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Division of Invertebrate Zoology (DIZ): 2004 Fall Newsletter

The spionid polychaete Polydora cornuta (left) and a nereidid polychaete (right) are preparing for the 2005 Annual Meeting in San Diego! Are you ready for the meeting?
Photos submitted by Sara Lindsay.

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Thomas Wolcott

The students are back on campuses, and Libbie Hyman Award winner Heidi Weiskel is back from her experience at Friday Harbor (congratulations again, Heidi!), probably never to be the same. The days are growing shorter and the nights cooler, and many of our beloved invertebrates soon will retreat into the mud. What to do for excitement once hurricane season is past? Well, we can start plotting our adventures for San Diego after the turn of the year! In addition to an exuberant intellectual climate fostered by several top-notch universities, the Californian Deep South presents biologists with a staggering variety of ecosystems, all within a few hours' driving range. My natal city probably has changed so that I'll scarcely recognize it, I'll revel in the setting. It's surrounded by rocky shores, sandy beaches, kelp forests, low desert, high desert, chaparral, mountains (some retaining unburned big trees), and the Sea of Cortez. Exposure to the variety of dramatic challenges faced by the plants and animals of these disparate habitats, and their multifarious solutions, are what seduced me into physiology/ecology. Some of you may be renewing acquaintance with these marvelous places, others gaining first exposure. I hope you'll set aside some time for messing about in the field. For those wishing to expand their life lists of critters seen, there's of course the San Diego Zoo and the Scripps Aquarium. For those who like to see marine mammals fly, there's Sea World. For cultural contrasts, there's Tijuana (probably contrasting with normal Mexican culture as much as with ours), and more rural country to its south in Baja California. For the history buffs there are museums in Balboa Park, the Cabrillo Monument, old ships in the harbor, and Old Town minutes from the Mission Valley hotel. For gourmands, there are many excellent, authentic and reasonably priced Mexican restaurants... and there's a public transport system to take you there.

But I digress. Location isn't everything; we've also got some engrossing meetings coming up. Program Officer Penny Barnes' message tells of the wide-ranging symposia with which DIZ is involved. With so many tempting titles, we may have more than the usual frustration at our inability to be 2-3 places at once. This will provide abundant motivation for what often is the most valuable activity at meetings: sitting down with each other and trading the fascinating ideas we've discovered since last year. I hope to do that with more than a few of you.

See you in S.D.!

Message from the Program Officer

Penelope Barnes

The SICB and Divisional Program Officers recently met in San Diego to schedule over 1000 abstracts for the upcoming meeting in San Diego! The Division of Invertebrate Zoology will be particularly well represented at the San Diego meeting. DIZ is co-sponsoring two symposia, and supporting an additional 4 symposia in San Diego. Janet Leonard's symposium entitled "Mating Systems and Sexual Selection in Hermaphrodites" is scheduled for the mornings of January 5th and 6th. In addition, Janet is organizing a small social, on the evening of January 5th, to provide an opportunity for SICB members to meet with symposium speakers. The second DIZ-sponsored symposium, "Complex Life-histories in Marine Benthic Invertebrates: A Symposium in Memory of Larry McEdward", is organized by Dianna Padilla and Benjamin Miner and is scheduled on January 7th, all day. DIZ joins DSEB and DEDB as co-supporter of Ken Halanych's symposium entitled "WormNet: Recent Advances in Annelid Systematics, Development, and Evolution". This symposium is scheduled for January 6th, all day. The Division of Invertebrate Zoology is also pleased to be co-supporter of the AMS symposium, "The New Microscopy: Toward a Phylogenetic Synthesis", organized by Ruth Dewel, Kathy Coates, Mary Beth Thomas, Clay Cook and Julian Smith and scheduled for January 5th (all day). DIZ is co-supporter of both society-wide symposia: "Desiccation Tolerance in Animals, Microbes, and Plants: Comparative Mechanisms and Evolution" organized by Peter Alpert, James Clegg, Brent Mishler and Mel Oliver and "Terminal Addition, Segmentation, and the Evolution of Metazoan Body Plan Regionalization" organized by Nigel Hughes and David Jacobs. The former symposium is scheduled for January 5th (all day) and January 6th (morning) and the latter symposium is scheduled for January 7th (all day) and January 8th (morning). All of these symposia have complementary oral and/or poster sessions and so, be sure to check the SICB meeting program for these. To find out more about these symposia, just click on the titles given above.

At the last SICB meeting, the DIZ/AMS/DEE social was expanded to include The Crustacean Society. The social proved a great success and The Crustacean Society will be joining us in San Diego for "The Muchos Amigos Mexican Reception" at the Town and Country Hotel! The DIZ/AMS/DEE/TCS social is scheduled for the night of January 6th (Thursday) from 6:30 to 8 pm (check the meeting program to confirm).

At the Orlando meeting in January 2006, DIZ will be sponsoring Robert Podolsky's and Amy Moran's symposium entitled "Integrating Function Over Marine Life Cycles". DIZ will also be co-supporter of "Genomic and Proteomic Approaches in Crustacean Biology" organized by Donald Mykles and David Towle. Congratulations to all successful symposium organizers on excellent proposals!

At the recent Program Officers' meeting in San Diego, the Program Committee members unanimously agreed 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 Program Committee made two specific recommendations: 1) to eliminate divisional affiliation requirements for the BSP programs. This change acknowledges the scientific overlap between the divisions and promotes interaction between divisions. Also, because a student can change divisional affiliation with one click on their SICB member information page, the enforcement of this requirement is less meaningful. 2) An individual awarded the first place Best Student oral award from any division would be ineligible to compete for the Best Student oral award in that same division, or any other division, in the future. A similar rule would apply for Best Student poster awards. An individual could compete for a poster award after winning an oral award, and vice versa. This change would give the Society an increased opportunity to acknowledge a larger number of the students making outstanding presentations.

This is my third and final year as Program Officer for DIZ. I've found the position to be extremely interesting and I've greatly enjoyed working with the symposium organizers. My thanks go to the SICB Program Officers Stacia Sower and Kate Loudon, as well as Sue Burk and my fellow Divisional Program Officers for their assistance and good humour!

See you in San Diego!

Message from the Secretary

Bob Thacker

I hope that everyone has had an exciting summer studying your favorite invertebrates!

Congratulations to Amy L. Moran, who will be the new DIZ Program Officer. Thanks are due to all who participated in the election process. Please attend the Divisional Business meeting to stay involved with DIZ.

Student members of SICB should review the qualification criteria and applications for several funding opportunities:

  • Grant-in-Aid of Research (up to $1,000), deadline November 22, 2004

  • Fellowship for Graduate Student Travel (up to $2,000), deadline November 22, 2004

  • Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship, deadline March 3, 2005

These awards can provide advanced undergraduate and graduate students with financial assistance to help defray the costs of research experiences. Financial contributions to these programs from members of the division are greatly appreciated. See the SICB web pages for more information (http://www.sicb.org/awards.php3).

I look forward to seeing you in San Diego and a very successful meeting.

Message from the Graduate Student-Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Ben Miner

Hello fellow students. The San Diego meeting is quickly approaching, so get out the sunblock and sandals. I would like to remind student members of a couple important deadlines. Applications for student support are due Nov. 1. This support covers either registration or housing costs in exchange for a day of service. The application for support is simple and it can save you money! The due date for registration is Dec 3. When registering, don't forget to indicate that you are a member of the division of invertebrate zoology (DIZ). Including this information indicates that you are competing for the DIZ best student paper or poster award - good luck.

In addition to deadlines, there are several student/postdoc events you should be aware of. The student "first timer" orientation (TBA) is an excellent introduction to SICB, and what to expect at a large international scientific meeting. The student/postdoc luncheon provides a free meal, and time to meet and interact with fellow students and postdocs. It will be held on Wed., the 5th at noon. The SICB society-wide evening social in honor of students and postdocs will be held on Fri., the 7th at 7:30 pm. These events provide an excellent opportunity to gain skills and interact with other students. I hope to see you all in January.

If you have any suggestions, please email them to me at: bgminer@ucdavis.edu

Good luck with your studies and research!

Message from the Student Awards Committee Chair

Sara Lindsay

Greetings! The deadline for abstract submission is past, and 20 students have signed up to participate in the DIZ Best Student Paper program, so I will certainly need help judging presentations in San Diego. I look forward to hearing from DIZ members who will be attending the annual meeting and who are willing to serve. Please drop me a quick note so I can add you to my list of volunteers. Past judges, I welcome your continued participation. DIZ students have research in many different disciplines, so we really need a panel of judges with a combined broad expertise. I expect to work out the scheduling details in November when the meeting schedule is available. If you have questions about the program, either as a student participant or as a potential judge, please feel free to contact me: slindsay@maine.edu

Message from the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship Committee

Message from the past Chair, Amy Johnson

We had a particularly strong group of candidates for the Hyman Scholarship this year and the choice was difficult. The recipient chosen showed real excellence and will genuinely benefit from this award. This year the scholarship was awarded to Heidi Weiskel, a first year Ph.D. student in ecology at the University of California at Davis. Heidi has been making an unusual transition from a background in marine policy, including a stint working with the Pew Oceans Commission, to a strong science-based interest in biological invasions that includes a focus on invertebrate biology and marine conservation. The Hyman Scholarship supported her work in the Marine Invertebrate Zoology course at Friday Harbor Labs this past summer ('04). The selection committee felt that instilling in a policy-related individual a passion for the animals that they are concerned with via hands-on knowledge of organisms would be especially promoted by a field station setting.

The Libbie Hyman Memorial Field Scholarship Committee (myself, Isidro Bosch, and Beth Okamura) would like to thank the Auction Committee and all those who donated materials to the auction as well as all those who participated in the Auction for the great success of the Libbie Auction at SICB this past January. Thank you. Between the auction and matches to the auction, over $12,000 was raised for the fund, which increases the principal by over 60%! This fund has been helping to send students, including myself, to first field station experiences for over 20 years. It is good to know that we can increase the support for this goal. A future goal of DIZ and SICB should be to raise the principal to the level of endowing this important fund and potentially increasing the number of awards that can be given out to two per year.

In support of these goals, as well as that of maintaining the continuity of the scholarships, Monetary contributions, large or small may be sent, to: SICB Business Office, Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship Fund, 1313 Dolley Madison Blvd., Suite 402, McLean, VA 22101. Checks should be made payable to SICB and marked as a "Contribution to the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship Fund." All contributions are tax deductible.

This scholarship, in memory of Libbie H. Hyman, one of America's foremost invertebrate zoologists, provides assistance to students to take courses OR to do research on invertebrates at a marine, freshwater or terrestrial field station. The Hyman scholarship is intended to help support a first field station experience for a first- or second-year graduate student or an advanced undergraduate student.

Completed applications, which must be submitted on-line, must include:

A one to two page description of the proposed coursework or research

Two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty members

Transcripts of both undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate course work.

Deadline: MARCH 3, 2005
Notification of Awards: APRIL 3, 2005.

Application forms and further information are available on the web at:


For more information contact:

Dr. Isidro Bosch
Chair, SICB Libbie Hyman Scholarship Committee
Department of Biology
SUNY Geneseo, NY 14454
Phone 585-245-5303
Fax 245-5007

Link to officer list on DIZ page