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Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB): 2003 Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Günter Wagner

Dear Members of DEDB,

As you can see from the detailed reports from our program officer, Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, and our secretary, Frietson Galis, the meeting in Toronto was a great success. The contributed paper sessions related to evolutionary developmental biology were excellent and exciting. Ours is a vibrant and growing field and it was great to see the enthusiasm of the graduate students and postdocs participating in these sessions.

There are some changes in the working for the bylaws of the division as well as a possible association with the division of cell biology. These were proposed and discussed in the business meeting in Toronto but will be available in complete form to the whole membership to review before they become effective. These changes have the goal to make the division more effective. The idea is to make a small group of officers responsible for performing the business of the division while holding them responsible and responsive to the membership of the division at large. I will prepare, together with the other officers of the division, a draft of the changes and will have them posted on the divisional web site. When this web page goes life, you will be informed by an email and you will be invited to review them. I would hope that you will take the opportunity to give advice to the officers of the division.

Most importantly, I want to introduce, again, our new chair-elect, Brian Hall. I am profoundly grateful to Brian that he is willing to offer his leadership and wisdom to the division. I am convinced that the division has chosen an excellent and effective leader who will further enhance the division as well as the science it is serving. Please join me in welcoming Brian to the leadership of the division.

I am also very encouraged by the fact that our division has little difficulty in filling important functions for the life of the division. Yale Pasternack has volunteered to be our representative at the student affairs committee. Paula Mabee, Patricia Hernandez and Marcus Davis volunteered to become members of the nomination committee. In a time where many divisions of SICB and other scientific societies have difficulty in finding volunteers I am particularly grateful to Paula, Pat, Marcus and Yale to come forward and help the division. Thank you!

Finally, please think of the possibility to submit proposals to the Divisions for symposia in 2005. This is a great opportunity to enhance the science you care about by shaping the discussion in this area (see the newsletter from our program director). This includes the call to our graduate student and postdoctoral members to elect speakers for the Student/Postdoc Invited Speaker Symposium (see newsletter article by our student/post doc representative).

And do not forget, this is your division, make it into what you want it to be.

Sincerely Yours,

Günter Wagner, Chair DEDB

Message from the Program Officer

Eduardo Rosa-Molinar

¡Saludos from Puerto Rico! The results of the "Best Student Paper Competition" in the Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB) from the recent 2003 SICB meeting in Toronto, Canada are in. Although there were many excellent DEDB presentations, for the third straight year the Program Committee found two outstanding presentations. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of the students and faculty mentors who entered and encouraged their students to enter the Best Student Paper Competition. Your participation was critical in making this meeting a success.

The results of the DEDB 2003 Best Student Paper Competition are:

  • I. Dworkin, University of Toronto, Canada, for his presentation entitled: "Simplifying Waddington's Legacy: Variation, Canalization and Asymmetry"
  • K. R. Thomas, University of Chicago, Chicago, for her presentation entitled: "Evolutionary Conservation and Modularity in Cranial Ossification Sequences of Ostariophysan Fishes"

Congratulations to Ian and Rebecca for their excellent work and many thanks to the judges for taking time out of their busy schedules to evaluate all of the student presentations. Ian's and Rebecca's presentations exemplify the outstanding work being done by DEDB students, faculty mentors, and collaborators. Keep it goin'!

Both Ian and Rebecca were awarded a $100.00 cash prize and the Blackwell Publishing Book Award. I would like to thank Ms. Nancy Whilton from Blackwell Publishing for supporting the book award.

I also want to thank our last year's winners P. Kaplan, from the University of Michigan and P. L. Crotwell from the University of South Dakota for their patience. Peter and Patricia did not receive their $100.00 cash awards and Blackwell Publishing Book Award until this year's meeting.

The symposiums co-sponsored or sponsored by DEDB were very well attended and resulted in stimulating discussions and debates. The "Patterns and Processes in the Evolution of Fishes" symposium was organized by F. Santini and G. Ybazeta and co-sponsored by DEDB, and the "Kowalevsky Mini-Symposium" was organized by Günter Wagner and E. Rosa-Molinar and sponsored by DEDB. Science was interested enough to provide a little press coverage. Our thanks to the organizers, speakers, and attendees for making the 2003 SICB meeting a success.

For the 2004 SICB meeting in New Orleans, it appears DEDB will be sponsoring one symposium "Morphological Innovation" organized by G. B. Müller and S. A. Newman. The symposium will focus on organismal formative processes that extend beyond the genetic level — physical/material properties, architectural constraints, and the dynamical properties of reaction-diffusion systems embodied in genetic and developmental networks. Speakers will describe experimental and theoretical analyses that illuminate scenarios of morphological innovation in a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate systems.

Keep checking the SICB website and DEDB newsletter for updates regarding the final list of DEDB sponsored or co-sponsored symposia at the 2004 meeting in New Orleans as well as for news regarding the new DEDB website. The DEDB website will be linked to the SICB divisional website and will make it faster and more convenient for you to receive DEDB news and updates.

It is time to begin planning new symposia for the 2005 SICB meeting in San Diego, January 4-8, 2005. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss ideas for symposia. An official call for 2005 symposia can be found on the SICB webpage (http://www.sicb.org). The symposia at San Diego will be broken into two groups: (1) divisional or co-sponsoring society symposia and (2) society-wide symposia. Symposia proposal(s) are DUE August 15, 2003. Encourage your graduate students and colleagues to join SICB and the DEDB and keep sending your original research papers and/or symposia to Evolution and Development (Blackwell Science, Inc.), Molecular and Developmental Evolution (Wiley-Liss, Inc), or to the Journal of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (Allen Press, Inc). These journals are all sponsored by SICB. I hope to see you all in New Orleans.

¡Hasta Pronto!

Message from the Secretary

Frietson Galis

Dear members of the DEDB, here are the minutes of our well-attended business meeting at the conference:

Business meeting DEDB, Monday, 6 January 2003
  • Opening of the meeting by our Chair, Günter Wagner.
  • Proposal for changes in the bylaws of DEDB:
    Nomination committee (three full members, appointed by Chair)
    -Program committee
    -Divisional committee (DC: Chair, Chair elect, past Chair, Program Officer, Secretary)
    -Best paper award committee (three full members, appointed by Program Officer)
    -Each committee can be augmented with divisional members in agreement with the majority of DC members.
    -The quorum for decisions by the DC are the Chair, Secretary, and Program Officer.
    -Exception: nomination committee; quorum included the three members at large.
    The proposal was encouraged by those present at the meeting.

  • Call for nominations for members of the nomination committee
    Paula Maybee, Patricia Hernandez and Marcus Davis volunteered to become members of the nomination committee.
  • Call for nominations for the office of Secretary before 1 March 2003.
  • Announcement of our first social immediately following the business meeting, jointly with the Division of Morphology,.
  • Introduction of Chair Elect, Brian Hall
  • Proposal for association with DDCB
    -Contact of association which can be cancelled by either division.
    -Joint officers, elected by the combined membership of DDCB and DEDB, with the exception of the chair (there will be two Chairs).
    -Joint program development
    The proposal for association with DDCB was encouraged by those present at the meeting.

  • Report of the Program Officer, Eduardo Rosa-Molinar
    -A successfully high number of submissions for talks at the symposium.
    -Two symposia organized or co-organized by our division, on "Patterns and Processes in the Evolution of Fishes" and a mini-Kowalevsky symposium for the prizewinners of the Kowalevsky prize
    - One suggested symposium for next year on Morphological Innovation (see message of Eduardo Rosa-Molinar).
    -Report on the Best student award. Students should be encouraged more to enter the best paper award competition. The forms should be changed such that there is automatic enlistment unless otherwise marked (see also message from Brad Davidson).

  • Report of the Secretary, Frietson Galis
    -The board of SICB has noted that the continuity between different officers is not optimal. The board has, therefore, suggested that for all officers there will be a period of overlap between the start of activities of the elected officer and the end of the activities of the current officer. For the chair and program officer this is already the case, but not for the secretary. The meeting agrees with the proposal by the board on a secretary-elect.
    -We will list meetings of interest for our division on our webpage. Please notify us of relevant meetings and other relevant information (galis@rulsfb.leidenuniv.nl).
    -We are making an effort to provide contact information of all our divisional members on the website. This should be done in a way that the privacy of members is respected. This is being discussed with the board of SICB.
    -The board of SICB asks whether the newsletter of our division can be mailed in an email with reference to the website where this information can also be found, or whether members prefer the newsletter in an attachment. The meeting agrees that an attachment is not necessary.

  • Report of the Student/Postdoc Representative, Brad Davidson
    Efforts to increase the student post-doc participation and membership in the division: see message from Brad Davidson

  • Meeting closed by our chair, Günter Wagner.

Message from the Student/Postdoc Representative

Brad Davidson

Another great meeting this year in Toronto, proof once again what an exceptional forum the SICB meetings are for the highly cross-disciplinary field of evo-devo.
  1. STUDENT/POSTDOC INVITED SPEAKER SYMPOSIUM - In order to increase student/post-doc participation and membership in our division I will be organizing an invited speaker symposium for the 2005 meeting. This will involve soliciting student/post-doc recommendations for researchers they feel are working on highly innovative projects and voting on the top choices who will then be invited to speak (much like student organized symposia common to many departments). Hopefully, this will then become a regular event. More to follow in the coming months..

  2. BEST STUDENT PAPER JUDGES - In order to increase participation in the Best Student Paper award, we will be changing the means for signing up. Thus we will need more judges. If you are interested in being a judge or in helping to coordinate this effort please contact me.

  3. SDB RECRUITMENT - In order to try and draw more developmental students/postdocs to attend the SICB meetings we hope to advertise at the SDB meetings this summer. Ideally, there should be high overlap between membership in SDB and in our division. If you would be willing to help design a flyer for inclusion in the SDB program, please contact me.
Brad Davidson

Link to officer list on DEDB page