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Division of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology (DSEB): 2003 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Officers

Rich Mooi, Chair; Donald Swiderski, Program Officer; Ingrid Kaatz, Secretary

We are all anticipating a superb meeting in January of 2004, in New Orleans, and expect that DSEB members will find many sessions illuminating and on point for their own research programs. The number of abstracts submitted is nearly 50% more than last year; clearly the excitement won't all be out on Bourbon Street. At this year's meeting, DSEB will be sponsoring the symposium "The Study of Sequences in Natural Sciences", organized by Jonathan Jeffery and Robert Guralnick. The speaker list promises a lively and informative session that will highlight many aspects to the analyses of a diversity of sequences in nature. Jonathan and Robert have also consented to organizing our ever-popular "Phylogenetics for Dummies" workshop, focusing on methods of comparing sequences and the kinds of information that can be extracted from sequence differences. Also at the meeting, we will have 9 students competing for the division's Best Student Paper award. We need volunteers to judge these presentations; so if you are a member of DSEB and not a student, and are willing to sacrifice a little bit of time for this important program, please contact Don Swiderski (dlswider@umich.edu).

For next year in San Diego, DSEB is one of many divisions supporting an exciting symposium on "Terminal Addition", to be organized by Nigel Hughes and Dave Jacobs. This fascinating and fast-growing area of research deals with a process by which the body of bilaterian animals grows at a posterior growth zone. Although segmented animals are most often the model for studies of this process, terminal addition occurs in some form or another in many disparate metazoan groups. Understanding the developmental basis of body plan specification through terminal addition will provide perspectives on evolutionary novelty throughout Metazoan diversification. We trust that this symposium, and the involvement of Nigel and Dave in the "Phylogenetics for Dummies" workshop will provide a unique opportunity to shed light on the analysis of terminal addition throughout the Metazoa.

It is never too late to begin developing plans for DSEB symposia at the 2006 meeting (in Orlando). Please email ideas, however germinal, to Don Swiderski (dlswider@umich.edu) or Rich Mooi (rmooi@calacademy.org).

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans.

Link to officer list on DSEB page