Spring 2024: Society-Wide Newsletter

Note Spring Elections are Now. The ballot can be found here, and it will be open until June 20, 2024.

Message from the President

Patricia Hernandez, SICB President
Patricia Hernandez, SICB President

L. Patricia Hernandezpresident@sicb.org

Hello everyone. I am happy to report that our meeting in Seattle was among our largest ever! It is beyond inspiring to see the strength of our membership and our capacity to bounce back after Covid. Of course, such success does come with a cost. SICB has long supported our student members, however the current Charlotte Mangum Fund is no longer large enough to support the many requests we receive for funding. This is why I have started the President’s Challenge!!! I hope to substantially increase our coffers through this fundraising challenge. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to donate to this fund. My goal is to have the highest ever proportion of the membership donate to this cause. 

Your executive officers are already looking ahead to Atlanta and we are expecting another fun, science-packed meeting. We have already decided that abstracts will be due on August 28th, so mark your calendars.Our dedicated program committee will be assembling the program during the first week of October. In exciting AI news, we will be trying something new this year, by automating some of the programming of abstracts. Given that our meetings keep getting bigger and bigger, we hope that this will make the work of our program officers that much easier. With this experiment in abstract sorting, picking appropriate keywords will be of the utmost importance. Please be sure to pick these as carefully as possible, as keywords will play an important role in the preliminary sorting of abstracts.

SICB 2025 in Atlanta will be the 25th anniversary of the Division for Evolutionary and Developmental Biology. In honor of this auspicious occasion, we will be having a variety of special events to celebrate this milestone, including a plenary and roundtable discussion regarding the future of evo devo within SICB. I think that SICB is especially well-positioned to be THE home of evo devo research and I would like to do everything possible to assure this happens.

The NSF BIOLEAPS team just had a very productive planning meeting. We look forward to training SICB leadership July 21-23, 2024 in Chicago, IL. Given the intrinsic integrative nature of our scientific society I predict that SICB will lead the way in demonstrating how increasingly diverse teams translate into better and more impactful science.

Message from the President-Elect

Michele Nishiguchi running a race in the desert
Michele Nishiguchi, President-Elect.

Michele Nishiguchipresident.elect@sicb.org

Spring is upon us and it seems like only yesterday we were in Seattle for our annual meeting! I hope everyone was able to get their fill of great talks, posters, workshops, and all the catching up we do with colleagues and friends at this meeting (I know I did!). Additionally, I hope everyone was present when we announced the funding of our NSF BIO LEAPS grant- “Collaborative Research: Design: Strengthening Inclusion by Change in Building Equity, Diversity and Understanding (SICBEDU) in Integrative Biology”. We (Pres. Hernandez, Treasurer-elect Tsukimura, BP chair Williams, and myself) are already in the planning stages of our initial IDEA training for the Executive committee members, and are meeting with our workshop leader, Dr. Tanisha King this month. Dr. King is the Heritage College Chief Inclusion officer at Ohio University, and has been featured in multiple news and radio outlets and appeared in the 2017 Virginia theater performance “That’s What She Said”. Dr. King’s inaugural book “Out of Battle into Freedom” was featured at an NAACP author pavilion and has been described on Amazon as a “must read”. Dr. King is the Founder of Dr. King Speaks, LLC, where she helps organizations move from performative to transformative diversity, equity, and inclusion practices as well as empowers women to defy odds and overcome obstacles through radical self-love. Her podcast, “Ask Me How I Know”, discusses politics, social justice, women empowerment and more. We are excited to have her as part of our EC training in July, which will launch our initial goals for SICBEDU and lead us on a pathway for a more equitable and accessible society.

Message from the Program Officer and Program Officer-Elect

Janet Steven headshot
Janet Steve, SICB Program Officer.

Janet Stevenprogramofficer@sicb.org and Matt McHenry, programofficer.elect@sicb.org

Our 2024 Annual Meeting in Seattle was our biggest ever with over 2000 presentations and countless numbers of conversations between old and new friends and colleagues. We were also fortunate to meet alongside Minorities in Shark Sciences this year. Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting and contributed your time and talents to presentations and events. Also, thank you to Thom Sanger, who just completed his term as Program Officer. His service as Program Officer Elect began in January 2020, and he showed dedication and leadership throughout all types of pandemic disruptions. Next time you see him say thank you!

We are already planning the 2025 meeting in Atlanta, and it’s going to be a good one! There will be opportunities to make and buy art, network with like-minded scientists, and hear all kinds of innovative and integrative research. Abstract submission will open by July 1, and abstracts will be due August 28. Our 2025 symposia cover a range of topics and reflect the forward-thinking integrative science you expect at SICB. As you are preparing an abstract, consider submitting to the complimentary session for one of the symposia.



Matt McHenry, candidate for Program Officer-Elect
Matt McHenry, Program Officer-Elect

We are excited to announce the following symposia for 2025:

  • Cities as a natural experiment: how organisms are finding different solutions to the same urban problems
  • Paddling together: Navigating the crosscurrents of plant and animal biology to explore uncharted waters in disease ecology
  • Fleshing it out: recent advances in form, function and motor control of biological hydrostats
  • Integrative Organismal Biology at HBCUs: Highlighting the effectiveness of HBCUs in training the next generation of organismal biologists
  • From Evolution to innovation: Bridging biology and engineering through bioinspired design
  • Identifying the physiological mechanisms that underlie phenotypic responses to rapid environmental change
  • Pollinator-plant interactions in a changing landscape: embracing integrative approaches across scales
  • Microbes matter: Phenotypic effects of microbiota on wild animal hosts
  • Cnidarian sensory systems as comparative models for the evolution of complexity
  • Organismal systems biology
  • Applied ecoimmunology in wildlife health and conservation
  • Energetics, sexual selection and ecological innovation

Message from the Secretary and Secretary-Elect

Marianne Porter headshot
Marianne Porter, Secretary

Marianne Porter, secretary@sicb.org  and Vanessa Hilliard Young, secretary-elect@sicb.org

The 2024 meeting was a success! Thank you again to all the SICB volunteers who work to keep this society running and welcome to everyone who started new positions after the conference ended. Congrats to all the students winners  in the Best Student Presentation contents. You can learn more about their work here.

As you read this newsletter, the ballots are open  for the society wide and divisional officers. We have fifteen officer positions open and we want to thank all the candidates for being willing to serve SICB. At the end of this newsletter, you will find the candidate statements for the society-wide positions of President-Elect, Treasurer-Elect, and Member-At-Large. The candidate statements for each divisional position are found at the end of the divisional newsletters.  Please also read your divisional newsletters to see more about proposed amendments to bylaws that are also being voted on in this election.


Vanessa Young headshot
Vanessa Hilliard Young, Secretary-Elect.

We would like to give a special thanks again to our outgoing secretary, Michele Johnson. During her time in office, she contributed to amazing efforts to streamline the Best Student Presentation policies, edit many society-wide bylaws changes, and make officer transitions easier. We are continuing these initiatives by helping officers update ‘user guides’ for each position and working to update our judging policies and practices for the Best Student Presentation Competitions.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this newsletter and we hope you enjoy it. Please remember to vote and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions about the governance of our society.

Message from the Treasurer

Miriam Ashley-Ross headshot
Miriam Ashley-Ross, Treasurer.

Miriam Ashley-Ross, treasurer@sicb.org

It’s always nice to be able to deliver good news – and for the second year in a row, I have some for SICB! The Seattle meeting in January was one of our best-attended ever, exceeding the last couple of pre-covid Annual Meetings:

Meeting attendance for the last six years
Meeting attendance for the last six years.

Not only is the overall attendance high, but the number of abstracts submitted was the highest ever. The enthusiastic embrace of the return to in-person Annual Meetings indicates that SICB is on the right track, both financially and in providing value for our members.

We don’t have the final numbers in yet for the Seattle meeting (I’m looking at you, symposium speakers who drag your feet on submitting your paperwork!), but I have no doubt that when I write my Fall newsletter report, I’ll be able to tell you of a decent profit on the meeting.

 What can we expect for next year’s meeting in Atlanta? The Finance Committee and Executive Officers will start planning for the meetings attendance forecast and registration rates in early summer; given the ease of travel to Atlanta, we will be expecting another large meeting. As I mentioned in my annual report for 2023, the Executive Committee approved a plan whereby we will aim for each Annual Meeting to be comfortably in the black, rather than trying to just break even; this is so that we begin to build up our reserves that were depleted by the tough times induced by covid. You can expect some fluctuation in the exact cost of meeting attendance, based on the priciness of the local area, but overall I would not expect the price of meetings to decline overly much, if at all, due to persistent inflation. For that reason, SICB is working hard to make it easier for students to attend by offering a substantial discount on housing through the Charlotte Mangum Fund. We are allocating ~$90,000 to student housing support this year; the Mangum Fund is not large enough to be able to provide more than a fraction of that amount. One of our SICB President’s priorities is to increase the balance of the Mangum Fund so that it, and not the general operations dollars, does most of the actual supporting of students. Please consider making a donation, if you are so inclined. 

Code of Conduct Transparency Report

SICB has contracted with Paula Brantner of Accountability Ignited to provide virtual meeting safety services, with ongoing support for the enforcement of the SICB Annual Conference Code of Conduct and Harassment Policy

Since 2020, SICB has received a Transparency Report to inform the SICB community about the number and types of reported Code of Conduct violations at the annual meeting. The Transparency Report summarizes incidents, outcomes, and related actions from the Annual Meeting to give a sense of how the Code of Conduct functions. Reports have been aggregated for confidentiality reasons to avoid inadvertently linking reporters or accused to incidents or disciplinary actions. 

From the 2024 annual meeting, SICB received five reports via the online EthicsPoint reporting system concerning four incidents. The incidents were categorized by the Safety Officer as three cases of verbal harassment, and one potential violation of the code of conduct, which expects that content will reflect science-relevant viewpoints. All complaints were handled confidentially. There were two cases of verbal harassment that involved an audience member questioning and interrupting a presenter in a way that other attendees in the session found to be aggressive and demeaning, and rude and disrespectful. The third case of verbal harassment occurred when a SICB Executive Committee Member made comments in a meeting that participants found offensive. The three incidents of verbal harassment occurred in public sessions, and the identities of those who reported will not be conveyed to the accused. For the fourth incident, the Safety Officer will be conducting a full independent investigation of the reported allegations. Disciplinary actions appropriate to the offenses were or will be imposed based on the Code of Conduct.

Update from the Communications Editor

Molly Jacobs headshot
Molly Jacobs, Communicators Editor.

Molly Jacobscomm.editor@sicb.org

This is a great time of year to keep an eye on the SICB website!  We are individually profiling our BSP winners on the front page each week, one division at a time. Watch for your favorites from SICB 2024, or if you missed it, read about all of them HERE. It’s not too late to reach out and congratulate any of our amazing students on their achievements!

Later this spring, we’ll start on feature articles by our impressive group of 2024 student journalists, featuring the presentations from SICB 2024 that most caught their attention. Also stay tuned for information about SICB elections, updates on the SICB strategic planning process, SICB socials, sneak peaks of SICB 2025 in Atlanta, and more! If you have any questions or suggestions for SICB communications and the website, reach out to comm.editor@sicb.org.

Update from the Editor, Integrative and Comparative Biology

Ulrike Muller headshot
Ulrike Muller, editor of ICB.

Ulrike Müllereditor.icb@sicb.org

ICB had an incredible 2023 publishing year and we are in the throes of our 2024 publishing season. We wanted to highlight our last issue of 2023 that contained groupings that were not from our annual meeting. The first was on Cephalopods science: from ecology to cognition in changing oceans and headed by Yan Z. Wang of the Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle. The second was Organismal Botany: Insights into the physiology, ecology , and evolution of plants  headed by ICB’s Assistant Editor , Morgan Furze of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, and Center for Plant Biology at Purdue University. We’d love to host other groupings surrounding themes within our scope. Do email icbjournal@sicb.org if you have a proposal.

We are very excited to be working on a special collection with Tiara Moore of BIMS(Black in Marine Science) featuring only authors from their organization due out at the end of 2024.

On our editorial team front, we welcomed many wonderful volunteers this year as well such as Associate Editor, Dr. Ione Hunt von Herbing and Assistant Editors : Jean-Michel Mongeau , Dr. Arvind Santhanakrishnan, Wes Dowd , Assistant Professor Alexandre Palaoro, Assistant Professor Andrea Rummel, Post Doctoral Associate Sina Rometsch, Assistant Professor Omera Matoo, Assistant Professor Chloe Josefson, Assistant Professor Julian Torres-Dowdall, Assistant Professor Matthew Kolmann, Assistant Editor Alexandra Kingston, PhD candidate Mahaut Sorlin, and NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology  Yaamini Venkataraman. We so appreciate all the wonderful volunteers who give of their time to ensure ICB continues to publish good science.

Update from the Editor, Integrative Organismal Biology

Adam Summers with shark jaws.
Adam Summers, editor of IOB.

Adam Summerseditor.IOB@sicb.org

IOB has many wonderful things in the works including two separate themes. The first is for a special issue headed by Dr. Yui Suzuki with a call for manuscripts on Integrative Biology of Organismal Development. The goal of this issue is to create a compilation of articles that approach organismal development from an integrative perspective. We welcome research with focus on topics, such as the environmental effects on organismal development, the effects of physiology on development, the impacts of epigenetics on development, Evo-Devo, Eco-Evo-Devo, or mathematical modeling of development. The deadline is July 15, 024; email Yui if you are interested in submitting: ysuzuki@wellesley.edu.

The second is a grouping headed by Dr. James Newcomb with a call for manuscripts to be included in a special issue on regeneration and the nervous system. The goal of this issue is to highlight the regenerative capabilities of both central and peripheral neurons, as well as potential roles of the nervous system in initiating or maintaining regeneration. We welcome research with a focus on axonal pathfinding, cellular or systemic signaling, circuit regeneration, functionality of regenerated structures, genetics, glial involvement, neuronal proliferation, or other related topics. Email Jim  via  jnewcomb@nec.edu  if you’re interested in submitting by April 20th , 2025

On our editorial team front, we are welcoming Stephanie M.Smith who is a research scientist in Mammalogy at the Field Museum of Natural History. We’re so glad she’s coming aboard our team.

Report from the Broadening Participation Committee

Susan Williams, Chair, Chair.BPC@sicb.org

I’d like to start off by thanking Nick Burnett for his service as Chair of the Broadening Participation Committee from 2022-2024. In addition, I’d like to thank the committee members who rotated off after the 2024 annual meeting: Shayle Matsuda, Alyssa Hernandez, and Thomas Stewart. We welcome new members Armita Manafzadeh and Jacob Youngblood.

Group photo of Broadening Participation social attendees.
Attendees of the Broadening Participation Social.

At the BPC Social at the annual meeting in Seattle, we honored the 3 winners of the Broadening Participation Service Awards for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice: Lauren Eve Simonitis, Devaleena Pradhan, and Chelsea Connor. We also recognized the 47 winners of the Broadening Participation Committee’s Professional Development Travel Awards to attend the meeting. It was great to see so many people at the social and to have the support of society leadership at the event as well.

At our BPC meeting, we were joined by Brian Tsukimura (PI) and other leads of the NSF BIO-Leaps grant “Strengthening Inclusion by Change in Building Equity, Diversity and Understanding (SICBEDU)”. Brian led an overview and discussion of the goals of the grant, which are very much aligned with the mission of BPC. This dovetailed nicely with comments from SICB President Patricia Hernandez about developing a 5-year strategy for BPC. Key take-homes of the resulting discussion were 1) that broadening participation and inclusion should be embraced and is the responsibility of the leadership and membership, not just the BPC and 2) as a society we need to more carefully consider accessibility to improve inclusivity. These are things that we are continuing to discuss as we develop our strategic plan.

I’d like to end by saying that it is an honor to serve SICB as BPC Chair, and I want to directly thank everyone who supports inclusion through your words and actions as a matter of course. I saw broadening participation and inclusion echoed throughout much of the annual meeting activities. I really appreciate that many members of our society understand that this is an important collective responsibility that has both societal and scientific impacts. If you would like to recognize someone for their outstanding contributions in this area, please consider nominating them for a DEIJ Service Award for Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice in Integrative Biology. The deadline for nominations is May 15 annually.

Report from the Educational Council

Veronica Martinez Acosta headshot
Veronica Martinez Acosta, chair of the Ed Council.

Veronica Martinez Acosta, Chair, (chair.EdCouncil@sicb.org)

At SICB 2024, the Educational Council was honored to welcome David Shiffman, an internationally-recognized and award-winning expert in public science engagement, as the plenary speaker for the John A. Moore Lecture. David’s presentation reminded the audience of the responsibility we have as scientists to share stories of scientific discovery with the public. His talk highlighted the importance of shark conservation efforts and of continuing the important work of broadening participation of marginalized populations in STEM.




David Shiffman in shark costume
David Shiffman, 2024 Moore Lecture.
Cindy Harley (left) and Patricia Morse (right)
Cindy Harley (left) and Patricia Morse (right).

Jordanna Sprayberry (Muhlenberg College) organized and led the TAL-X workshop on scaffolding and how it improves student outcomes. This interactive workshop provided a model for approaches in which participants explored how to scaffold learning experiences through skill-identification while also offering pedagogical techniques for skill development. Finally, we were pleased to award this year’s M. Patricia Morse Award for Excellence and Innovation in Science Education to Cindy Harley (Metropolitan State University). Cindy will offer an “Experiences in Science Education” article in an upcoming issue of the Integrative and Comparative Biology Journal.

It’s not too early to nominate folks for the 2025 Moore Lecturer and Morse Award! You can find information for both of these awards on the SICB website, under Resources (Awards).  Please also note that you can self-nominate for the Morse Award! Nominations and supporting materials are due on August 1, 2024.

Do you have a great idea for an education-related workshop that you’d like to lead? Proposals for the TAL-X workshops are due June 1, 2023 to the Ed Council chair via email. If you have questions or want to run ideas past us before submitting a proposal, please email Veronica Martinez Acosta (chair.edcouncil@sicb.org).

TalX 2024 participants.
TalX 2024 participants
TalX 2024 workshop
TalX 2024 workshop
TalX 2024 workshop
TalX 2024 workshop









If you are considering submitting a proposal for an education-based symposium, please reach out to us! We are able to partner with you or even just talk through your ideas with you.

Ed Council is working on the soft-launch of the BEARR (Biology Education, Assessment, & Research Resources) library.  BEARR will offer peer reviewed resources that are open and available to SICB members. Please note that databases for resources for online biology instruction and online guest lecturers are still available.

Finally, if you are interested in offering ideas regarding science education related-topics for our Strategic Planning work, please send an email to Veronica Martinez Acosta, Ed Council (chair.edcouncil@sicb.org) to be added to the discussion.

Report from the Student-Postdoctoral Affairs Committee

Photo of Christine Lattin
Christine Lattin, Chair of the Student and Postdoctoral Affairs Committee.

Christine Lattin, Chair, chair.spdac@sicb.org

Hello everyone! I am the new SPDAC Chair, and have been working with your SPDAC Committee members on several initiatives this spring, including:

  • Surveying our members about possible topics for the next SPDAC workshop at SICB Atlanta in 2025 (students and postdocs: please respond to the survey, available here: https://forms.gle/2ZT5pNX7DbnVZ3iZ9).
  • Writing a strategic plan for our committee, which is focused on three strategic priorities: 1) providing more resources at the annual meeting to help students and postdocs learn about and obtain both academic and non-academic jobs; 2) better supporting our postdoc members; 3) increasing SPDAC’s visibility and responsiveness to student and postdoc members.
  • Organizing a Zoom Faculty Job Application Writing Group for student and postdoc members who are planning to apply to academic jobs this year. The first organizational meeting will take place sometime in late May or early June; please contact Kat Munley or Andrew Schultz (their contact information is below) if you would like to join!
  • Your Student-Postdoc Representatives for each Division and their contact information are listed below. Please reach out to them if you have questions specific to your Division; if you have more general questions about SPDAC, you can reach out to me! I look forward to providing more updates about what we have planned for Atlanta in the fall newsletter.
    Division of Animal Behavior: Grace Zhong, gracez@stanford.edu
    Division of Botany: Bryan MacNeill, bnmacneill@crimson.ua.edu
    Division of Comparative Biomechanics: Andrew Schulz, aschulz@is.mpg.de
    Division of Comparative Endocrinology: Kathleen Munley, kmmunley@central.uh.edu
    Division of Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry: Jessica Karr, karrj@oregonstate.edu
    Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Sydney Birch, sbirch1@uncc.edu
    Division of Ecoimmunology & Disease Ecology: Molly Simonis, molly.simonis@ou.edu
    Division of Ecology and Evolution: Morgan Muell, mrm0161@auburn.edu
    Division of Invertebrate Zoology: William Ballentine, wballen1@swarthmore.edu
    Division of Neurobiology, Neuroethology & Sensory Biology: Loranzie Rogers, loranzierogers@fas.harvard.edu
    Division of Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology: currently in transition, as former SPDAC member Katherine Corn leaves to take a new faculty position. (Congrats Katherine!)
    Division of Vertebrate Morphology: Adrien Arias, aarias@sandiego.edu

Report from the Student Support Committee

Rachel Cohen, Chair, chair.ssc@sicb.org

Information on student grant awardees by division.

The Student Support Committee thanks all the graduate students for submitting their proposals for funding. We received 103 grant applications between the Grant-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) and the Fellowship for Graduate Student Travel (FGST). After review, there was enough funding for the top 27 applications, totaling $39,925. 48% of the funded grants were allocated to the FGST and 52% were allocated to the GIAR. We have also included a breakdown of the grants awarded by divisional affiliations.

We highly encourage graduate students to apply in Fall 2024 for next year’s funding cycle! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about grant submission or the review process.

Report from the Development Committee

Dr. Frank Fish
Frank Fish, Development Committee Chair.

Frank Fish, Chair, chair.development@sicb.org

The Development Committee is encouraging all the members of SICB to continue to support the society with donations. No donation is too small. If you have given already this year, you can do so again. These donations can be unrestricted or targeted to the various funds that support student attendance of the annual conference, awards to acknowledge excellence in presentations, research grants to students, or maintain operation of the society. Donations can be made through the SICB website (https://sicb.org/donations/) and can be for any amount. We hope not only to increase the funding through donations but to increase the number of members to donate. Whether you are an academic, postdoc, graduate student, or undergraduate students, the society would love to have great participation by its members. Please give so that SICB can continue to thrive and remain strong and vibrant. 

The Development Committee asks for your assistance in honoring those current or former members of SICB, who have passed. We ask that information on the departed be forwarded to SICB or the chair of the Development Committee, Frank Fish (ffish@wcupa.edu). The notification will be used as part of a presentation, In Memoriam, that will appear at the society business meeting in January in Atlanta, Georgia. It is important to remember those individuals who participated in the presentations of their research, operation of the society, and  attendance at meetings. We need to show and honor how these departed members made a contribution to their friends, colleagues, SICB, and science.

Report from the PUI Action Group

Jerry Husak, PUI Chair
Jerry Husak, PUI Chair

Jerry Husak, Action Group Chair, jerry.husak@stthomas.edu

First, thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth and poster in Seattle! The PUI Action Group had a number of very successful events at SICB 2024! The informational booth returned, and it was great to connect with graduate students, postdocs, and interested faculty. We returned with an interactive poster, but this year we focused on our plan to begin mentoring villages for folks who are at, or want to be at, a PUI. There’s a lot of enthusiasm for PUI careers in SICB, and we’ll continue our efforts to make resources available for all of you who are interested.

We brought back our PUI social, and attendance far exceeded our expectations! It was a great opportunity to meet new people, talk with old friends, and build community. Several topics came up in our discussions that we will be implementing in the near future, including events for undergraduate students at annual meetings. We plan to continue having this social at future meetings, so stay tuned!

Since Seattle, we’ve been working on two major initiatives:

  1.  Mentoring villages for PUI interested folks at all stages. If interested, fill out this form.
  2. Virtual meet-ups this spring and summer as we’ve done for the past two years. The first is on 8 May 2024 at 2pm CDT. If interested, fill out this form. The next will be in mid-late June, with dates TBD.

If you’re interested in any of our efforts, follow us on our X/Twitter account @SICB_PUI and sign up to get on our mailing list!

Society-wide Candidates

Candidates for President-Elect

Rick Blob

Rick Blob headshot
Rick Blob, candidate for President-Elect.

Current Position: Alumni Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, Clemson University

Education: B.A. University of Pennsylvania (Biology; Individualized Studies: Paleobiology – 1992); Ph.D. University of Chicago (Evolutionary Biology – 1998)

Professional Experience: Alumni Professor, Clemson University (2015-present); Faculty Director for Vertebrates, Campbell Museum of Natural History at Clemson (2019-present); Assistant to Full Professor, Clemson University (2002-2015); Editorial Board Member for Journal of Morphologyand Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2015-present); Awards Committee Chair, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (2013-2019); NIH-NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Field Museum (1999-2002); Senior Collections Management Assistant in Geology, Field Museum (1998-1999)

SICB Activities: Society-wide Program Officer (2016-2018); Chair, DVM (2021-2023); Program Officer, DVM (2010-2012); Editorial Board, Integrative Organismal Biology (2018-present); Society-wide Nominating Committee Chair (2019) and Member (2013); Member, ad hoc Committee for Evaluation of Oxford University Press (2009-2010); Symposium co-organizer for “Going with the Flow” (2008), “Vertebrate Land Invasions: Past, Present and Future” (2013), and “Terrestrial Locomotion” (2014); Organizer of Southeast Regional Meetings for DVM/DCB (2008, 2018); Best Student Presentation judge for DVM and DCB (Chair for DVM in 2004 & 2020)

Other Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Association for Anatomy; American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists; International Society for Vertebrate Morphology; Sigma Xi; Society for Experimental Biology; Society for the Study of Evolution; Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Research Interests: Vertebrate biomechanics, functional evolution and ecomorphology, particularly locomotion and feeding in fishes, amphibians, and reptiles; vertebrate paleontology, with a focus on the evolution of limb posture and water-land habitat transitions; biomaterials.

Goals Statement: It’s an honor to be nominated for Society President. I joined SICB in grad school, after I was dismissed from my first lab and a SICB member adopted me as co-advisor. The supportive welcome I received as a student was eye-opening and truly kept me in science. My overarching goal as President will be to help build our capacity to continue making those kinds of positive differences across the scales where our Society is active – from promoting inclusive meeting participation that can help broaden our membership, to supporting members with tools that can help them advance excellent interdisciplinary research and education, and engage with wider academic and public audiences. SICB’s recent BIO-LEAPS grant from NSF is an exciting opportunity to progress in these goals.

How can we help build the best future for SICB? Our meetings and journals are key. Coming together at annual meetings fosters the ideas and connections that jumpstart new discoveries and initiatives. I will work to ensure that our meetings cultivate an inclusive culture that encourages these efforts. Both of our journals grow out of our meetings, through the symposia that contribute to ICB, and the ideas that lead to papers in IOB. Our journals are critical outward faces of SICB to the wider community, and their strength is essential to the intellectual and financial health of the Society. I will support the work of the journals to recruit outstanding, diverse contributions that showcase SICB science. SICB has worked hard to engage with NSF in efforts to support integrative biology, but a major challenge remains for many members in building support for SICB disciplines and perspectives at their home institutions. As President, I will look forward to member input on SICB’s 5-year plan development that will help identify where SICB can target effort to help grow such support, setting the stage for our strength in the future.

Robert Podolsky

Photo of Robert Rodolsky.
Robert Podolsky, candidate for President-Elect.

Current Position: Associate Professor, Biology, College of Charleston, SC.

Education: A.B. Princeton University, 1985; M.S. University of Florida, 1989; Ph.D. University of Washington, 1995; postdoc, Hopkins Marine Station, 1996-7.

Professional Experience:  Assistant/Associate Professor, Biology, College of Charleston, 2005-; Director, Grice Marine Laboratory, 2012-2021; Assistant Professor, Biology and Marine Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1998-2004.

SICB Activities: Chair, DIZ (2024-); Public Affairs committee (2024-); M. Patricia Morse Award for Excellence and Innovation in Science Education (2023); DIZ Rice Award judge (2023, 2024); Libbie Hyman award committee (2021-2023); authored DIZ proposal for Student Award & Mentoring Program (adopted 2018, originating Rice and Kohn Awards); originated the Invertebrate Zoology section of SICB Digital Resources; Chair, Educational Council 2009-2015 (originating the Morse Award and TAL-X Workshops); Membership Diversity committee (2004); symposium organizer (2010, 2006); Wenner Strong Inference award (1995); DIZ best talk award (1992).

Research Interests: Functional biology and evolutionary ecology of marine invertebrates, larval and fertilization ecology, life-history evolution, environmental biology.

Statement of Goals:  SICB is uniquely positioned to unite the strengths of diversity in its science with diversity in its membership.  Along with education, these pillars define what we do and the principles we stand for, an identity that is critical to building a strong future.  To that end, I am committed to developing ways to foster member inclusion, engagement, and interaction, with goals in several areas.  Membership:  As we continue to recover from pandemic losses and look toward the future, it is especially important to attract and retain younger members.  I want to explore new ways to advertise and bridge the transition between supporting students and the meeting the needs of early career scientists.  Education: The meeting has grown rich with professional development for all stages.  As when chair of the Educational Council, I will continue to emphasize professional education, including making connections with educators in our host cities. Public communication: SICB’s role in public education is more important than ever.  As a member of the Public Affairs committee, I work with student journalists to craft their public messages about our science.  With my background in developing SciComm products with REU students, I want to recognize and reward other ways to increase the presentation of our work to the public.  Mentoring. When I first proposed the mentoring program that DIZ ultimately adopted, SICB had relatively little structure in place.  I want to champion this current effort to connect generations while supporting divisions to carry out activities that best fit their cultures.  Society cohesion.  It is important to find ways to promote interaction among divisions while allowing for distinct practices, for example by incentivizing more cross-cutting symposia and journal contributions, as is our legacy.  I have experience with leading strategic planning and am ready to listen and help in realizing our collective goals.

Candidates for Treasurer-Elect

Nicole Danos

Photo of Nicole Danos
Nicole Danos, candidate for Treasurer-Elect.

Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology, University of San Diego

Education: B.A., Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley (2002); M.S. Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2005); Ph.D., Biology, Harvard University (2011)

Professional Experience: Associate Professor (2023-present), Assistant Professor (2016-2023), University of San Diego; Post-doctoral researcher in Neuromechanics, Biology, Tufts University; Post-doctoral researcher in Muscle Physiology (2014-2016), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine (2012-2014).

SICB Activities: I have previously been the Program Officer of the Division of Vertebrate Morphology.

Statement of Goals: I would be honored to serve SICB in the capacity of treasurer. I am currently Associate Professor of Biology at the University of San Diego, a Primarily Undergraduate Institution. I teach courses in Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates, Natural History and Introductory Biology and conduct research on the form and function of skeletal muscles, with an emphasis during mammalian pregnancy and lactation. I have been a member of SICB for over 20 years and recently served as program officer for the Division of Vertebrate Morphology.  As a SICB member I am most proud of my work to revise the Core Concepts of Comparative Anatomy to highlight its relevance in the 21st century, with a special emphasis on improving access and awareness of the biases in our field. In my work as an advocate for science I like to highlight the special perspective that members of SICB bring to problem solving. As treasurer of the Society, I work closely with the Executive Director and the rest of the Executive Committee to oversee the Society’s finances, to ensure that these funds continue to work for the growth of the society and its members.

James Alan Murray

James Murray headshot
James Murray, candidate for Treasurer-Elect.

Current Position:  Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, East Bay

Education: B.S., Biological Sciences, Cornell U (1988); Ph.D., Zoology, University of Washington (1994).

Professional Experience: Professor (2019–present), Associate Professor (2012 – 2019), Assistant Professor (2007 – 2012) California State University, East Bay. Associate Professor (2006 – 2007), Assistant Professor (1999 – 2006) University of Central Arkansas. Visiting Prof., Friday Harbor Laboratories, U. of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017). Visiting Assistant Professor, Colby College, (1998 – Jun 1999). Postdoc/Lecturer, University of California, San Diego, (1995 – Aug 1998). Postdoctoral fellow, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1994 – 1995).

SICB Activities: I have previously served as Chair of the Division of Neurobiology, Neuroethology, and Sensory Biology, and as Chair of the Public Affairs Committee.  I have attended the meeting many times since my first attendance in Boston for the American Society of Zoologists in 1989. I have served numerous times as a judge for Best Student Paper competitions. I helped co-organized two SICB symposia (with Shaun Cain “Neural mechanisms of orientation & navigation” 2002, and with Russell Wyeth “Chemicals That Organize Ecology” 2015).

Other Memberships: Society for Neuroscience, International Society for Neuroethology; Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience.

Research Interests: My research has been in pursuit of the neuroethology and ecophysiology of the northeastern Pacific species of the sea slug Tritonia.  As a typical SICB member, I am interested in everything…and have been pursuing projects in genetics, ecotoxicology, receptor physiology, sensorimotor processing, magnetosensation, and the adaptive functions of orientation and navigation.

Statement of Goals: I have previously served on SICB Excom as chair of our division, so have some experience with budgetary planning in the society.  I have also served for 3 years as the assistant treasurer of our high school performing arts foundation.  My goal as treasurer of SICB would be to continue to prioritize support of students and young investigators, as well as maintaining transparency of budgeting and financial planning.  As a member of the Development and the Student Support Committee, I would continue the work of seeking donations and sponsorships, and to work with student members to identify additional forms of support that would enhance their membership in our society.

Candidate for Member at Large

Brad Davidson

Photo of Bradley Davidson
Bradley Davidson, candidate for Member at Large.

Professional Experience: I am currently an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Swarthmore College. I obtained a B.A in Biology at Swarthmore back in 1991 and my Ph.D in Zoology from the University of Washington in 2002. I then went on to a postdoctoral position in the lab of Michael Levine where I established the study of heart development in the model tunicate, Ciona intestinalis. In 2006, I was given the opportunity to serve as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona. During this time, my research began to focus more generally on how cells process inductive signals during embryonic development. In 2012, I had the opportunity to join the faculty at Swarthmore allowing me to pursue my passion for teaching. In 2018 I became an Associate Professor and am currently Chair of the Biology department at Swarthmore.

SICB activities: I attended my first SICB conference as a graduate student and was enthralled by the vast range of biological questions and approaches represented in the talks and posters. Since that time, I have attended nearly every SICB conference and have been an active participant in the Division of Evolutionary and Developmental Biology (DEDB). I organized a DEDB symposium in 2005, served as the student/post-doctoral representative and then as DEDB secretary from 2013-14.

Research interests: The primary focus of my lab is the interplay between cell division and signaling along with resulting impacts on embryonic cell fate decisions. We are also exploring the impact of neural signals on organ growth and morphogenesis. Additionally, we have begun to investigate chordate evolution, including the acquisition of polymorphism in the doliolids.

Goals statement: If elected, I will work with the other Society officers to ensure that SICB continues to encourage and accommodate active participation in our conferences by a broad, diverse group of scientists. I am particularly interested in sustaining and enriching programs that encourage participation and mentoring of students and post-doctoral trainees. I also hope to improve communication within our society particularly in regards to the internet conference platform along with increasing our visibility and our outreach efforts.

Statement of Goals: As a long-time member of SICB, I have seen our society grow by leaps and bounds while maintaining high standards for professionalism and increasing inclusiveness. I value our focus on supporting early career scientists. I believe that a major goal for the position of Member-at-Large is to foster interdivisional collaboration and communication, not only in terms of interdivisional symposia, but also on working together to promote inclusiveness and other SICB goals. Thank you for considering me for this role.