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Division of Vertebrate Morphology (DVM) - Fall 2000 Newsletter

Message from the Chair

Andrew Biewener

Hello DVM. I hope this finds you well settled into the fall academic term. I look forward to seeing many of you in a few short months in sunny, friendly Chicago! It's a wonderful city and certain to be a great meeting. There will be plenty to see, hear and do, in addition to visiting with friends and colleagues. The number of submitted abstracts is over 900 for the meeting, which is an excellent sign that SICB is continuing to grow. While retaining many of its older strengths, new exciting fields are becoming represented by our society. I trust that the electronic abstract submission format and later deadline made for a more relaxing end to everyone's summer. SICB president, Martin Feder, continues to develop new incentives and solicit new ideas for our society's future growth. Remember that DVM can only be an important player in this if we have people from our division who are willing to volunteer their valuable time to the enterprise. All evidence is that the move of the SICB business office to Burk & Associates, Inc. has worked out extremely well. The general organization and response of BAI to SICB needs has been excellent.

DVM is (co-)sponsoring four exciting symposia this year. One is "Evolution of Feeding Motor Patterns" organized by Mike Alfaro and Anthony Herrel, which will revisit several topics addressed15 years ago in Milton Hildebrand's now classic text Functional Vertebrate Morphology. A second one entitled "Molecules, Muscles and Macroevolution" is being organized by Miriam Ashley-Ross, Alice Gibb and Lara Ferry-Graham. The third symposium entitled "Stability and Maneuverability" is being organized by Frank Fish and Bob Full. And finally, number four is entitled "Science, entertainment, and teaching: bringing cutting edge biology to the public and teaching community," organized by Stuart Sumida and Elizabeth Rega. Certainly, all four will be of considerable interest to DVM. In addition to the symposia, there are certain to be several excellent paper and poster sessions. Hopefully, everyone paid attention to their key word listing, so that they end up in sessions that fit the thematic focus of their work!

One issue that has raised the ire of many of you is the SICB Executive Committee's recent vote not to provide computer projection facilities/services for the Chicago meeting. While this decision may seem to take us back to the dark ages and runs against the ever growing popularity of Powerpoint computer presentations, two real problems exist: 1) shifting between computer and slide presentation led to considerable schedule delays in oral paper sessions at last year's meeting, and 2) the cost for union projectionists is extremely high. Nevertheless, it seems clear that something must be done to solve this for future meetings. If any of you wish to serve on a committee to study this problem and develop a policy, please contact me or the SICB office. For the upcoming meeting, if you can coordinate your projection needs with someone who plans to bring a projector and it can be set-up appropriately on a computer, do so.

Message from the Secretary

Audrone Biknevicius

(2) The 2nd Annual Midwest Regional Meeting of DVM 2nd has been organized by Howard (Sandy) Whidden, Jennifer White, and Bill Hammer and will be held at Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) on November 18th and 19th. See the complete announcement below. Contact Sandy (biwhidden@augustana.edu) or Jennifer (biwhite@augustana.edu) for additional information.


10th Annual Northeast Regional Meeting of the Division of Vertebrate Morphology
We are happy to announce the 10th Annual Northeast Regional Meeting of the Division of Vertebrate Morphology (NRMDVM, at which we should work on a simpler name for this group). The meeting will be held at UMass Amherst on Saturday October 21 and Sunday October 22 in Rooms 203 and 319 Morrill Science Center.

The Programming Committee for this meeting will be Willy Bemis, Beth Brainerd, Nate Kley and Bill Bassham. As is the tradition of the NRMDVM, there will not be any concurrent sessions so that all attendees will have the opportunity to hear all talks. Also, we strive for informality and maximum student participation. We offer the chance for participants to give short or long presentations depending on the stage of their research project (i.e., 10 or 20 minute contributions can be proposed to the programming committee). This design has worked well in the past because it offers participants a chance to speak briefly about a project that is still in its early stages. We especially encourage tenured faculty members to consider offering shorter contributions, perhaps using the "one slide" format that has been so well received by attendees of past meetings.

George Lauder will open the meeting with a plenary lecture on fish locomotion at 9:00 AM on Saturday morning. The oral contributed paper session will begin at 10:15 and continue (with coffee and lunch breaks) until as late as necessary on Saturday afternoon. The oral contributed paper session will resume on Sunday morning at 9:00 and continue (with coffee and lunch breaks) until as late as necessary on Sunday afternoon. Persons planning to present a poster should plan to arrive in time to set up the poster before noon on Saturday and to leave it on display until at least noon on Sunday.

All materials related to contributions must be submitted via e-mail to bassham@bio.umass.edu. Be sure to put NRMDVM as the first word in the subject line of your e-mail to us. The deadline for receipt of titles, decision as to oral or poster contribution, and proposed talk length will be October 1. No abstract fee is charged for making a presentation. The program will be posted on the meeting website.

The meeting registration fee will be $10 for undergraduates, $20 for graduate students and postdocs, or $40 for faculty. The fee covers costs for name badges, printed copies of the meeting program, contact information for all pre-registered participants, coffee and tea breaks, a simple Saturday night meal, bagels and cheese on Sunday morning and a sandwich buffet for Sunday lunch.

Amherst is easy to reach by car, bus (Peter Pan Bus Company http://www.peterpanbus.com/) or air travel (the nearest large airport is Bradley Field between Hartford Connecticut and Springfield Massachusetts (http://www.bradleyairport.com/). Rail travel to Amherst or Springfield Massachusetts also is possible (http://www.amtrak.com/index3.html).

Amherst and Northampton are major tourist destinations in October, so please book your hotel rooms early to avoid disappointment and extra expense. A block of rooms has been reserved for our group at the UMass Campus Center Hotel (5 minutes walk from the meeting site and with a parking garage; the rate is about $90 per room double occupancy; see maps and reservation information at http://marlin.bio.umass.edu/biology/brainerd/DVM.html). Other hotels within short driving distance of the meeting site include Howard Johnsons (Hadley, Massachusetts http://www.travelnow.com/usa/massachusetts/hotel/hadley_108987.html) and The Lord Jeffery Inn (Amherst, Massachusetts; http://www.pinnacle-inns.com/lordjefferyinn/). A new Holiday Inn in Hadley will be open by the date of the meeting. The small city of Northampton, Massachusetts is 9 miles from the meeting site. It is known for its many artistic and cultural offerings and excellent restaurants. The most interesting hotel in Northampton (because it is in the center of everything) is the Hotel Northampton (http://www.hotelnorthampton.com/).

2nd Annual Midwest Regional Meeting of the Division of Vertebrate Morphology

The Departments of Biology and Geology at Augustana College would like to invite you to the Second Annual Midwest Regional Meeting of the Division of Vertebrate Morphology.  The meeting will be held the weekend of November 18th and 19th on the Augustana campus in Rock Island, IL, and the organizers are Howard (Sandy) Whidden, Jennifer White, and Bill Hammer.  We will initially schedule all events for Saturday the 18th, but if there is sufficient interest we will contact all registered participants and propose additional sessions for Sunday morning.

In keeping with the spirit of last year's Midwest Regional meeting at Ohio University, and with the tradition set by the Northeast Regional meetings, this meeting will be a friendly and informal opportunity to get together to discuss vertebrate morphology.  Student presentations are encouraged, and since Augustana is strictly an undergraduate institution we will especially welcome participation by undergraduates. There will be opportunities for both oral and poster presentations, and there will be no concurrent sessions.  We will also try to accommodate talks that vary in length from 5 to 20 minutes, to encourage presentation of all stages of research.

The deadline for registration is November 1, and the registration fee is $10 for undergraduates, $20 for graduate students and postdocs, and $30 for faculty members.  The registration fee includes a continental breakfast, bag lunch with drink, and buffet dinner on Saturday, and also a continental breakfast on Sunday morning.

Rock Island is one of the Quad Cities, and lies at the intersection of Interstates 80 and 74.  It is approximately three hours from Chicago, and is served by the Quad City Airport in Moline, IL, which is just a 15-minute drive from campus.  Rooms have been reserved in the Four Points Sheraton, in downtown Rock Island.

A registration form and further details about the meeting will be distributed to DVM members via e-mail, and will also be available through the Biology Department's page at the Augustana web site: http://www.augustana.edu/academ/biology/dvm. For other information, you can contact us at biwhidden@augustana.edu or biwhite@augustana.edu.

Message from the Program Officer

Dave Carrier

The Chicago meeting promises to be exciting and hectic for DVM members. Each day will include 4 to 6 concurrent sessions of contributed papers that will be competing for our warm bodies with 4 to 5 symposia. Four of the 12 symposia at this year's meeting are sponsored or cosponsored by DVM:

1. "Molecules, muscles, and macroevolution: Integrative functional morphology," organized by Miriam Ashley-Ross, Alice Gibb and Lara Ferry-Graham.

2. "Motor control of vertebrate feeding: Function and evolution," organized by Michael Alfara and Anthony Herrel.

3. "Stability and maneuverability," organized by Frank Fish and Bob Full.

4. "Science, entertainment, and teaching: Bringing cutting edge biology to the public and teaching community," organized by Stuart Sumida and Elizabeth Rega.

In addition to these four, a number of other symposia will be of interest to many members of DVM (e.g., "Vibration as a communication channel,: DAB/DNB; "Starting with fins: Parallelism in the evolution of limbs and genitalia," DEDB; "Taking physiology to the field: Advances in investigating physiological function in free-living vertebrates," DCPB; "Ontogenetic strategies of invertebrates in aquatic environments," TCS/DIZ.)

An issue I would like to see us discuss at this year's business meeting is the question of how many symposia represent too many. Prior to becoming program officer I was inclined to argue that we should limit the number of symposia in order to reduce conflicts with the contributed paper sessions. Now that I am one of the folks faced with the decision of which symposia proposed for the Anaheim Meeting should be rejected or postponed, I am not confident that we should limit promising symposia. I see the contributed paper sessions and poster sessions as the heart and soul of meeting. Nonetheless, symposia play a larger role in conveying to the community and public the vitality and contributions of our field. Please join us at the business meeting to discuss this issue.

Don't forget that John Pearse and Martin Feder have asked Paul Sereno to be the opening speaker at the Chicago meeting. Paul has accepted the offer. The plan is to have Paul talk the first evening and then have a society-wide social.