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Division of Invertebrate Zoology (DIZ): 2007 Fall Newsletter

In this newsletter:

Message from the Chair

Janice Voltzow

Mud, mud, glorious mud!
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.

Flanders and Swan

Dear Invertebrate Zoologists,

This summer I had the opportunity to visit two glorious mudflats, False Bay, San Juan Island, Washington, and the nature reserve Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe in the Netherlands. Happy as a clam, I dug around in the muck to find worms, worms, and more worms, and even a few molluscs and crustaceans. The richness of these habitats make them magnets for invertebrate biologists. Their fragility in light of human-caused environmental impacts has helped drive efforts to control invasive species, pollution, and habitat destruction.

Some of these worms will be featured in the plenary address at our next annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, January 2-8, 2008, when Sally Woodin, SICB Past President, tells us about "Worms I Have Known and Loved or Spheres of Influence, Recruitment, and Community Dynamics." Other highlights at this meeting include symposia sponsored in part by DIZ on ecomorphological variation across aquatic flow regimes, decapod crustacean phylogenetics, crustacean genomics, and evolution vs. creationism in the classroom. Be sure to check the details in the report from the DIZ program officer, Amy Moran, below.

I would like to congratulate this year's winner of the Libbie Hyman Scholarship, Johanna Cannon of Auburn University. I was able to meet Johanna this summer at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories, where she was using her award to study invertebrates. Sid Bosch has been serving as Chair of the Libbie Hyman Memorial Scholarship Committee for the past four years and has served as a member of that committee since 2001. I am extremely grateful to him for all his years of service. Helping Sid on the committee this year were Will Jaeckle and Bruno Pernet, who has kindly agreed to chair the committee for the next three years. I greatly appreciate all their work.

Congratulations are also in order to our program-officer-elect, Jim McClintock. Jim has actually already started his service by representing DIZ at the program officers' meeting this fall in San Antonio. He and Amy Moran, who is finishing her term, have worked hard to ensure that DIZ has a strong presence in the SICB program. I thank them both for their efforts. I also appreciate John Zardus' willingness to run for this position.

Last year I mentioned that we were planning another auction to benefit the Hyman Scholarship fund. Because of scheduling conflicts and a few time constraints, we have decided to hold the auction at our 2009 meeting in Boston. This should give you plenty of time to sort through your invertebrates memorabilia to consider what you might donate as well as what you might need to make your collection complete.

I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

Mike Hart and field assistants penetrate the fog of False Bay.

Bruno Pernet and Louise Page really dig the worms of False Bay.

Merry malacologists muck about in the Netherlands.

Message from the Program Officer

Amy Moran

Dear DIZ members,

The SICB program committee met in San Antonio, TX at the end of October to assess the conference venue and plan the 2008 meeting, and we can all look forward to another great meeting in January. There were slightly over 1000 abstracts submitted this year, meaning this will be another in a string of large and well-attended meetings. DIZ is co-sponsoring three standard symposia: (1) "Going with the flow: ecomorphological variation across aquatic flow regimes," organized by Gabe Rivera and Rick Blob and co-sponsored by DIZ, DCB, DEE, and DVM: (2) "Advances in Decapod Crustacean Phylogenetics," organized by Jody Martin and Darryl Felder, sponsored by DIZ, TCE, and DSEB: and (3) "Evolution vs. Creationism in the classroom: Evolving Student Attitudes" (Eric Lovely - organizer), which is a society-wide symposium co-sponsored by DIZ and eight other divisions. We are also, along with DCPB, co-sponsoring one of four late-breaking symposia, "Crustacean Genomics" (Jonathan Stillman - organizer). The late-breaking symposia, which are being held for the first time, promise to add an exciting new dimension to the meeting. Each symposium has a web page that can be accessed through the SICB meeting pages (http://sicb.org/meetings/2008/symposia/).

The meeting will take place at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, which are right on the historic Riverwalk; this area has a great ambiance and numerous excellent indoor/outdoor restaurants. The convention center is right across the street from the hotel. DIZ will be joining five other divisions/groups (DDCB, DEDB, DEE, DSEB, AMS) for an evening social in the Convention Center. Please plan to attend this fun event, and watch the web page for announcements about the time and location.

The Invertebrate Auction, which was originally scheduled for the 2008 meeting, is being postponed until 2009 in Boston due to scheduling conflicts. However, there are several other exciting activities to look forward to at the San Antonio meeting. SICB members will be able to attend a special showing of the new IMAX movie "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea," which is premiering in San Antonio during the meeting, and Randy Olson will also be giving five screenings of his new film "Flight of the Dodo."

The 2009 meeting will be held in Boston, and DIZ will be the sponsor or co-sponsor of two symposia: "The Biology of the Parasitic Crustacea," organized by Jeffrey Shields, and "Courtship, marriage, and the art of forming a lasting relationship: current perspectives in symbiosis research, a tribute to Leonard Muscatine," organized by Michele Nishiguchi. Congratulations to these organizers on their excellent proposals!

I have enjoyed my three years as Program Officer for DIZ very much, and I would like to thank Jim McClintock, the new DIZ program officer, for filling in for me at this year's Program Committee meeting (the dates of this year's program meeting in October coincided with my deployment to Antarctica). It's never too early to think ahead about symposia for 2010 - proposals will be due in August 2008; so please contact Jim well in advance with your ideas.

See you in January!

Message from the Secretary

Renae Brodie

Dear SICB members,

Like many of you, I will be happy to travel to a warm place for our next annual SICB meeting. Since the last meeting, the SICB website has been overhauled and is now nicer looking and more user-friendly. I encourage you to check your personal information on the member list at the bottom of the DIZ page; updates can be done online. Please also consider adding your profile to our DIZ Researchers database. A paragraph describing your work and a photograph can be emailed to me at: rbrodie@mtholyoke.edu. The DIZ page is also the place to check and post announcements. If you would like to post an announcement, please email me a pdf brochure and a line for the webpage. Divisional members can be sent email announcements as well, but these must be approved and disseminated by us.

For those of you with artistic inclinations and the photomicrographs to prove it, consider entering your best work in the Annual Ralph and Mildred Buchsbaum Excellence in Photomicrography Contest (http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2008/events.php3#photo) at the upcoming meeting in San Antonio.

Finally, thank you to everyone who participated in the elections. The Bylaws concerning chair terms and responsibilities passed with overwhelming support (see below). We welcome our new Program Officer, Jim McClintock, and also Bruno Pernet, the new chair of the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship committee. A big thank you to Amy Moran and Sid Bosch for their service.

Message from the Graduate Student - Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative

Scott Nichols

Dear Graduate Students/Postdocs,

This summer I had the opportunity to participate in a two-week research cruise in the Bahamas led by principle investigator, Joe Pawlik. This was a tremendous opportunity, both to collect data and to network with nearly thirty scientists (in an intimate research vessel setting, at that). This experience highlights the networking advantages of involvement in SICB - Joe Pawlik was my undergraduate professor, but we did not reconnect until I organized a symposium at SICB and invited him to present. Annual meetings are a great venue for learning about interesting and diverse research, but also for networking. If you are looking for a postdoctoral position, the SICB annual meeting provides ample opportunity for you to have valuable 'face-time' with prospective sponsors. If you are looking for a job, at the SICB annual meeting you can potentially present your research to future search committee members, whereas at specialty meetings your audience is likely to include competitors and collaborators who are already familiar with you and your work. So, as the next annual meeting approaches, strategize about whom you want to meet and how you can extend the network that will be critical to your future academic development. I f you have any interest in becoming more active within the society (e.g., planning a symposium), do not hesitate to consult me or the other SICB officers.


Scott Nichols

Message from the Student Awards Committee Chair

Ben Miner

Another meeting is upon us, and we have 23 students vying for DIZ's Best Student Paper and Poster awards. I encourage all post-graduate members who are attending the meetings in San Antonio to sign up as judges. Typically, I will ask a judge to review 3 to 4 talks. To sign up for judging, just email me (benjamin.miner@wwu.edu) and provide the following information:

  • 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 thank past judges for their time and effort, and ask for their continued help. If you have not volunteered as a judge, I strongly encourage you to volunteer. Judges are often in short supply yet 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 (past chair)

We had a particularly strong group of 15 candidates for the Hyman Scholarship in 2007 and the selection of one recipient among such a talented group was difficult. The recipient chosen showed real excellence, great promise, and will genuinely benefit from this award. This year the scholarship was awarded to Johanna Cannon, a second year Ph.D. student who plans to study the phylogeny and evolution of development in Pterobranchs as a member of Ken Halanych's research team at Auburn University. After an outstanding undergraduate career at Bryn Mawr, where she gained a strong background in Oceanography and Ecology, Johanna has been very busy taking graduate courses in Genomics, Developmental Biology and Molecular Biology at Auburn University. The Hyman Scholarship supported her participation in the Marine Invertebrate Zoology course at Friday Harbor labs this past summer ('07). The selection committee felt that the experience of working in a marine station setting and the hands-on knowledge of the diversity of invertebrate animals in the Pacific northwest would be great assets to Johanna as she went on with her dissertation research.

This year we welcomed three new members to the Libbie Hyman Scholarship Committee: Will Jaeckle, Bruno Pernet and John Zardus. From this point on Bruno Pernet will serve as Chair. This is especially noteworthy because, like past chair Amy Johnson, Bruno is a former recipient of the Libbie Hyman Scholarship. Bruno and Will participated in this year's selection process. My own three-term tenure now comes to an end and I wanted to give special thanks to Amy Johnson, Beth Okamura, Will Jaeckle, and Bruno Pernet for helping to make my tenure as chair stress-free and enjoyable. This was an interesting and gratifying experience that I highly recommend to others.

This scholarship is awarded in memory of Libbie H. Hyman, one of America's foremost invertebrate zoologists. For nearly 30 years the scholarship has provided assistance to students wishing to participate in a first significant field experience at a marine, freshwater, or terrestrial field station. Coursework or research activities focusing on invertebrates are both supported. A goal of DIZ and SICB is to increase the number of awards that can be given out to at least two per year. In support of these goals, as well as that of maintaining the continuity of the scholarships, monetary contributions may made using the SICB web site (click on Donate to SICB on the SICB home page www.sicb.org) or they may be sent 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.

The application deadline for the 2008 scholarship is March 7. Completed applications, which must be submitted on-line, must include:

A one to two page description of the proposed coursework or research

A brief description of previous experiences in field stations

Two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty members

Transcripts of both undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate course work

Application forms and further information are available on the SICB web site at http://sicb.org/grants/hyman/.

For more information contact:

Dr. Bruno Pernet
Department of Biological Sciences
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90840

Elections: Changes to DIZ Bylaws (both passed)

I. Item 1. Chair terms

The current Bylaws do not reflect our current practice for the Chair-Elect term. A change is proposed to Article V, to state: "The Chair-Elect shall be elected triennially. The Chair-Elect should attend the annual meeting that follows her/his election. At the end of this annual meeting, the Chair-Elect shall automatically become Chair for three years. He/She shall serve as Past Chair during the succeeding two years."

II. Item 2. Chair responsibilities

A second change moves a responsibility from the Past-Chair to the current Chair, moving the statement "He/She shall sign all proposals to federal granting agencies on behalf of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology" from Article VII to Article VI.

Link to officer list on DIZ page