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Division of Comparative Endocrinology (DCE) - Spring 2000 Newsletter

Message from the Chair

David Norris (david.norris@colorado.edu)

The 2000 Annual Meeting in Atlanta was well attended although the DCE attendance was considerably lower than in Denver last year. Nevertheless, we had a successful special symposium in honor of Milton Fingerman that was organized superbly by Penny Hopkins and David Borst. I also want to acknowledge several people who contributed to the success of this meeting and are stepping down from positions they held in DCE. Thanks to Sarah Woodley for serving on the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee, and special thanks also to Kembra Howdeshell who has agreed to succeed her. We all owe a special thanks to Nathan Collie who retired as DCE secretary, and especially to Bob Dores who served us diligently as the past chair of DCE. We were joined by the new secretary, Bob Denver, and chair-elect, Mike Moore. The DCE business meeting was well attended and included a long and lively discussion of a number of aspects of the SICB strategic plan you have all heard about (see the secretary's report).

The Aubrey Gorbman Award for best student paper was awarded to Keith Sockman (Washington State University; "Female kestrels hormonally regulate the survival of their offspring") with an honorable mention to Todd Hoagland (Notre Dame; "Effects of endothelin-1 and homologous trout endothelin on cardiovascular function in rainbow trout"). The best student poster was presented by Eva Lacy (Arizona State University; "Sex differences in lipid metabolism during reproduction in free-living tree lizards") with Sabrina Burmeister (University of Texas at Austin; "Social signals influence androgens independently of calling behavior in the treefrog") receiving an honorable mention.

As you are aware, SICB is undergoing a lot of changes, not the least of which is the emergence from financially living on the edge. Because of the many issues and decisions to be made during the year by the SICB Executive Committee, I have asked the past two DCE chairs and the chair-elect to serve as an advisory committee to the chair. You also can expect me to query the membership when broad input is required. If there are issues you feel strongly about, please let me know about them. Also, be sure to fill out the general membership survey mentioned in the SICB portion of the newsletter.

Because of the phasing in of the new secretary-elect and program officer-elect positions, we have gotten things out of phase with our bylaws which require us to elect these positions in different years. In order to allow for this, the DCE Executive Committee has approved the following plan. Both Bob Denver and Sunny Boyd have agreed to continue for one additional year in their elected positions so that the new elect positions will have a year for the transition. This year we will elect the program officer-elect and next year the secretary-elect. From there, it will be smooth sailing.

I'm looking forward to serving you this year and to seeing you all in Chicago in 2001! It should be a great meeting, so encourage your colleagues to join or rejoin SICB and come to the meeting.

Message from the Program Officer

Sunny Boyd (boyd1@nd.edu)

January's meeting in Atlanta was a very successful one with about 75 presentations by DCE members. This included our primary sponsored symposium: "Recent Progress in Crustacean Endocrinology: A Symposium in Honor of Milton Fingerman," organized by Penny Hopkins and David Borst. In addition, DCE members submitted about 63 abstracts. Of these, 27 abstracts were for oral presentations. These talks were organized by topics (rather than division) for the first time but the effect on DCE was minimal. Most of our members chose "comparative endocrinology" as their first topic! Thus, Thursday's schedule contained three sessions of oral presentations given exclusively by DCE members (17 talks). Friday's schedule also contained a full day of interest for DCE members with the symposium. The remaining 10 oral presentations were a bit more scattered but clustered into "regulation of reproduction" and "environmental endocrinology" due to the choice of those descriptions as topics by authors. In Atlanta, more than 36 posters were presented by DCE members and those posters were arranged in blocks by division. Our strong divisional identity was therefore retained in Atlanta. Whether this occurs in the future will depend on the preferences of DCE members, rather than occurring by default organization patterns. In the majority of cases, across all SICB divisions, assignment to sessions was determined by the FIRST sub-topic chosen by authors. Those that want to present within divisional sessions should thus choose "comparative endocrinology" as their first (preferred) sub-topic on the abstract form. I welcome your comments on all aspects of the program but especially on the organization of the Atlanta meeting, the abstract form/topic list and whether posters should be organized by topic or division.

The primary symposium sponsored by DCE for the Chicago meeting in 2001 is "Stress: Is it More than a Disease? A Comparative Look at Stress and Adaptation." This symposium, organized by Jim Carr and Cliff Summers, has 13 top-notch invited speakers and will last for one and one-half days. We also plan to group contributed papers on stress into cohesive sessions for the other half day to further enhance the program. In addition, Jashiri Menon and Bob Denver are planning a "mini-symposium" on amphibian metamorphosis. There is still plenty of time to organize other mini-symposia for the Chicago meeting. Please contact me (boyd.1@nd.edu) if you have any ideas.

Message from the Secretary - Minutes of the Atlanta DCE Business Meeting

Bob Denver (rdenver@umich.edu)

At the DCE business meeting in Atlanta, we discussed a number of issues that reflected the changes that have been occurring in the society as a whole and the effects that these changes may have on the DCE. First, David Norris announced that the SICB was in the black, and as such dues were reduced to $95 per year for full members. Also, there will be no abstract fee next year for the Chicago meeting. A new management team has been hired and large savings are being projected because of this change.

Academic Press representative Chuck Crumly addressed the meeting and discussed changes that would occur in General and Comparative Endocrinology following Frank Moore's departure as editor-in-chief this coming June. Academic Press has not yet identified a replacement for Frank but they are planning a reorganization of the editorial board and will possibly enlist more associate editors. Also, Academic Press plans to make changes to the journal including an increase in the number of pages and issues, bringing the number of issues to 15 next year. In addition, they hope to speed up the time between submission and publication (although this, of course, depends greatly on the editor-in-chief). All agreed that Frank has done an outstanding job as editor-in-chief and we will miss him greatly. Chuck encouraged input from the membership on the future of DCE. It was emphasized that any reorganization of the publication or its editorial board should include input from DCE; i.e., the publisher should not be the sole controller of journal content.

Sunny Boyd discussed the new program organization (topical vs. divisional) for the Atlanta meeting. This change did not seem have a significant effect on DCE as judged by the responses of the participants. However, a poll showed that the membership in attendance was equally distributed on the merits of topic-based vs. divisional-based programming. It was pointed out that in the future those DCE members who wish to have their papers grouped in sessions with other DCE papers should choose regulatory biology or comparative endocrinology as their primary topic selection when they submit their abstracts. If members would like to integrate, they should select another topic. The poster sessions will continue to be organized by division, and any comments on this organization should be addressed to Sunny. The next meeting after Chicago will be in Anaheim, Calif., and symposia need to be developed for that meeting. Proposals for symposia at the Anaheim meeting should be directed to Sunny.

The issue of SICB's move to relying heavily on electronic means for communicating with the membership and for members to submit abstracts for the Annual Meeting via the Web was discussed. Varying opinions were voiced on this subject including the preference of many for having hard copies of the newsletter. However, it was pointed out that printing of the newsletter costs the society around $30,000 per year and that the electronic version results in considerable savings. It was mentioned that members can print out the newsletter from the Web site (or just print the DCE newsletter portion which would be most efficient). Hard copies can be requested if access to the electronic version is not available. There was also uneasiness expressed regarding electronic payment of registration fees and membership dues. David Norris pointed out that registration fees could still be paid by sending in a paper copy of the registration form with your payment.

The society plans to push back the date of the abstract submittal deadline to October. The intention is that pushing back the date will help to assure more and better quality abstracts.

The membership in attendance was polled regarding whether it is necessary for 1) a hard copy of the meeting program to be made available at the meeting or will the electronic version suffice; 2) a hard copy of the abstracts be mailed out before the meeting or simply be made available at the meeting; and 3) the abstracts to be published in the American Zoologist or simply be printed as an unpublished book of abstracts. The cost of printing American Zoologist with the abstracts is approximately $12,000 (which is greater than printing them as an unpublished collection), and this cost is included in the meeting registration fees. Most agreed that having a hard copy of abstracts at the meeting and having citable abstracts was important. The majority vote was for a hard copy of the program at the meeting (in addition to the electronic version before the meeting) and a hard copy of the abstracts published in American Zoologist available at the meeting. David Norris communicated these preferences to the SICB Executive Committee.

Several issues relating to the American Zoologist, the society's flagship journal, were discussed. The journal is a significant moneymaker for the society, and the income from the journal has been largely responsible for getting the society out of its financial hole. However, subscriptions have been declining, mostly at the international level, and especially to libraries. There is an effort underway to make the journal available online, which would both make the journal more accessible and lower its cost. The possibility of renaming the American Zoologist was also discussed. The argument for a name change is that the society is currently in a state of flux, and some divisions want to expand. Environmental physiologists and behavioral ecologists are becoming more involved with plant issues and want to integrate plant biology into the society. Society officers believe that it will be difficult to expand with a society journal named the American Zoologist. Some DCE members disagreed with the name change, stating that changing the name of the journal could cause it to lose its identity and destroy any continuity that still exists since the society changed its name. It was suggested that a sister journal be established to deal with papers from a botanical perspective. The counterpoint raised was "Why should we change the name of the society and not the name of the journal? If people want to find the journal they will, no matter what the name. If the name of the journal is changed, it should be changed to the Journal of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology." The SICB Executive Committee will consider this issue, and it is expected that the membership will be consulted before a decision is made.

I want to thank Nathan Collie for his excellent service to the DCE and for helping me to take over the secretary position in a relatively painless manner. I am also grateful to Pam Elf for assisting with note taking at the business meeting. Please send comments on the newsletter and messages for the Fall DCE newsletter to rdenver@umich.edu .

Upcoming Meetings

The following link provides information on select upcoming comparative endocrinology meetings: (http://www.sciref.org/links/AEOrgs/compendo.htm )

Below is a list of several upcoming meetings of interest:

  • The fourth congress of the Asia and Oceania Society for Comparative Endocrinology (AOSCE) will be held May 14-18, 2000 in Taipei, Taiwan. For information contact Jean Joss (jjoss@rna.bio.mq.edu.au).
  • The Gordon Conference on Environmental Endocrine Disruptors (http://www.grc.uri.edu/) will be held June 18-23, 2000 at Plymouth State College, Plymouth, NH.
  • The 82nd annual meeting of the Endocrine Society (ENDO 2000; http://www.endo-society.org/scimtgs/scipub.htm) will be held June 21-24, 2000 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • The 4th International Symposium on Fish Endocrinology meeting (http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/isfe/) will be held in Seattle, Washington July 31-August 3.
  • The Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (http://www.sbne.org) will hold its annual meeting August 5-9, 2000 in Madrid, Spain.
  • The 14th International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology (ICCE)(http://www.napoli.com/studiocongressi/congr2001.htm) will be held May 26-30, 2001 in Sorrento (Napoli), Italy. In addition the International Symposium on Amphibian and Reptilian Endocrinology will be a satellite symposium of this meeting and will be organized by Prof. A. Polzonetti-Magni, Università di Camerino, Camerino, Italy.
  • The 2005 ICCE will be held in Boston and will be co-chaired by Ian Callard and Stacia Sower. Stacia is currently requesting proposals for satellite symposia.