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Division of Comparative Biomechanics (DCB): 2006 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Interim Program Officer

Frank Fish

The schedule of talks has now been set for the SICB's Annual Meeting in Phoenix in January 2007. It was pleasing to see a number of people listing the Division of Comparative Biomechanics on their abstract submittal form. Hopefully this is the beginning of a continual and growing submission of papers in the field of biomechanics. The DCB talks and posters have been integrated throughout the five days of the meeting (January 3-7). Two special events are of particular importance to the DCB. First, Mimi Koehl will give the plenary lecture, "Putting the Organism in its Environment: Ecological Biomechanics." The plenary lecture will be presented on Wednesday, January 3rd. Mimi's talk sets the tone for much of the remainder of the meeting. The following day on Thursday, January 4th starts the beginning of an event that spans no less than two and one-third days on biomechanics. This is the Mini-symposium Honoring Steve Vogel, which was organized by Tom Daniel and Kate Loudon. With 63 contributed oral talks and a number of posters presented by what can only be described as a cast of thousands, this event is anything but "mini." Indeed, it demonstrates the influence and contributions that Steve Vogel has made to biomechanics and science in general. Be sure to come to the social in honor of Steve on Friday night.

The venue at Phoenix is one of the best for any SICB meeting. First, the conference site is within fifteen minutes of the airport, so people can inexpensively use SuperShuttle, taxi or Hotel limo. The conference hotel (Hyatt) is immediately across the street from the convention center, where the oral contributions and poster sessions will be given. The rooms for the oral presentations are all on the same floor and hallway, making changing rooms and sessions extremely easy. With respect to the necessities of life, the Hyatt has wireless Internet and Einstein Bros. for bagels and coffee. Starbucks is in the convention center. There are a variety of bars and restaurants located in the immediate area. To help you and keep you from getting lost, there are a number of orange-shirted Phoenix ambassadors located in the area.

The first business meeting of the DCB will be held on Thursday evening after the poster session. This meeting will be important in organizing the division and setting its agenda for future meetings. Please consider organizing a symposium for future meetings. If you need assistance in developing an idea or going through the mechanics of submission, I am gladly at your service. Any symposium sponsored by the DCB can be limited to biomechanics or can be broader in its outlook. Broader symposia can fall under the society-wide category. Some potential symposia are the Evolution of Flight; Biomimetics: Fusion of Organism and Machine; Transition for Sea to Land: The Evolution of Terrestrial Locomotion in Vertebrates; and Shells, Scales and Cuticles: Structural Mechanics of Exoskeletons. If you are interested in organizing these or any others, please let me know.

Message from the Interim Secretary

Miriam Ashley-Ross

SICB's newest entity, the Division of Comparative Biomechanics, is poised to hit the ground running at the Annual Meeting in Phoenix. Mimi Koehl will give the plenary lecture, "Putting the Organism in its Environment: Ecological Biomechanics," to open the meeting on January 3rd. Tom Daniel and Kate Loudon have organized a "minisymposium" honoring Steve Vogel, featuring contributed papers of scientists who have directly benefited from Steve's guidance.

The DCB will be on the list of official divisions this fall - when most of us are renewing our membership. Who should consider checking the DCB box as their primary affiliation? Any scientist who examines organisms, zoological or botanical or microscopical, from the standpoint of function within the physical demands of the environment, will find a natural home in Comparative Biomechanics. In recent years, SICB has been organizing contributed paper sessions around various themes - a few examples are feeding, swimming, muscle design and function, terrestrial locomotion, and properties of biological materials. Any member, whether experimentalist or theoretician, who finds such sessions of interest would benefit from becoming a DCB member. As you fill out your membership form this year, consider checking the DCB box, and encourage your colleagues and students to do so as well.

We will hold an organizational meeting for the new Division at the 2007 SICB Annual Meeting in Phoenix. There are two important things to accomplish at this time: adopt divisional bylaws, and plan the elections for regular officers. We will hold the first round of elections in the spring; we plan to stagger terms of office as other divisions do, so that there is some continuity of experience among the officers. Please let one of the interim officers know if you are willing to stand for election to one of the divisional posts. The interim officers are: Robert Full, chair; Miriam Ashley-Ross, secretary; Frank Fish, program officer; and Monica Daley, student/postdoc representative.