HomeVolume Spring 2006

Society-Wide Elections
Candidates and Biographies

Click on a candidate's name to jump to her/his biography and statement.

Candidate for President Elect

  • Kenneth M. Halanych
  • Richard A. Satterlie

    Candidates for Member-at-Large

  • Will Jaeckle
  • Sönke Johnsen
  • Rachel A. Merz
  • Anthony Pires
  • Robert D. Podolsky

    Candidates for President Elect

    Kenneth M. Halanych

    Current Position: Associate Professor & Marine Biology Coordinator, Auburn University.

    Education: B.S. 1988. Wake Forest University; Ph. D. 1994. University of Texas at Austin

    Professional Experience: Assistant and Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Adjunct Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory. Postdoctoral fellow, Rutgers University; Postdoctoral fellow, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Multiple Oceanographic Cruises. Additional teaching experience at Friday Harbor Laboratories, Bermuda Biological Station. Teaching experience at Auburn University, Friday Harbor Labs, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    SICB Activities: 2004-2006 Chair DSEB; 2006 Student poster judge for DIZ; 2005 Organizer "WormNet" Symposium; 2000-2001 co-secretary DEDB; 2001 Participant of "Lesser known protostomes" symposium; 2000 Participant of "Hox gene and morphological evolution" symposium; 1998 Co-organizer "Evolutionary relationships of Metazoan Phyla" symposium; 1998 DIZ best student paper committee; 1990 Session co-chair; 1990 Local organization committee for San Antonio meeting.

    Other Memberships: Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution; Society of Systematic Biologists; American Association for the Advancement of Science

    Research Interests: Evolutionary origins and relationships of major metazoan lineages (including body plan origins and evolution); molecular systematics and phylogenetic theory, diversification of hydrothermal vent fauna (especially pogonophorans), dispersal and evolution of Antarctic marine invertebrates.

    Goals Statement: By its very nature SICB is an exceptional society because it brings together scientist working across the broad spectrum of biology. This diversity is clearly one of the strengths of the Society and has been a substantial benefit to the membership. Moreover, this diversity means that the Society as a whole has considerable expertise in biological research, teaching, outreach, and other aspects of biology that interface with the lay public. Events over the last few years, indicate an alarming devaluation of the sciences by both the lay public and policy makers. SICB has an obligation to educate non-scientist (as is also mentioned the Society's Constitution and other documents). The Society leadership is already making clear efforts to improve our outreach, education and political activities. However, we can still do more. One of the ways we can improve our efforts is by developing liaison's with societies where we are traditionally weak (i.e., botany, microbiology, molecular genetics).

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    Richard A. Satterlie

    Current Position: Frank Hawkins Kenan Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology, Department of Biology and Marine Biology and Center for Marine Science, University of North Carolina Wilmington.

    Education: BS, Sonoma State University (California); Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara; Post-doc, University of Alberta (and Bamfield Marine Station)

    Professional Experience: Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Arizona State University (1980 - 2004). Current position (above) 2004 to present.

    Honors and Awards: Grass Foundation Fellowship in Neurobiology, Marine Biological
    Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.; Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Post-Doctoral
    Scholarship, University of Alberta; Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award - College of
    Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University (and three other teaching awards);
    Distinguished Alumni Award - Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California;
    Fulbright Scholar at the University of St. Andrews (1994); Parents Association
    Professor, Arizona State University (1994-96); John Simon Guggenheim Memorial
    Foundation Fellow (2002)

    SICB activities: Symposium organizer (4 times and one in progress), Program Officer for Division of Neurobiology from its inception to present; Member, Editorial Board for Integrative and Comparative Biology.

    Other Memberships: Society for Neuroscience; International Society for Neuroethology.

    Research Interests: Neurobiology. Control of locomotion and specifically locomotory speed using marine invertebrate model organisms (mollusks, jellyfish), escape responses, and more recently, neurobiological bases of motivation and arousal. I use a combination of electrophysiology, histology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy, and through collaborations, relationships between nervous and muscle activities and biomechanics in these locomotory systems.

    Other Creative Activities: My debut novel, Phoenix (Historical, American West, 1870s), will be published by Whiskey Creek Press on 1 July of 2006. A short story (The Stick) will appear in Fear: An Anthology of Horror and Suspense on 1 October of 2006, also from Whiskey Creek Press. I have completed three other novels that are currently being shopped. Four of my poems were published in the April, 2006 issue of the Andwerve Literary Journal.

    Goals Statement: In the near future, the volatility of institutional journal sales may create fiscal challenges for SICB. Additional new ideas for building our endowment base should be sought now while the society is on solid financial footing. This should be done without sacrificing any of the programs of support, particularly for our student and post-doc members. In fact, every effort should be made to expand these programs. Membership in the society is beginning to go international, and this should be expanded, particularly from the Americas and Canada. The strong position of symposia in our annual meetings should be maintained, even though support from the traditional federal programs seems to be tightening. Alternative means of symposium support should be further investigated. SICB is currently robust and growing. The immediate challenge will be to keep it going in that direction.

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    Candidates for Member-At-Large Elect

    Will Jaeckle

    Current position: Associate Professor, Biology, Illinois Wesleyan University; 2006-

    Education: 1981 B.A.: Zoology, Humboldt State University, CA, USA. 1989 Ph.D.: Biology, University of Southern California, CA, USA.

    Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, Biology, Illinois Wesleyan University, 2001-2005; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University 1996-2000; Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Washington, 1994; Post-doctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Marine Station, 1991, 1993; Post-doctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, 1992; Post-doctoral Fellow, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, 1989-90

    SICB Activities: Member (from 1987); 16 presentations. DIZ: Secretary (2001-2003), Student Best Paper Award Reviewer (DIZ, DEE)

    Other Memberships: American Microscopical Society, Sigma Xi

    Research Interests: Biology of invertebrate developmental stages; with a particular interest in the energetics of development and patterns and processes associated with nutrient assimilation and distribution within larval bodies.

    Goals Statement: From my graduate students to date my involvement with the Society has been largely "local" as a presenter and through my engagement with the Division of Invertebrate Zoology. It now seems reasonable to broaden the scope of my participation to society-wide service. I view the role of the Member-at-Large as a facilitator of exchange between the society constituency and the Executive Committee. Further I offer a commitment to maintain and foster the broad disciplinary base that has been the hallmark of the SICB and to serve as an advocate for student (both undergraduate and graduate) involvement in the society.

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    Sönke Johnsen

    Current position: Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Duke University, Durham, NC. (2001-present)

    Education: 1988, B.A. in Mathematics, Swarthmore College; 1996, Ph.D. in Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Professional experience: 2003-present, Adjunct Scientist, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University; 2002-present, Adjunct Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; 2000-2001, Assistant Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 1999-2000, Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; 1997-1998, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution; 1996-1997, Lecturer, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; 1991-1994, National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    SICB activities: 1991-present, member; 2002-2004, Bartholomew award committee; 2003, nominating committee, Division of Invertebrate Zoology; 2003, 2007, co-organizer of two symposiums (one upcoming), editor of the proceedings of the first symposium.

    Other memberships: Sigma Xi.

    Research interests: Visual ecology of pelagic species, including topics such as: organismal and ocular transparency, camouflage, bioluminescence, polarization and ultraviolet vision, and optical sampling techniques for zooplankton.

    Goals statement: SICB has been my intellectual home since the Atlanta meeting in 1991, during which I gave my first terrified talk. Since then, I have talked at every meeting but one, including one in a leg brace and another using borrowed clothing and no slides. The main purpose of the member-at-large is to tell the society's leadership what the members are thinking, something that I have been doing for a number of years. My goal is to continue this. One of the reasons I have stayed with SICB over the years is that I always felt that the leadership listened to me. If I can repay even some of this, I will be happy.

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    Rachel A. Merz

    Current position: Professor, Biology, Swarthmore College, PA; 1985-present.

    Education: B.A. Biology, Western New Mexico University; M.S. Zoology University of Florida; Ph.D. Anatomy, The University of Chicago.

    Professional Experience: While rising through the academic ranks at Swarthmore College I have served as Chair of Biology, Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering and Co-Chair of the planning and building committee for our new Science Center. I was a post-doc and clinical lecturer at the Marine Science and Maritime Studies Center, Northeastern University and have been a visiting scientist at Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington; The Darling Center, University of Maine; Lizard Island Research Station, Queensland, Australia.

    SICB Activities: I've been a member since graduate school and have taken part in some sort of presentation at most of our annual meetings since then. I've served on student best paper committees for DIZ and DEE many times, made various presentations to graduate students and post docs about careers, worked on the public relations committee and lead a fund-raising drive for the Libbie Hyman Scholarship. I was Chair of DIZ and am currently co-editor (with Steve Vogel) of the Biomechanics webpage for the SICB Digital Library.

    Other Memberships: American Microscopical Society, Sigma Xi

    Research Interests: I use biomechanics theory and techniques to test questions about the functional morphology of invertebrates. My questions are usually framed within an evolutionary or ecological context.

    Goals Statement: SICB is the home for those with an organismal perspective who are interested in thinking and working across different levels of biological organization. I know of no other setting in which this happens with such passion and productivity. To that end the two most important things to me are that the meeting continues to be successful, interesting and rewarding to its participants and that new biologists feel welcomed and engaged. I believe the position of member-at-large is an important link making sure that the membership's views and interests are well represented in the deliberations of the Executive Committee and likewise that the different aspects and ramifications of current decisions are understood by the membership. I would be happy to work at that connection.

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    Anthony Pires

    Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology, Dickinson College

    Education: A.B., Biology, Harvard College, 1982; Ph.D., Neurobiology, Cornell University, 1990; Postdoctoral fellow, University of Hawaii, 1990-1993.

    Professional Experience: Assistant Professor of Biology, Dickinson College, 1993-1999; Associate Professor of Biology, Dickinson College, 1999-present. Visiting Professor, University of Hawaii, 1997-1998. Visiting Lecturer, University of Otago (New Zealand), 2004-2005. Summer Investigator, University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories, 2000-2003, 2005-2006.

    SICB Activities: Member since 1990, no committee service to date. Primary Divisional affiliations are Invertebrate Zoology and Neurobiology.

    Other Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society for Neuroscience.

    Research Interests: Neurobiology and behavior of marine invertebrate larvae, especially the neural control of metamorphosis in gastropod molluscs.

    Goals Statement: SICB has two great strengths that are not duplicated by any other professional organization. First, it is a superb forum for cross-disciplinary work that spans levels of integration. Second, it offers a venue for student research that is friendly, accessible, and rigorous. As member at large I would seek to maintain these core strengths, while supporting efforts to increase the appeal of the Society and our meeting to young investigators who are centered in the more reductionist disciplines of biology, but looking to connect to a more integrative context.

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    Robert D. Podolsky

    Current position: Assistant Professor, Biology Department and Grice Marine Laboratory, College of Charleston, Charleston SC.

    Education: 1985 A.B. Biology, Princeton University; 1989 M. S. University of Florida, Gainesville; 1995 Ph.D. University of Washington.

    Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, Biology, College of Charleston, 2005-present; Assistant Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1999-2005.

    SICB Activities: Member since 1992; student paper awards from DIZ (1992) and Adrian M. Wenner award (1995); regular student paper and poster judge for DIZ & DEE; symposium participant 2003 ("Selection and Performance in Nature"); symposium organizer 2006 ("Marine Life Cycles"); Membership Diversity committee 2004-present.

    Other Memberships: Society for the Study of Evolution, American Society of Naturalists.

    Research Interests: Evolutionary and physiological ecology; life-history evolution and larval ecology; fertilization ecology; phenotypic plasticity; functional biology of marine invertebrates; phylogenetic and comparative methods.

    Goals Statement: As a professional organization and annual meeting, ASZ/SICB has been my highest priority since I was an early graduate student. I have admired and benefited from its devotion to student support and to the conceptual integration of biology, and I would be honored to have this opportunity to contribute my ideas and time at a higher level. I am especially interested in four issues: ways to promote greater society-wide interaction; ways to promote and support the involvement of students from diverse cultural backgrounds; improved understanding of what members (especially students) find attractive or superfluous about meetings; and ways for the society to become more inclusive of fields that were not well-represented in ASZ but that ought to be a major component of SICB. For our symposium last year, for example, we invited algal biologists who were excited to learn about the Society and its goals. I feel SICB has great potential to expand its membership and its taxonomic coverage by attracting more non-animal biologists who work on a common range of biological problems.

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