Fall 2020 DCE

Message from DCE Leadership

In a normal year, we are usually mid-way through a routine semester by now, experiencing only a normal amount of mid-semester adrenal activation. This is not a normal year, obviously. We have all had to adapt to a new reality, and one of the innumerable things that has had to adjust is the format of the SICB conference, including DCE’s portions. SICB administration and all divisional officers have been spending a great deal of time and effort this year assessing how best to host our 2021 conference. As we move into the fall months, DCE program officer Brian Walker has been working particularly hard to compile a great program that will fit our new virtual format. We expect fewer posters than usual this year, but a full complement of oral presentations. At this writing, we have thirty-seven oral presentations scheduled in four DCE sessions (Stress #1; Stress #2; Reproduction, Growth and Development; and Comparative, Environmental and Behavioral Endocrinology), and fourteen DCE posters. We’re happy to report that we will have plenty of other meeting highlights this year as well, including the following:

DCE is sponsoring or co-sponsoring four symposia at the 2021 conference that will include:

  1. “Blinded by the Light: Effects of Light Pollution across Diverse Natural Systems” on Monday, Jan. 4th;
  2. “Biology Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning through Authentic Research, Design, and Community Engagement” on Tuesday, Jan. 5th;
  3. “Sending and Receiving Signals: Endocrine Modulation of Social Communication” on Wed., Jan 6th;
  4. “Manakin genomics: comparative studies of evolution and behavior in a unique clade of birds” on Thursday, Jan. 7th.
White-bibbed Manakin
White-bibbed Manakin, image by Ziegler M, Wikimedia Commons

Mark your calendars for all four days! We encourage you all to attend all these symposia, which will surely be fascinating. Symposia talks will also be available for viewing for several weeks after Jan. 7th.

We are also delighted to confirm that the traditional DCE highlights of the Howard A. Bern Lecture, the Aubrey Gorbman best student talk competition, and the Lynn Riddiford best student poster competition will all be occurring as well, in virtual format. Eight students will be competing for the Gorbman Award, and seven for the Riddiford Award. These student presentations have been scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 3rd. A big thank you goes out to those DCE members who have already agreed to judge the oral and poster competitions. As always, we are always looking for additional volunteers to help with judging — if you are interested in participating as a judge and have not yet reached out, please contact Brian (see email below) for specifics on how to get involved.

For our 2021 Howard A. Bern Lecture, this year we kicked off the nomination process early with a call for nominations during the

Professor Dr. Michaela Hau
Professor Dr. Michaela Hau

DCE business meeting last January in Austin. This approach was a great success; we received 36 nominations, many more than usual, which spanned an incredibly impressive and diverse selection of great scientists. The Bern Nomination Committee (consisting of all DCE officers and officers-elect) thus had a particularly difficult job this year. We are thrilled to announce that our Bern speaker for the 2021 meeting will be Prof. Dr. Michaela Hau. Dr. Hau is based at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany, with over 100 publications to her name and an h-index of 41. Dr. Hau began her career with comparisons of physiological adaptations across species in different environments, but more recently she has focused on quantifying individual variation in endocrinological traits and assessing the fitness consequences of such variation, with the grand goal of assessing how fast physiological systems can evolve. Her study system currently is free-living great tits of Europe, in which she studies variation in corticosterone response to environmental inputs, the resultant effects on traits including reproductive success, as well as linked effects on other traits such as oxidative stress, telomere length, metabolic rate, behavior, and flight performance. Dr. Hau’s presentations are always fascinating, and we are all greatly looking forward to her Bern lecture!

Final details of the rest of the DCE schedule and presentation format are still being decided. There may — there probably will — be some glitches, so we beg your patience as we all navigate the logistics of this new meeting format together. However, though we will all miss seeing our friends and colleagues in person, the virtual format will likely prove to have real benefits as well — among them, the ability to attract participants from far-flung regions of the globe who might not otherwise be able to attend, and additionally the capability to watch the presentations over multiple weeks. (No longer will you have to agonize over missing a talk of great interest due to a schedule conflict!) Stay tuned for additional information from SICB leadership about final schedule format, as well as details about other gatherings that normally occur in person — divisional business meetings, divisional socials and the like. Finally, remember to register early for the 2021 meeting!

We would also like to remind you of some regular DCE business. It’s never too early to submit Bern nominations for the 2022 meeting, as well as symposium ideas for 2023. There are also some DCE officer elections approaching in summer 2021. We will be looking for interested and willing nominees for the positions of DCE secretary-elect and DCE chair-elect. Please consider running for these positions 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. Please send any ideas for Bern nominations, symposia, or officer candidates to the DCE Chair, Kathleen Hunt, at Chair.DCE@sicb.org.

One last bit of business — in light of the pandemic and associated dramatic changes in workloads, discussions of possible rebranding of DCE were temporarily tabled during 2020. We look forward to revisiting this issue with all DCE members once 2021 gets underway. We truly hope all DCE members, and their families and friends, are all safe and healthy, and we hope we will see you all — virtually — at our upcoming conference.

Kathleen E. Hunt, Chair,  chair.dce@sicb.org; Brian Walker, Program Officer, dpo.dce@sicb.org; Timothy Greives, Secretary, secretary.dce@sicb.org

Message from the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Carla B. Madelaire, carlamadelaire@gmail.com

Carla B. Madelaire
Carla B. Madelaire, Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Hello everyone! I hope you find yourself healthy and safe in this unprecedented difficult year. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us and I sincerely hope that you are adapting and remaining positive. Due to travel restrictions and CDC guidelines, the SICB 2021 in Washington, DC is now going to be held online. This will improve meeting accessibility, inclusion and the opportunity to practice different ways to communicate science and networking. Here are some quick details that could benefit DCE graduate students and postdocs. For more details on each topic, please review the meeting website (http://burkclients.com/sicb/meetings/2021/site/general_info.html).

  • Remember to register!! This year the registration fee is substantially less expensive, which will allow more students to participate. SICB also provided even lower rates for people from Low-Income and Lower-Middle Income Economy Countries. If you have a presentation, you MUST register by October 28, 2020 to complete your submission.
  • Student awards & support. These include the Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program, Grants-in-Aid of Research, Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel and Dorothy M. Skinner Award. If you missed the deadlines for this year, be sure to apply next year!
  • Let’s make good use of social media. Especially during these times where we can’t meet in person, let’s stay connected. If you’re on Facebook, please join the DCE group. It’s a great place to ask questions about your research or material for elaborating endocrinology courses. If you’re on Twitter, please follow the DCE account (@SICB_DCE)! I’m happy to retweet your paper announce­ments, job inquiries, questions, and also announce SICB related information and deadlines! Just direct message or @ the SICB_DCE. During the meeting, you can follow and live tweet using #SICB2021.

Resources organized by the Student-Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC): The SPDAC provides an interesting and complete list of advice for applying to postdocs, grants and fellowship opportunities that is accessible (http://www.sicb.org/resources/studentpostdoc.php3) with your membership number. They will also organize workshops about different topics in academia and science. Stay tuned to SPDAC twitter (@SICB_SPDAC) and the SICB website for further information on the theme and content of those events.Featured DCE events during online SICB 2021

  • Meeting with Comparative Endocrinologist: If you’re interested in networking and career advice, please plan on attending the annual Meeting with a Comparative Endocrinologist. Groups of students will be matched with a comparative endocrinolo­gist for an online networking meeting. This is a great opportunity to meet researchers whose work you are interested in and ask questions about research opportunities, funding, and the job market. Many of the conversations are also an opportunity to help you make an informed decision on pursuing the next step in science. If you’re a professional researcher in comparative endocrinology in academia OR a trained endocrinologist (who is continuing to use your training) outside of academia, and are willing to meet with students, please contact me. Graduate students and postdocs: I will be sending around information about how to participate in this event on twitter and DCE Facebook group.

    I want to be SICB famous!
    DCE Data Blitz: I want to be SICB famous!
  • DCE Data Blitz: Prepare short videos (3 min max, TikTok might be useful here) or funny photos explaining your research, showing your field site or your lab work. I will tweet and post on Facebook during SICB. This is a super cool way to invite people to your talk and to promote yourself, especially during a virtual meeting. I hope everyone can participate!! Best student selected presentations are especially encouraged to participate. Even if you don’t have a twitter or a Facebook account, you can just email me the material and I will put it out there with your name, date and time of presentation. See you all at SICB 2021 virtual meeting!