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Division of Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry (DCPB): 2007 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Patrick J. Walsh

I trust you all have had an enjoyable summer. I certainly did, just the right blend of science (including four weeks at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre) and down-time. By now you are all well into the routine of the academic year, so I will keep my comments brief.

SICB Annual Meeting, San Antonio, 2008 (and beyond)

We have a great lineup of symposia (see Don Mykles' comments below) and contributed talks, and San Antonio is a pretty cool venue. I hope to see many of you there! Also, please note Don's request for additional symposia for the outyears.

Judging of Student Papers

The Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry honors its student presenters with Best Student Paper Awards (one each for best oral presentation and best poster) at each year's annual meeting. (This year the awards will be named to honor Robert Terwilliger.) This program works because of the dedication and support of the members -- particularly when it comes to serving as judges. Last year in Phoenix, we had OVER 70 entrants.  This represented a significant increase (about 10%) over the number of entrants we evaluated in Orlando. This trend has held for about five years now, and all indications are that this trend will continue. In short: we need you to serve as a judge, this year more than ever.

What do you have to do?

Attend the presentations to which you are assigned and evaluate the students according to the rubric provided. Ask questions. Be interested. Return evaluations to me after the meeting. Ideally, we will have a brief meeting to discuss the best papers on the last day in San Antonio.

What are the benefits?

Meeting our student members, encouraging them in their research, recognizing their efforts, making them feel more a part of SICB and DCPB, and potentially assuring their future participation in DCPB and the Society. The students receive a monetary award and the pride of knowing that their work is appreciated by their broader professional community.
Who may serve?

In brief, YOU! If you are a full or postdoctoral member of DCPB we can find a place to use you, as long as you don't have students entered in BOTH the oral and poster competitions. If you have students in one or the other (but not both), you can still judge. (It is better if postdoctoral judges are not also entrants in the competition.)
If you can help, please respond directly to Dave Tapley at dtapley@salemstate.edu

Elections Past and Future

Please give Allen Gibbs a warm welcome as our incoming secretary (and a thank you to Steve Secor for standing for election). Allen will replace Jonathon Stillman at the end of the San Antonio meeting. As you know, in last year's election, Joe Williams got the nod as incoming Chair, so he has been in the loop as Chair-Elect for the past year. He will replace me as Chair at the close of the 2008 meeting. A nominating committee will be present at the San Antonio meeting, so it is not too early to be thinking about the next election in the Spring in which a Program Officer and a Chair-Elect will be selected to start service in January 2009. Let me know your suggestions for nominees and I will put you in touch with the nominating committee.

Bartholomew Award Winner!

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Sheila Patek of the University of California Berkeley was chosen by the Bartholomew Award Committee (Drs. Burnett, Gilmour (Chair), Gordon, Riddiford, Wainwright, and Huey, ex officio) to be the 2008 Bartholomew Awardee "for distinguished contributions to comparative physiology and biochemistry, and to related fields of functional and integrative biology" for her research on the evolution of sensory and mechanical systems in marine invertebrates. Congrats to Dr. Patek and my thanks to the committee members. While program details are still being worked out at press time, if past years are indicative of the upcoming schedule, the lecture and reception should be the evening of Jan 3, just after our DCPB business meeting. Please check the program for details and plan on attending! Sponsors of the award will again be Sable Systems, so be sure to drop by their booth in San Antonio and give them a hearty 'thank you'.


As part of an email/database glitch, last year many long-term members of DCPB did not get recorded as DCPB members. I hope that by now most of you will have renewed your SICB membership and DCPB affiliation to rectify this issue. We've also noted a phenomenon in the membership database, namely, that a small subset of members renew only in the year in which they attend a meeting (presumably so they qualify for the member's meeting registration rate). We need you to be a SICB member year in and year out. If you have not yet done so, please renew! The society can be best maintained by a strong, active and continuous membership.

Message from the Program Officer

Don Mykles

Upcoming SICB meetings

San Antonio 2008. Our next meeting is at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, January 2-6, 2008. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, just a short walk from the hotel, will be an excellent venue for symposia and contributed papers and posters (http://www.sanantonio.gov/convfac/HBGCC/hbgoverview.asp). The area immediately around the hotel, which includes the River Walk, has an abundance of restaurants. You can take the airport shuttle (SATRANS; 210-281-9900) to downtown hotels; tickets are purchased ($14 one way) at kiosks immediately outside the baggage claim areas at Terminals 1 and 2 (http://www.sanantonio.gov/aviation/). For visitor information, maps, and guides, go to: http://www.sanantoniovisit.com/visitors/com_history.asp.

The program is varied and interesting. Over a thousand abstracts were submitted. The division received 149 abstracts, which were distributed between 67 oral and 82 poster presentations. There are poster sessions on Jan. 3, 4, & 5. There will be 10-11 concurrent platform sessions, including symposia. DCPB is cosponsoring the symposium "Evolution vs. Creationism in the Classroom: Evolving Student Attitudes", organized by E. Lovely and the late-breaking symposium "Recent Advances in Crustacean Genomics: A Two-Year Progress Report," organized by J. Stillman. DCPB is hosting the reception following the Bart Lecture on Thursday, Jan. 3rd.

Boston 2009. The meeting is January 2-6, 2009 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1528).

DCPB is sponsoring a society-wide symposium on Insect Evolution, organized by T. Bradley and A. Briscoe, and a regular symposium on Biomaterials: Properties, Variation, and Evolution, organized by B. Swanson and A. Summers. More details about the venue and program will be provided in the spring 2008 newsletter.

The program committee will consider proposals for late-breaking symposia for the Boston meeting. Information on this will be announced later. Remember, it's never too early to develop symposia for the 2010 meeting! Please feel free to discuss your ideas with me in San Antonio.

Other upcoming meetings of interest

  • The Crustacean Society Summer Meeting Galveston, TX, summer 2008. Go to the TCS web site for details (http://www.vims.edu/tcs/).

Consult The American Physiological Society web site for a list of other meetings: http://www.the-aps.org/meetings/related/index.htm

Message from the ICCPB & IUPS Representative

Lou Burnett

The seventh International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (ICCPB) took place in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil on August 12 through 16. By all counts, the meeting was a success with over 300 registered delegates attending 5 plenary lectures and 40 symposia with accompanying oral and poster presentations. The meeting headquarters was located in the beautiful Pestana Bahia Hotel located directly on the Atlantic Ocean where one could enjoy a breakfast watching waves crash onto the rocks at the base of the hotel (see image). SICB delegates made a strong showing, participating in numerous symposia. SICB member Nora Terwilliger presented one of the plenary lectures.

This international congress has occurred every four years since 1984 and has been the premier international meeting for comparative physiologists and biochemists. The next meeting will occur on June 1-5, 2011 in Nagoya, Japan. SICB members should be thinking now about symposia for this meeting. Contact members of your DCPB Executive Committee if you have ideas for the program. Mark your calendars for June 2011!

Message from the Secretary

Jonathon H. Stillman

Those of you who regularly view the SICB website have undoubtedly noticed that SICB now has a new website - one that is greatly improved. Many thanks to the SICB webmaster Ruedi Birenheide and SICB Secretary Lou Burnett for their efforts!

One of the new features is our "Researchers Database" which is basically a collection of images portraying research of SICB members and short descriptions to accompany the images. The researchers database is a great way for community exposure, both within and outside of the SICB. Plus, this is a pretty unique feature among large scientific societies, and with the integrative nature of our research (i.e., cool organisms to look at) our members have an abundance of interesting images. Every member of SICB can be listed in the Researchers Database, (yes YOU)! If you are not yet listed, please send a photo and accompanying text to the DCPB Secretary and your submission will be added to the website.

Another new feature of the website is that there are many more images integrated on the website, both on the home page as well as in newsletters. Please take pictures at the SICB meeting and send them to the DCPB secretary so that they can be incorporated into the newsletter.

Finally, it has been an honor to serve the DCPB as secretary the past two years, and I will do what I can to ensure a smooth transition to your next Secretary, Allen Gibbs at the 2008 DCPB business meeting. Congrats Allen!

Message from the Graduate Student/Postdoc Representative

Joanna Joyner Matos

Hello DCPB graduate students and postdocs!

The Student/ Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) has planned several activities during the San Antonio meeting. I hope you will attend:

  • The Grad Student/Postdoc Welcome and Meeting Orientation on Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. is entitled, "How to get the most out of your SICB meeting." We will discuss topics ranging from how to find relevant talks/posters, enter or leave a room, and approach a "leader in the field" at the meeting.

  • Saturday evening (6:00-7:00 p.m.) we are hosting a workshop entitled, "I Have a Great Idea, But Who Will Fund Me: How to Write a Grant."

  • Saturday evening concludes with a society-wide social for students and postdocs from 8:00-9:30 p.m.

I want to encourage female doctoral students and postdocs to consider applying for the Dorothy M. Skinner Scholarship, which contributes to travel costs to the SICB annual meeting for presenting authors. I also encourage all students who are presenting authors to apply for the Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program, which provides registration or housing costs in exchange for one half-day of volunteer work during the annual meeting. The applications for both of these funding opportunities are on-line.

On a separate topic, the DCPB officers have decided to alter the method for selecting the graduate student/postdoc representative. In previous years, the division Chair has selected the representative. We would like to alter this process in an effort to give DCPB student members more involvement in the selection of their representative. To that end, we are soliciting nominations (feel free to self-nominate) for a two-year term as the DCPB student representative. A description of the duties is listed below. Thje divisional student representative also serves on the Student/Postdoc Affairs Committee, which oversees several activities during each annual meeting.

Nominations are due December 1, 2007. With the nomination please include a brief statement of SICB activities, research interests, and your goals as the DCPB student representative.

I strongly encourage you to apply for this position. I have benefited greatly from learning how an organization is managed, interacting with the DCPB officers, and contributing to SPDAC activities.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at jjmatos@ufl.edu. Good luck with the semester!

Duties of the DCPB Graduate Student/Postdoctoral Representative:

  1. You are an assistant to the DCPB chair and should make yourself available for any help the Chair may need, particularly at the Annual Meeting.

  2. You normally become a member of SICB's Student/ Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC), a society-wide committee. The SPDAC is chaired by a full member of SICB and has graduate student or post doc representatives from each of the SICB divisions. The chair of SPDAC is a member of the SICB Executive Committee. SPDAC is responsible for planning student-oriented activities at the Annual Meeting. SPDAC also is intended to serve as a liaison between SICB's student members and SICB's Executive Committee. You should attend SPDAC meetings as well as DCPB business meetings at the Annual Meeting.

  3. In your role as DCPB student representative, you should try to get to know the DCPB student members (this is the really fun part-now you have an excuse to walk up and introduce yourself to people!). Hopefully the DCPB students will approach you with questions or concerns about the Society or the meeting.

  4. You submit a paragraph or two for the DCPB newsletters twice per year, including information of student activities at upcoming meetings, reviews of student participation at meetings, and notices about grant opportunities.

  5. Some good places to look for grants that interest DCPB students:

    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

Link to officer list on DCPB page