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Division of Invertebrate Zoology (DIZ): 2006 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Janice Voltzow

Dear Invertebrate Zoologists,

Accompanying this message you'll find a few photos from my summer at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB), where I taught an undergraduate course. It was wonderful to live by the rhythms of the sun and moon again, exploring the intertidal during early morning, fog-coated low tides and seeing the amazing patterns of diversity as we visited the fantastic habitats of Cape Arago and Coos Bay. It is truly a special place! My experience has reminded me how important it is for students to have the opportunity to study and do research at field stations and how great our responsibility is to help them do this. With this in mind, I am hoping to have another auction to benefit the Libbie Hyman Memorial Scholarship Fund at our 2008 meeting. As you might remember, the last auction, organized by Rachel Merz and her crack team of arm-twisters, was so successful that the Executive Committee matched the funds raised by the auction. So start checking your closets and creative inventory-you'll be hearing more from me about this in the near future!

Speaking of the Libbie Hyman Scholarship, I would like to congratulate this year's recipient, Chris Rieken, an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth working on ascidian symbioses with Mary Beth Saffo. I hope we will hear more about Chris' research at future SICB meetings. There was an exceptionally large and talented pool of applicants this year, making the job of this committee even more difficult than usual. I thank Sid Bosch, who chairs the committee, Amy Johnson, and Beth Okamura for their work.

Congratulations are in order to our secretary-elect, Renae Brodie. Renae will be taking over the invertebrate plume (perhaps a sea pen?) from Bob Thacker after our meeting in Phoenix. I want to thank Renae and Larry Basch for their willingness to serve. Our proposed by-law changes were also approved, which should simplify the job of the student awards committee.

Be certain to register for the 2007 meeting in Phoenix. DIZ will be sponsoring a symposium on Integrative biology of pelagic invertebrates organized by Alison Sweeney and Sönke Johnsen. I suspect that many of us are participating in the Mini-symposium honoring Dr. Steven Vogel organized by Tom Daniel and Kate Loudon as well. As has become our tradition, we will hold our social jointly with the American Microscopical Society. I look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

Message from the Program Officer

Amy Moran

Dear DIZ members,

The SICB program committee met at the end of September in Phoenix to plan the meeting and view the conference venue, and I am happy to report that it is shaping up to be another fantastic meeting! This year we have the second-highest-ever number of contributed papers with 1,080 abstracts total, only a few less than the record-setting meeting in New Orleans. 87 abstracts came from DIZ members. At the meeting, DIZ is sponsoring a symposium entitled "Integrative Biology of Pelagic Invertebrates" organized by Alison Sweeney and Sönke Johnsen. This symposium will provide an exciting look into recent technological and scientific advances in understanding these little-known animals. Other symposia of particular interest to DIZ members are the symposium in honor of Steve Vogel's retirement, which is a multi-day extravaganza of contributed presentations, and Trish Morse's "Frontiers in Learning and Teaching Integrative and Comparative Biology: The SICB Digital Library." Each symposium has a webpage that you can access through the meeting page for more information.

The meeting itself will be held at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, which is right downtown and within walking distance of many restaurants. The contributed talks and poster sessions will be held in the Phoenix Convention Center (right across the street from the hotel); most other events, such as socials and plenary sessions, will be in the hotel. We have one whole wing of the Convention Center to ourselves, so while most times have ten or eleven concurrent sessions, the travel distance between talks will be very short!

DIZ will again be joining DEE, AMS, and the Crustacean Society for an evening social (check the program schedule for dates). This year DSEB will be joining us as well. Please plan to be there!

For 2008: At the 2008 meeting in San Antonio, DIZ will be the sponsor or co-sponsor of three symposia. In no particular order, these are: (1) "Going with the flow: ecomorphological variation across aquatic flow regimes," organized by Gabe Rivera and Rick Blob; DVM is the primary sponsor, and DIZ and DEE are co-sponsors. (2) "Advances in Decapod Crustacean Phylogenetics," organized by Jody Martin and Darryl Felder, sponsored by the Crustacean Society and DIZ; and (3) "Evolution vs. Creationism in the classroom: Evolving Student Attitudes," which is a society-wide symposium co-sponsored by DIZ. Congratulations to everyone for excellent proposals!

It is never too early to be thinking about symposia for the 2009 meetings. Proposals will be due next August; please feel free to contact me well in advance with your ideas.

Have a great fall and see you in January!

Message from the Secretary

Bob Thacker

Dear Invertebrate Zoologists,

I hope everyone had a productive summer! I spent a month studying sponges in the mangroves of Panama (right). If you would like to share some of your recent activities, you can create or update your entry in the database of invertebrate zoology researchers on the DIZ website: http://sicb.org/ divisions/DIZ/ researchers.php3. If you would like to participate, please send me a photo, graph, or theoretical model from your research, along with a short title and a paragraph describing the image. The image should be in jpeg or tiff format, while the text can be MS Word or RTF format. Please e-mail your submission to me: thacker@uab.edu. Please note: if you have already submitted information to another division's database, you can just let me know which division that is, and we can link to your existing submission. I also welcome any suggestions for improving the DIZ web pages.

During the summer elections, you voted to approve all of the proposed changes to our divisional bylaws. The changes allow us to conduct electronic balloting and provide a clearer definition of officers' terms. We also removed DIZ membership as a requirement for participation in the best student presentation awards. This change will simplify the judging of student awards; similar changes have been made by the other SICB divisions.

At the 2007 Meeting, we will be seeking nominations for the next DIZ Program Officer. The term of office begins in January 2008. Please let one of your DIZ officers know if you are willing to serve as Program Officer, or if you know of any potential candidates.

This is my last newsletter, as my term ends this year. Thank you for this opportunity to serve SICB! You have elected Renae Brodie to be the new DIZ Secretary - please attend the 2007 Business Meeting and welcome her in this role!

Message from the Graduate Student - Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Scott Nichols

Greetings graduate students and post-docs!

The SICB annual meeting in Phoenix is approaching and I hope that you will remember to plan to attend the student/post-doc "Welcome and Meeting Orientation" on Wednesday, January 3rd at 5:30pm. This is particularly important if this is your first time to attend the meeting. The goal of this orientation is to introduce you to the logistics and etiquette of the meeting as well as helping you develop a strategy for networking with senior colleagues at the meeting. You will find that the SICB annual meeting holds many opportunities for collaboration. In addition to meeting potential collaborators (or post-doctoral sponsors), the interdisciplinary nature of the meeting uniquely provides you with an opportunity to make yourself known to members of future hiring committees.

Later in the week (Saturday, January 6th at 6pm ) there will be a graduate student workshop entitled, "What Editors Want" that will provide you with inside information about the editorial process that can only improve your future publication experiences. This meeting is nominally for students, but is open to all.

Finally, a society-wide social will be held in honor of students and post-docs on Saturday at 8pm. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Message from the Student Awards Committee Chair

Ben Miner

Another meeting is upon us, and we have many students vying for DIZ's Best Student Paper awards. I encourage all post-graduate members who are attending the meetings in Phoenix to sign up as judges. Just email me (benjamin.miner@wwu.edu) and indicate the following to sign up:

- your area of expertise

- the days you are available to judge

- whether you can judge papers, posters, or both

I will be putting the schedule together in late November, and I will email your assignments and judging instructions in early December. I would like to thank past judges and ask for their continued help. If you have not volunteered as a judge, I strongly encourage you to. Judges are often in short supply yet are necessary to continue to offer student awards. If you have any questions about what is required of a judge, please email me (benjamin.miner@wwu.edu).

See you in January!

Message from the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship Committee Chair

Isidro Bosch

This year the scholarship was awarded to Chris Rieken, an undergraduate at UMASS Darmouth who works with Harvard University professor, Mary Beth Saffo. Chris was the committee's unanimous choice among 13 highly qualified student applicants. He submitted an excellent proposal for consideration by the scholarship committee and his letters of support indicated that his potential as a marine scientist is outstanding. The Hyman Scholarship supported Chris' summer studies of apicomplexan parasites in molgulid ascidians. Chris collected sea squirts from the intertidal and subtidal zones in the Passamaquoddy Bay region of New Brunswick, where he worked from the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews. Many of the animals are now in culture at the MBL in Woods Hole, where Chris and Mary Beth are continuing their studies. We are very pleased that the work supported by the scholarship has been very productive.

As Chair of the scholarship selection committee I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding work and dedication of Beth Okomura and Amy Johnson, who have completed two terms as members and will now serve DIZ in other roles. Beth and Amy's keen insights as well as their commitment to the goals of this scholarship and to the memory of Libbie Hyman were truly outstanding. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served with them.

The application deadline for the 2007 field season will be March 9. As always, monetary contributions for the scholarship fund will be greatly appreciated. We are working towards an ultimate goal of providing two annual scholarships. Please send contributions 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 9, 2007

Notification of Awards: APRIL 9, 2007.

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

Call for Exceptional Photomicrographs

The annual Ralph and Mildred Buchsbaum Excellence in Photomicrography Contest will take place at the SICB meeting in Phoenix, January 4-7, 2007. For more details see our News section.

Link to officer list on DIZ page