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Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB) and Division of Developmental and Cell Biology (DDCB): 2004 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Brian K. Hall

Dear Member of the now combined DEDB and DDCB,

By now, those of you planning to present at the 2005 meeting in San Diego will have submitted your abstracts. Just as the 2004 meeting was an excellent one, with high attendance, excellent divisional symposia, first-rate posters and contributed talks, we can look forward to an equally excellent meeting in San Diego. The divisional symposium - "Evolution and Development of the Vertebrate Dentition," co-sponsored by DEDB and DVM - is set for Friday January 7, with a bright and early start at 8.00am. Eleven speakers from seven countries are set to explore the development, evolution and evolutionary developmental biology of teeth and the dentition that teeth form. The topic is an ideal one for the first meeting after the amalgamation of DEDB and DDCB. All the major themes in modern developmental, cell and evolutionary developmental biology are encountered in the study of teeth. Indeed, I have often felt that you could organize a first year biology class around teeth; recall what Huxley did with a piece of chalk. The symposium comes at a time of an avalanche of new data and theories on the genes underlying tooth formation, new fossil finds, and new theories on the evolutionary origin of teeth ('from outside in or from inside out'). Come along on January 7 to hear the latest.

Check the society website (http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2005/symposia/index.php3) for other symposia at the San Diego meeting. Equally importantly, check the programme when it appears for presentations and posters. Symposia are important but no more important than presentations and posters. The programme committee will have worked hard late in September to structure the 2005 meeting. It is an enormous job, one made more difficult (and exciting) by the increasingly integrative nature of research within our division, and indeed, within SICB as a whole.

By all initial accounts, it is not too early to mark 2006 in Orlando on your calendar. The intellectual activity within our field and the energy within our newly amalgamated division is reflected in four proposals for 2006. Details on the symposia for 2006, and how they interact with other divisions and with other societies meeting with SICB will be provided at the divisional business meeting in January.

We retain our association with the two journals Evolution & Development and the Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B. Molecular and Development Evolution and encourage you to subscribe and to submit papers.

Message from the Program Officer

Eduardo Rosa-Molinar

íSaludos de Puerto Rico! The hurricane season has kept us down here in paradise and the mainland USA pretty busy. Nebraska looks better and better every day! The divisional program officers (DPO's), representatives of the American Microscopy Society (AMS) and The Crustacean Society (TCS), Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Program Officer, and Meeting Director and Assistant Director (Burk Associates) converged at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, California (http://www.towncountry.com/), September 25th and 26th, 2004 to finalize the scientific program for the 2005 SICB Annual Meeting (keep up at: http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2005/) and choose the symposia for the 2006 SICB Annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, January 4-8, 2006 .
As of Friday, October 1, 2004, we have 1022 abstracts including contributed talks, posters, and symposia. The 10 symposia are:

Society-wide symposia:

"Desiccation Tolerance in Animals, Microbes, and Plants: Comparative Mechanisms and Evolution"
Organizers: Peter Alpert (U. of Massachusetts), James Clegg (U. of California/Davis), Brent Mishler (U. of California/Berkeley), and Mel Oliver (USDA)
Sponsoring divisions: DCPB (primary), DEE and DIZ (additional)

"Terminal Addition, Segmentation, and the Evolution of Metazoan Body Plan Regionalization"
Organizers: Nigel Hughes (U. of California/Riverside) and David K. Jacobs (UCLA)
Sponsoring divisions: DEDB and DDCB (primary), DSEB, DIZ, DVM, and the Paleontological Society (additional)

Other Symposia:

"Adaptations for Life at High Elevation"
Organizers: Douglas Altshuler (Caltech) and Robert Dudley (U. of California/Berkeley)
Sponsoring divisions: DVM and DCPB (primary)

"The New Microscopy: Toward a Phylogenetic Synthesis"
Organizers: Ruth Ann Dewel (Appalachian State University), Kathy Coates (Bermuda Biological Station), Mary Beth Thomas, Clay Cook (Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution), Julian Smith (Winthrop University)
Sponsoring Affiliate Society: American Microscopical Society (primary)
Sponsoring Divisions: DEE, DNB, DIZ, DEDB and DDCB, and DSEB (additional)

"WormNet: Recent Advances in Annelid Systematics, Development, and Evolution"
Organizer: Kenneth M. Halanych (Auburn University)
Sponsoring division(s): DIZ, DSEB, DEDB and DDCB (primary)

"Mating Systems and Sexual Selection in Hermaphrodites"
Organizer: Janet L. Leonard (U. of California/Santa Cruz)
Sponsoring divisions: DIZ and DAB (primary), DEE additional)

"Complex Life-histories in Marine Benthic Invertebrates: A Symposium in Memory of Larry McEdward"
Organizers: Dianna Padilla (Stony Brook University) and Benjamin Miner (U. of California/Davis)
Sponsoring divisions: DIZ (primary), DEE (additional)

"Evolution and Development of the Vertebrate Dentition"
Organizer: Moya Smith (King's College London Dental Institute)
Sponsoring divisions: DEDB, DVM, DDCB, and DSEB (primary)

Mini-symposium: "Crustacea of Ephemeral Wetlands and Crustacean Diapause in Variable Environments"
Organizers: Marie Simovich (University of San Diego), Judith Williams (U. of S. Mississippi), and Andrew Bohonak (San Diego State University)
Sponsoring Society: The Crustacean Society

Mini-symposium: "Zoo- based Research and Conservation. "
Organizers: L. Patton & M. Anderson
Sponsoring division: DCE

*DAB - Division of Animal Behavior; DCE - Division of Comparative Endocrinology; DCPB - Division of Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry; DDCB - Division of Developmental & Cell Biology; DEDB - Division of Evolutionary; Developmental Biology; DEE - Division of Ecology & Evolution; DIZ - Division of Invertebrate Zoology; DNB - Division of Neurobiology; DSEB - Division of Systematic & Evolutionary Biology; DVM - Division of Vertebrate Morphology

Remember, keep checking the SICB website (http://www.sicb.org) and reading the DEDB DCDB newsletter for updates regarding the 2005 meeting in San Diego.

An important issue that we discussed at the DPO's and Program Planning meeting and that we unanimously agreed upon was that the Best Student Paper (BSP) award programs administered by most of the SICB divisions would benefit from standardizing some (but not all) of the procedures and requirements of those programs. The specific recommendations made by the DPO's and Program Committee are:

  • (1) to eliminate division affiliation requirements for the BSP programs (at the current time, division affiliation is a requirement by DCPB, DEE, and DIZ, but not DAB, DCE, DDCB, DEDB, DSEB, or DVM)

    Rationale for Change: This change acknowledges the scientific overlap between the divisions and promotes interaction among divisions. In addition, the requirement recommended for elimination is fairly minor, as a student can change divisional affiliation with a single click on their SICB member information page. This latter point means that enforcement of the requirement is difficult.

  • (2) that an individual awarded the first place BSP (oral) from any division would be ineligible to compete for the BSP (oral) in that same division or any other division in the future. Similarly, an individual awarded the first place BSP (poster) from any division would be ineligible to compete for the BSP (poster) in that same division or any other division in the future. An individual could compete for a poster award after winning an oral award, and vice versa. (Currently there are divisional restrictions in the number of awards that any individual could win in DCPB, DDCB, DEE, and DEDB, but not in DAB, DCE, DIZ, DSEB, or DVM)

    Rationale for Change: This change would give the society an increased opportunity to acknowledge a larger number of the students making outstanding presentations. With elimination of division affiliation requirements (#1), it seemed important to enforce this rule at the society level rather than just at the divisional level.
The DPO's and Program Committee did not recommend standardizing the other differences in division programs (such as number of awards, amount of awards, criteria used, etc.).

DNB is the only division without a BSP program described in the bylaws.

I would like for the membership to forward to me their comments and/or concerns about our recommendations and to be prepared to discuss and vote on them at our business meeting.

As we did last year our social has been scheduled to occur at the same time and in close proximity to DVM. Frietson pushed for this last year, and I really think that the interaction and discussion over a beer or two or three was excellent.

Finally, please encourage your graduate students and colleagues to join SICB and DEDB and DCDB and keep sending your original research papers and/or symposia to Evolution and Development (Blackwell Publishing), Molecular and Developmental Evolution (Wiley), American Naturalist, and to Journal of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, journals sponsored by SICB.

Be prepared for a lengthy business meeting. I have some other issues that I hope to have on the agenda for discussion. Have a great and safe fall. Season's Greetings to all, and I hope to see you in San Diego!

Hasta pronto!

Message from the Secretary

Frietson Galis

Dear members of the combined DEDB and DDCB,

We hope you are all looking forward to the San Diego meeting. There are many promising talks on developmental, cell and evolutionary developmental biology in the program. Our division is lively and dynamic, as befits a young division. Your attendance of the divisional business meeting will be highly appreciated.

Elections. The outcome of the elections for our division were rather predictable, since we had a single candidate for the function of program officer, secretary and student/post-doc representative. Eduardo Rosa-Molinar will continue to do the demanding and responsible job of program officer, I will continue as secretary and we were happy to find Nathan Bird willing to be our new Student/Post-doc representative.

Message from the Student/Postdoc Representative

Brad Davidson

Looking forward to seeing you all in San Diego! Along with the usual (but still remarkable) opportunity for graduate students and post-docs to give oral presentations, the upcoming meeting is unusually loaded with Evo-Devo symposia. Make sure and visit the SICB website for a preview of the symposia and other events including the student/post-doc luncheon and evening social.

Update on "Movers and Shakers: A Young Investigators Symposium on Mesoderm Evolution"
Due to a lack of sufficient nominations, the planned student/post-doc nomination voting aspect of this symposium has been scrapped. However, a focus on young investigators and on the development side of Evo-devo remains. Thus we are still hopeful that the symposium will generate increased participation of students/post-docs in the society and will aid in the revivification of our co-division DDCB (Development and Cellular Biology). Best wishes, Brad Davidson

Link to officer list on DEDB page