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Division of Ecology and Evolution (DEE) - Spring 2000 Newsletter

Message from the Chair

Sally Woodin

I hope all of you had as exciting a time at the Atlanta meeting as I did. The symposia on "Marine and Terrestrial Plant-Animal Interactions" and the one on "Antarctic Marine Biology" were sponsored or co-sponsored by DEE and were very well attended and excellent. I personally thought the organization of talks by topic was very helpful and am excited that posters will be organized by topic next year. The new division of SICB had an excellent initiation with its symposium on evo/devo. It is clear that DEE and DEDB will be co-sponsoring symposia in the future. The DEE business meeting had a much larger number of participants than usual which was nice and meant that we could have substantive conversations about a number of changes in SICB which are important. One, of course, is the increasing level of communication via the Internet. It was clear both from the responses of members to requests embedded in the newsletter versus those sent directly to them as e-mail or by telephone that many members do not read the newsletter on the Web. As a consequence, you are receiving this as text pasted into an e-mail message as well as on the Web. Please let Linda and me know whether this is an improvement or merely another e-mail intrusion. We voted to change the bylaws at the DEE business meeting to allow us to elect new officers using e-mail ballots for those with e-mail access. You can, of course, continue to ask SICB to provide you with paper copies of the newsletter, ballots, etc.; the default will be e-mail. As was also announced at the business meeting, the new chair-elect of DEE is Cathy McFadden and the new program officer is Brian Helmuth. Many thanks to Don Levitan for his service to DEE as program officer. Please send Brian your proposals for symposia for the 2002 meeting!

As was clear from the report of Kim Smith, the treasurer of SICB, the society is now quite solvent and as a consequence, the Executive Committee agreed to a number of measures to reduce member costs, including elimination of the abstract fee, reduction in dues to full members, additional student support and additional support for symposia. All of these are welcome changes. We also agreed to change the management company from Smith, Bucklin & Associates to Burk and Associates which is the company used by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Finally, we hired a Web master for SICB, Ruediger Birenheide, who together with Alistair Cullum and Wes Grueber prepared the Web version of the Atlanta meeting that was user friendly and easy to use. We also discussed enlarging the scope of SICB somewhat, as was reflected in the composition of speakers at the DEE sponsored plant-animal interaction symposia, encouraging participation by our colleagues in more microbial and botanical areas. Symposia in these areas would be particularly encouraged. Finally, with support from NSF and SICB, Dianna Padilla and Flo Thomas organized a workshop on minority participation in SICB, which will hopefully result in increased minority participation. SICB was on the forefront of supporting women in science and hopefully we can encourage other minorities as successfully. We all owe Dianna and Flo a debt for their efforts on our behalf.

Message from the Secretary

Linda Walters

The SICB 2000 Annual Meeting in Atlanta was a huge success. In particular, student participation was very strong. This is in part due to the $27,000 in student support provided by SICB ($34,000 is allocated for Chicago 2001!). Kevin Fielman and Chris Petrie, both associated with DEE, began their terms on the Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs Committee, which continues to be very active in encouraging, mentoring and feeding student affiliates. Finally, a team of 20 judges evaluated DEE poster and oral presentations to determine which ones were most meritorious. It was a very difficult decision since there were many outstanding student presentations. This year's two winners are R. Craig Albertson from University of New Hampshire, Durham, for his presentation entitled "Shape differences in the trophic apparatus of two Lake Malawi cichlid species and their hybrid progeny - a landmark-based morphometric approach" and Robert Espinoza from the University of Nevada, Reno for his presentation entitled "Is evolution progressive? Insights from herbivorous lizards." Both will receive checks for $100 and a nice certificate at the DEE business meeting in Chicago. Congratulations! Judges were Will Jaeckle, Brian Helmuth, Flo Thomas, Jennifer Burns, Shyril O'Steen, Craig Frank, Amy Moran, Cynthia Trowbridge, Sandra Romano, Tony Steyermark, Art Woods, Joe Graves, Ralph Turingan, John Hranitz, Alistair Cullum, Anthony Herrel, Margaret Rubega, Tom Wilcox, Celia Smith and Linda Walters. Thank you judges! Please contact me if you are interested and available to judge in Chicago.

In other news, SICB is considering changing the name of the society's journal, American Zoologist, to reflect the broader scope of the meetings and the interests of SICB members. Possibilities suggested to date include the Journal of Integrative Biology or the Journal of Integrative and Comparative Biology. There was also discussion at the DEE business meeting about changing the mode of distribution of the journal to members. Instead of everyone receiving paper copies, one alternative is to go electronic, with members accessing articles online and then possibly receiving an archival CD-ROM at the end of each year. Libraries would continue to receive paper copies. These are important issues; please let Sally or me or the Executive Committee hear your opinions.

Message from the Program Officer

Brian Helmuth

Surprised to see my name in this column? In January, I replaced Don Levitan as program officer for DEE. I'd therefore like to thank Don for his years of hard work for the division. Thanks to his efforts, the program is running smoothly and moving forward in some exciting directions. For starters, DEE is co-sponsoring the symposium "Ontogenetic strategies of invertebrates in aquatic environments" at the Chicago meeting, and proposals for the 2002 meeting in Anaheim are starting to come in. For anyone who would like to submit a proposal for this meeting, please contact me as soon as possible, as decisions will be made some time in April (helmuth@biol.sc.edu; 803/777-2100). We are particularly interested in crosscutting symposia that provide connections between the various divisions within the society, or otherwise appeal to researchers not currently affiliated with SICB.

Along those lines, I'd appreciate hearing your feedback on the new format used for the sessions at our annual meeting, which are now divided by subject area rather than by the primary divisional association of the presenter. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions, and I look forward to working with you in the coming years.