connect with SICB members (or potential members) who are not currently attending national meetings.  Finally, I look forward to supporting colleagues within DVM by collating and sharing scholarly and pedagogical resources, particularly for early-career members.