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Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB): 2007 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Billie J. Swalla

Hi Everyone,

The leaves are falling and grant panels are convening, it must be fall when classes begin again and campuses are going at breakneck speed until Thanksgiving Holiday finally gives everyone a break.

That means that Ptychodera flava will soon be spawning in Hawaii and the SICB meetings in sunny San Antonio is just around the corner. Once again, we've got a great program that Wendy Olson, our program officer, will tell us about below. Don't miss the symposium in honor of the Gans and Northcutt paper, published in 1983. Was that really 25 years ago? That is also the year that I took the Embryology Course at Woods Hole and fell in love with marine invertebrate embryos.

The Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology is bustling, thanks to all of you that do great research, attend the meetings and make our presence known. We've been fortunate to have great leadership in DEDB and our newly elected officers are no exception. We welcome Linda Holland as the new Chair of DEDB, to take over the reins at the end of the SICB annual meeting for the next two years. I am pleased to pass the baton to Linda, who I'm sure will bring a new perspective to the leadership of DEDB. We also welcome Elaine Seaver as the new Secretary-Elect. Elaine just received tenure at the University of Hawaii (Congratulations Elaine!) and is stepping up to the plate with Marcus Davis, who will be DEDB Secretary until January 2009. Marcus has been a real pleasure to work with, and he just began a new faculty position at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta in the Biology Department, so congratulations are also in order to Marcus. Wendy Olson is continuing on as Program Officer, and we thank Wendy for all her hard work last year and this year putting the program together. Dr. Paulyn Cartwright, who gave a great talk on Cnidarian phylogeny and evolution in Arizona, has been appointed to the Editorial Board of Integrative and Comparative Biology, representing DEDB. Many thanks, Paulyn! Finally, Nathan Bird, our graduate student and postdoctoral representative is stepping down, so we give a special thanks of appreciation to Nathan. Nathan will be replaced by Rebecca Shearman, a postdoc in Annie Burke's lab, so we welcome Becky.

If you see these people in San Antonio, introduce yourself and thank them for their leadership in DEDB. They keep things running smoothly.

Unfortunately, the vitality of DEDB caused a temporary downturn for the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Crawford has been elected the new Chair of DDCB. Some of you may have seen Karen's cool movies at one of her posters in Phoenix. Karen is revitalizing DDCB with a full slate of officers and separate symposia slated for the new year. If you are interested in helping Karen by taking up leadership in DDCB, please let either her or me know.

Finally, I'll be stepping to Past-Chair of DEDB, so it's my time to say "Farewell" and to thank everyone who I've been fortunate to work with for the past few years. We have some terrific leaders at SICB that pour their heart and soul into their positions. DEDB is proud to announce that Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, our capable Program Officer for many years, has been elected SICB Program Officer. We are really pleased to have a friend in Ed and I'm sure that he will continue to deliver exciting and cutting-edge programs for us to attend.

I hope to see you all in San Antonio in 2008, I am looking forward to spending some time in Texas, where the best margaritas in the world are served.

Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

Message from the Program Officer

Wendy Olson

Greetings, again, from the heartland.

There were 1002 abstracts submitted for the 2008 SICB Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas (down from 1080 last year). The meeting will be held January 2-6, 2008. The headquarters hotel for the meeting is the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel (be careful, it is NOT the Marriott Riverwalk hotel, which is right across the street). The hotel is right on the river walk, and right next to a small shopping center, so there are a lot of places to eat, etc. It is also 1-2 blocks away from the Alamo. The meeting itself will be located across the street from the hotel, in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

DEDB/DDCB is the main supporter of two symposia for the San Antonio 2008 meeting: "Reptile Genomics and Evolutionary Genetics" (Dan Janes & Chris Organ) and "Vertebrate Head Segmentation in a Modern Evo-Devo Context" (Shigeru Kuratani & Thomas Schilling). The following symposia are also being supported: "Conservation of Maternally-derived Yolk Hormones for Offspring: Current Status" (DDCB) and "Evolution vs. Creationism in the Classroom: Evolving Student Attitudes" (DEDB). Be sure also to check out all of our talks and posters, scattered throughout the conference.

Abstract keywords continue to be a problem, one which I did not truly appreciate until my first Program Officer meeting. Abstracts are initially sorted by topic, then distributed to the PO's for sorting into sessions. Out of the group specifically directed to me, only 4 were from DDCB and 2, yes 2, were from DEDB. Because of the words you all are choosing, your abstracts are being sent to other divisions (such as DVM and DSEB). We need to fix this! I have some ideas which I hope to discuss at the business meeting (which will be on Friday Jan. 4); feel free to come with ideas of your own. Also, please note that after our temporary association, DDCB and DEDB are to be separate divisions, once again. This is an exciting development, one that can only make both divisions stronger. Please come to the business meeting to hear and discuss new ideas and directions for both. And congratulations to Karen Crawford, the newly elected in-coming Chair of DDCB!

To stay on a high note, congratulations to Claire O'Quin for winning the Best Student Poster award from DEDB, for her presentation "The role of hedgehog signaling during craniofacial development in larval zebrafish." The DDCB winners were announced in the Spring newsletter. Congrats, Claire!

If anyone is interested in being a judge for the 2008 competition, let me know!

Best wishes, and I hope to see you all in San Antonio.

Message from the Secretary

Marcus Davis

Greeting from the Deep South,

Firstly, I would like to congratulate

Karen Crawford, our new DDCB Chair-Elect
Linda Holland, our new DEDB Chair-Elect
Elaine Seaver, our new Secretary-Elect

I wish to thank all the candidates for running for these offices. Thank you for your contribution to the division's future! We are also pleased to welcome Rebecca Shearman as our new DEDB Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Member. She will be taking over the position so diligently filled by Nathan Bird. Thank you for your hard work Nathan!

I look forward to working with Karen, Linda, Elaine, Becky, and ongoing Program Officer Wendy Olson during the next year as we continue to foster the success of DEDB and DDCB. As you've may have already learned (see above), our Chair Billie Swalla will be stepping to Past-Chair after our San Antonio meeting. I would personally like to thank Billie for being such a joy to work with. She is the perfect combination of passion and prowess, and she has long been a key asset of our division. Thanks Billie!

I'd like to throw my congratulations in to Claire O'Quin. Her presentation "The role of hedgehog signaling during craniofacial development in larval zebrafish," won DEDB Best Student Poster at the Phoenix meeting. As someone very interested in hedgehog signaling I found her work very exciting!

Finally, as I always do, I'd like to encourage members to contribute to our researchers database. If you haven't already done so, or would simply like to update your current page, send your information to me at mdavi144@kennesaw.edu and I'll forward your content to our expert webmaster Ruediger Birenheide. Please send images in jpg format and remember that you can also provide html links to your personal and departmental research pages.

See y'all in San Antonio!

Message from the Student/Post-Doc Representative

Nathan Bird

Greetings fellow graduate students and post-docs! As autumn finally appears to be arriving in DC, it can only mean another meeting is fast approaching. I look forward to seeing everyone in San Antonio!

A few deadline notes. The deadlines for the Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program and the Dorothy M. Skinner Scholarship will already have passed by the time this newsletter is out, but note that this is an important source of funding for students to attend the annual meeting. Those who are eligible should apply for a Grant in Aid of Research (GIAR) or Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel (FGST). You have a little more time for these, as the deadline is November 18 for both. Links to these programs can be found on the "For Students" tab on the SICB home page.

Don't forget the Grad Student/Post Doc Welcome and Meeting Orientation on Wednesday, January 2, 2008, at 5:30 pm. This year the always informative Graduate Student Workshop is "I Have a Great Idea, But Who Will Fund Me: How to Write a Grant," which will be held on Saturday, January 5 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Funding is of concern to all of us, so please make plans to attend. As always, I encourage you all to become more involved in SICB and our division, particularly by attending the DEDB business meeting.

And finally, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for allowing me to be your divisional representative. The past three years have been a fantastic learning experience, through which I have made wonderful friends and connections. As my term draws to an end, I strongly encourage all of you to consider serving as a representative, and as your careers progress, in other divisional and society offices.

See you all in January!

Link to officer list on DEDB page