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Division of Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry (DCPB): 2005 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Donna L. Wolcott

The strength of the Division of Biochemistry and Physiology reflects the health of the discipline. DCPB continues to be the largest division within SICB, at 665 members. Its members have an important presence in SICB, and also contribute to the field at multiple other venues. Foremost from my perspective is SICB. For me, the symposia, whether broader or more focused, help to place my own research into perspective, and the interaction with colleagues who approach diverse problems with a common mind set both affirms and challenges. I also find SICB to be invaluable in my teaching, providing new examples and case studies, correcting outdated information, and demonstrating best practices for communicating data.

Members of the division contributed to the planning and program of the 35th International Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) in March in San Diego. SICB provided support for a comparative physiology-focused symposium and much-needed help toward travel of young investigators. Planning is underway for the next International Congress of Physiology and Biochemistry (ICCPB), to be held in Brazil in 2007. There is no shortage of opportunities for developing and presenting symposia. Contact our SICB representative to ICCPB, Lou Burnett (BurnettL@cofc.edu) for more details.

Developing an International Congress takes years of preparation and planning-and money. This year, the governing body of the ICCPB settled on a policy of assessing each member society $2K toward the support of the congress, held every four years. The executive committees of DCPB and SICB are exploring ways to accumulate the necessary funds to meet the assessment, and perhaps provide all divisions the flexibility to contribute to relevant international congresses as they arise. At the moment, we are looking at the mechanics of perhaps a $2/year/member extra fee that would be collected by the Society, and managed by divisions. Comments are welcome.

Those of you who can attend the annual meetings in January 2006 in Orlando are in for an especially broad-reaching, disciplinary-boundary bending lecture by Dr. James Gillooly, this year's recipient of the George A. Bartholomew Award. Quoting from one of the letters in support of Jamie's nomination, "Dr. Gillooly has returned physiological thinking to the core of ecology-where it belongs." His title is "Linking Biological Currencies in Ecology and Evolution". This is SICB supersized. I talked with Jamie about some of the logistics of the award and lecture, and he wondered about the composition of his audience. My reply was, "When you give your talk, you can expect an audience who may not be familiar with the details of your research field, but who will be highly scientifically literate and value the integrative and comparative approach to science." It seems that for research that crosses disciplines, both the topic and the venue are ideally matched. I hope you can attend the lecture, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. on January 5th, the first full day of the meetings.

This year, there were sixteen candidates for the Bart award, a challenge for the review process. Steve Hand, Chair, provided excellent leadership for the committee comprising Ross Ellington, Malcolm Gordon, Peter Wainwright, and Martin Wikelski. Many thanks to the nominators and applicants.

David Tapley will complete his third and final year as coordinator of the Best Student Paper and Poster competition. Please respond positively if contacted to serve as a judge, and please encourage your students to apply (instructions can be found on the SICB web site). Many judges make for better decisions, and fewer assessments/judge.

Message from the Program Officer

Kimberly Hammond


Another year with over 1000 submitted abstracts for the Society in general, with roughly 130 submitted with DCPB as a primary affiliation.

The Division is sponsoring 4 symposia in Orlando:

Ecological Immunology: Recent Advances and Applications for Conservation and Public Health
Organized by: Kelly Lee, Bram Lutton and Martin Wikelski

We are co-sponsoring this symposium with the Division of Ecology and Evolution and the Division of Comparative Endocrinology

This is the Society Wide Symposium

Genomic and Proteomic Approaches in Crustacean Biology
Organized by: Don Mykles and Dave Towle

We are cosponsoring this symposium with the Division of Integrative Zoology, the Division of Neurobiology and the Crustacean Society

EcoPhysiology and Conservation: the Contributions of Energetics
Organized by Robert Stevenson

We are cosponsoring this symposium with the Division of Comparative Endocrinology and the Division of Ecology and Evolution

Biomechanics and Neuromuscular Control
Organized by Kiisa Nishikawa and Andy Biewener

We are cosponsoring this symposium with the Division of Vertebrate Morphology and the Division of Neurobiology

Event Planner:

With so many cross-disciplinary symposia and bewildering array of parallel sessions, many members find it difficult to navigate through the meeting. To help, SICB implemented an automated meeting planner last year which was very successful, so feel free to use it.

Student support:

I would like to remind all student members that if they wish to apply for housing support for the upcoming meeting they should visit the SICB Student Support Program website: http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2006/studentsupport.php3. The deadline for application is Friday, 28 October 2005.

Travel Tips:

When arriving in Orland, I highly recommend that you take the group shuttle offered by Mears transportation (go to their desk in the baggage claim area).  The rate is $17 one way or $29 round trip per person.  The shuttles leave approximately every 45 minutes and take about 35-45 minutes to get to the hotel.  Taxis are also available for approximately $45-65 one way.  They leave immediately and take about 35 minutes to get to the hotel.

Future Meetings:

The Symposia for the Phoenix Meetings have been chosen, I will provide more details in the Spring Newsletter. Thanks to the individuals who submitted excellent proposals, DCPB will be well represented next year. It is never too early to plan for future meetings. Please email me (khammond@ucr.edu) discuss ideas and get started.

Message from the Secretary

Paul H. Yancey


We held elections for DCPB Secretary. Congratulations to the winner, Jonathon H. Stillman. Many thanks to Adriana Briscoe for running for this office.

Other Division Business

Website: Our division website has been "spiced up" a bit with photographs submitted by members. If anyone has more suggestions on improving the site, please email me. See:


Membership Debate: An issue brought up at the last Business Meeting (see MINUTES in the spring 2005 newsletter) is whether we (DCPB) want to change our bylaws to allow students who are not DCPB members to compete in the DCPB best student paper and poster awards. We would need to vote on whether to delete the following sentence from Article XIII. Awards, Section A. Best Student Paper Awards of the bylaws:

A student who applies must be a member of the Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry.

As reported in ths spring newsletter, an online bulletin/chat board has been set up for DCPB members to discuss this issue. Please participate at:


Officer manuals: Division officers are still being asked to assist their chairs in producing manuals of duties for each office. Progress is being made.

Message from the Graduate Student/Postdoc Representative

Joanna Joyner Matos

Hello DCPB graduate students and postdocs. I am looking forward to welcoming you to Florida in January!

The Student/ Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) is planning several activities that I hope you will attend:

  • 1st Timers Orientation on Wednesday evening, during which we'll discuss "How to get the most out of your SICB meeting."

  • SPDAC Free Lunch on Thursday, your opportunity to meet the SPDAC members, the Student Support chair and the president of SICB.

  • Two workshops for Saturday evening (6:00-7:00 and 7:00-8:00):

Workshop #1 is entitled, "Optimizing your graduate school experience." During which we will discuss several topics of interest to graduate students, including acquiring funding, finding a good mentor, and building a curriculum vitae.

Workshop #2 is entitled, "Strategies for landing an academic job/postdoc." During this workshop we will interact with faculty members from each of the three levels of academic institutions.

  • Saturday evening concludes with a society-wide social for students and postdocs.

DCPB also has several events during the meeting, including a business meeting, DCPB social, and the Bartholomew Award Lecture. I hope to see you at these events!

One more note, the deadline for applying for student support, either in the form of housing assistance or registration fees, is October 28th. You can apply for support if you are a presenting author and you are required to complete one half-day of assistance during the meeting.

I also want to give you a heads-up of some graduate student funding opportunities, many of which have deadlines during fall semester:

  • SICB - Grants in Aid of Research and Fellowship for Graduate Student Travel: www.sicb.org

  • Sigma Xi - Grant in Aid of Research (2 applications/year): www.sigmaxi.org

  • National Science Foundation - Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant: www.nsf.gov

  • Environmental Protection Agency - STAR Fellowships and others: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/fellow/

  • General search for government-sponsored grants; may have student grants: www.grants.gov

If you have questions or ideas regarding SPDAC's plans for the Orlando meeting, or other questions for me, please feel free to contact me at jjoyner@zoo.ufl.edu. Good luck with the semester!

Link to officer list on DCPB page