Fall 2020 DNNSB

Message from DNNSB Leadership

Greetings from the DNNSB Leadership! Like many of you, we are disappointed that SICB will be virtual this year, but we are embracing some of the positive aspects of a virtual meeting. The good news is that SICB is committed to making this virtual meeting as inclusive and accessible as possible. The virtual meeting will allow people who typically cannot attend SICB because of geographical constraints to participate, and the availability of presentations through the end of February means that you’ll have plenty of time to see all the fantastic presentations that you can’t squeeze into 4 days of an in-person meeting.

We are sure that you have many questions about how SICB will run the meeting this year. While the virtual platform and some meeting details are still in development, we are pleased to share the following information with you:

Meeting FAQs

  1. What is the plan for the virtual SICB meeting? Briefly, live-streamed symposia and plenaries will be held on January 3-7. On-demand talks, posters, and workshops will be available between January 3 – February 28. The online format will be through Pathable. Pathable was chosen because of its interactiveness and flexibility. You can view an example of that format here: https://botany2020.pathable.co/. Because of the late abstract submission and the need to begin programming the meeting, some of the details are still in development. SICB is also still working out the details on the Business Meetings and Social Events. For details on the programming format, please see the updates by SICB President Beth Brainerd and the Program Chair, Jake Socha, and be sure to check SICB website and the 2021 meeting website for the latest news.
  1. What are changes to the Best Student Presentation competition? DNNSB had a great turn-out for the Best Student Presentation oral competition, with 37 students applying. Because we don’t have the normal time constraints of an in-person meeting, the DNNSB Executive Committee elected to expand the competition to 10 oral presentations this year. The schedule for the meeting is still being finalized, but the Best Student Presentation Oral Competition will be held on Sunday, January 3rd. The presentations will be pre-recorded and presented in a synchronous session that allows online engagement from the community and interaction with the presenter. 
Aplysia californica (Photocredit: Wikimedia images)
Aplysia californica (Photocredit: Wikimedia Commons)

Thanks to the flexibility of the online format, we will also be grouping the 6 Best Student Presentation Poster Competition entrants into a single poster session. Presenters will create a poster in PDF format along with a short audio explanation of their poster. Conference attendees will be allowed to provide feedback through text-based comments alongside the poster and will be able to interact with the presenter. 

We are looking for DNNSB members to serve as judges for both the oral and poster BSP competitions. When you register for the meeting, please indicate your willingness to serve as a judge. The DNNSB Executive Committee will be modifying the judging rubric to account for the new online format this year. We will be sure to distribute the rubric to the BSP participants prior to the meeting, as well as to the judges.

  1. What are the symposia and events sponsored by DNNSB at virtual SICB 2021? In addition to the BSP sessions, DNNSB will co-sponsoring 6 of the 12 symposia at the 2021 meeting. We are the primary sponsor for two exciting symposia:
  • “Spatiotemporal dynamics of animal communication,” organized by Kim Hoke and Nathan Morehouse
  • “Sending and Receiving Signals: Endocrine Modulation of Social Communication,” organized by Karen Muraska.  

We are also co-sponsoring several other excellent symposia:

  • “Physical Mechanisms of Behavior” hosted by Patrick Green
  • “Blinded by the Light: Effects of Light Pollution across Diverse Natural Systems,” organized by Meredith Kernbach
  • “Biology Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning through Authentic Research, Design, and Community Engagement” organized by Alexandria Hansen (SICB-wide Symposium)
  • “The Integrative Biology of Pigment Organelles” organized by Jerome Casas and Florent Figon (SICB-wide Symposium)
  1. How can we connect with colleagues during a virtual SICB? One of the most valuable aspects of the SICB meeting is convening with colleagues. SICB will provide a number of opportunities to connect virtually, including:
  • Discussion boards and live discussion events for contributed posters/talks
  • Live-streamed networking events and workshops
  • Social media engagement is integrated with the virtual conference platform.

DNNSB Division News

Jim Newcomb
Jim Newcomb, incoming DNNSB Chair

We welcome Jim Newcomb as our incoming DNNSB Chair! Jim’s term will begin at the end of the SICB 2021 meeting. 

Call for Nominations for Divisional Secretary. DNNSB will be electing a Secretary this upcoming spring. We need a nominating committee to solicit candidates for the position. If you are willing to serve on the nominating committee, or to run for DNNSB Secretary, please contact Mike Baltzley (baltzlem@wou.edu).

Call for Symposium Proposals. Not surprisingly, the number of symposium proposals for SICB 2022 was low this year compared to past years. Please consider submitting a proposal for SICB 2023. The deadline is August, 2021. There were relatively few submissions in neurobiology, neuroethology, sensory biology, BUT the proposals are always well-received and always make the cut. If you have an idea for a symposium, we urge you to submit a proposal. Moreover, if you want feedback about your ideas, please contact one of the DNNSB Officers:

For Students and Postdocs. Students and postdocs are encouraged to interact with the SICB Twitter accounts @SICB_ , @SICB_DNNSB , and @SICB_SPDAC and other scientists on Twitter leading up to the meeting, as well as during the meeting. If you are a Full Member of SICB, please consider engaging with our student and postdoc members on this platform.

In addition ,the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee is doing several how-to brochures for the virtual information booth. They plan to cover a broad range of topics to help students/postdocs in the absence of in person interactions, including:

  1. Diversity, equity, inclusivity, and anti-discrimination issues 
  2. The “Nether Zone” between the undergraduate and graduate years
  3. 1st timer tips
  4. Fellowships
  5. Research statements
  6. How to present at SICB
  7. Non-academic career paths
  8. Networking for 1st-generation scientists
  9. Looking for grad school programs + advisers + doing interviews
SICB scientists may eventually work at agencies like NOAA
SICB scientists may find employment at agencies like NOAA

The Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee is also planning a roundtable workshop on transferable skills with a panel discussion followed by virtual roundtables/chat rooms. They are hoping to get experts from a wide range of sectors such as non-governmental organizations, NOAA, National Parks Service/Resource Management, Fisheries and Wildlife Agencies, Museums, and Science Communication and Data Science.

We are trying to get about 12 experts from a wide range of sectors (NGOS, Think tanks, NOAA, National Parks Service/Resource Management,  Fisheries and Wildlife Agencies, Museums, Science Communication and Data Science.)