Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry

Fall Newsletter 2019

Alice C. Gibb
Nov 1 · 9 min read

Message from the Chair, Kim Hammond, Chair.DCPB@sicb.org

I am looking very much forward to the trip and to the annual SICB meeting in Austin, Texas in January 2020. The meeting promises to be another success for SICB. The SICB Program Committee has received over 1900 abstracts for the 2020 meeting. DCPB continues to be an important presence in SICB as one of the largest SICB divisions and a significant contributor to the meeting’s scientific program.

Austin, Texas at night (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

In 2020, DCPB is sponsoring four symposia that provide focused platforms for extensive scientific discussions and networking on the topics ranging from female perspectives of reproduction to new perspectives in marine biology to studies of epigenetic variation in endocrinology to expansive views of bridges between genomes and phenomes. We look forward to an exciting program!

DCPB also sponsors the society-wide George Bartholomew Award that recognizes a young investigator for distinguished contributions to comparative physiology and biochemistry or to related fields of functional and integrative biology. This year, the award goes to Dr. Mary Caswell (Cassie) Stoddard from Princeton University in recognition of her study of evolution of animal vision, coloration and morphology. Dr. Stoddard’s integrative work merges different disciplines to answer long-standing fundamental questions in sensory physiology, reproductive and behavioral ecology, and considers the organism-environment interactions in their complexity. Dr. Stoddard’s work exemplifies the kind of scientific vision we celebrate for the George Bartholomew Award. Inna Sokolova, Chair of the George Bartholomew Award Committee, will provide more details on this year’s award. I would like to sincerely thank Inna and the other members of the Bart Award committee for their time and effort in reviewing applications for this highly prestigious award. I cordially invite you to the George Bartholomew Award lecture that will be presented at 7 pm on Saturday, January 4th.

Congratulations go to Heather Liwanag, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo for her election to the position of DCPB Secretary. Heather will begin her new position at the end of the 2020 meetings in Austin. I also want to thank Marshall McCue who will be leaving us the end of those meetings, but will continue to serve on the Divisional Nominating Committee. Marshall has worked very hard to get us more organized and he will be missed.

I also want to thank Kristi Montooth (University of Nebraska) for her hard work as the DCPB program officer. It is the program officers that spend the time to put all the oral and poster presentations into sessions and who evaluate and accept the Symposia for our meetings. I also want to thank Andrea Rummel (Brown University) who is serving as the Division’s representative to the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC). Finally, at the end of the 2020 meeting Ken Welch, who has been serving as Chair-elect for two years, will take over the DCPB Chair reins.

Please attend the DCPB members meeting, which will be held prior to the Bartholomew Award lecture on Sunday, January 5th at 5:45–6:30PM. This is a great opportunity for the new, as well as seasoned, DCPB members to learn about the ongoing activities and future plans of the DCPB, as well as to become actively engaged in the Division’s activities and leadership. During the DCPB members meeting, the Division’s officers and committees will provide their reports, discuss future meeting venues and programs, and the Division’s support for symposia, other meeting and journals. Editors of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, and Integrative Organismal Biology (SICB’s open access journal) will present the annual reports for their respective journals. Please bring along your questions, concerns, as well as ideas and suggestions for improvement, to the members meeting. I am looking forward to your input. Please feel free to contact me with your ideas, suggestions, and any questions at Chair.DCPB@sicb.org. I thank you for your support of SICB and look forward to seeing you in Austin!

Elections and Nominating Committee: The DCPB Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for two officer positions. (1) Chair Elect — The person elected for this role will serve for one year under the current Chair as Chair Elect during the year of 2021, and will then transition to DCPB Chair for a two-year term: 2022 and 2023. (2) Program Officer — The person elected for this position will serve for two year term: 2021–2022. Please send inquiries and suggestions to the Chair of the Nominating Committee: Kimberly Hamond, khammond@ucr.edu (chair); Caroline Williams, cmw@berkeley.edu; Alex Gerson, argerson@bio.umass.edu; Marshall McCue, mmccue@sablesys.com.

Message from the Program Officer, Kristi Montooth, DPO.DCPB@sicb.org

Sticky-notes are used to organize sessions when planning the meeting.

Upcoming Meeting Highlights for January 3–7, 2020, Austin, TX: I write this having just returned from a wonderful experience — my first SICB Program Committee planning meeting in lovely Austin, Texas. Collectively, we placed 1894 abstracts into 140 sessions and 11 symposia. While we still used post-its, we also successfully implemented a new online system to double check that all abstracts found one (and only one) session home. It was inspiring to read your abstracts and to reflect on the great organismal and integrative biology research that is happening in our Division. While the division POs were hard at work trying to place your talk (not on the last day of the meeting — see photo), other people were out enjoying the sights and sounds of Austin City Limits. The conference venue is a very modern hotel in walking distance of many great restaurants. We scouted out rooms for evening lectures and socials, as well as found a good space for free childcare (Camp SICB — An adventure for kids) and a dedicated mother’s room.

Here is additional information and reminders about the upcoming meeting.

  • There will be no disposable cups at water stations, so please bring your reusable water bottle. There may also be SICB-branded water bottles available for purchase!
  • Please make your hotel reservations and pay your registration fees soon via the SICB meeting website (https://burkclients.com/sicb/meetings/2020/site/).

DCPB will have strong representation at the 2020 meetings in Austin:

  • DCPB-affiliated abstracts make up 10% of those abstracts that listed a division affiliation, with 159 talks and posters spread over the 4 full days of the meeting;
  • 12 oral sessions will focus on diverse DCPB topics ranging from the effects of multiple stressors on development, physiology and life history, to the roles of plasticity and physiology through the seasons, to the ecophysiology of diet;
  • 50 DCPB abstracts were submitted by graduate student members and 14 were submitted by students-in-training; this continues a trend of nearly half (45%) of all abstracts affiliated with DCPB contributed by our student members! Your research, voice and ideas are important and we encourage your full participation in the Society and Division through voting and attending the DCPB members meeting on Sunday, January 5th from 5:45–6:30 pm.

DCPB is co-sponsoring four symposia this year. (http://sicb.org/meetings/2020/symposia/index.php)

January 4, 2020

  • S1 — SICB Wide Symposium: New Frontiers in Antarctic Marine Biology, Organizers: James McClintock, Charles Amsler, Bill Baker, Art Woods, Amy Moran
  • S2 — Epigenetic Variation in Endocrine Systems, Organizers: Tyler Stevenson, Lynn Martin, Haley Hanson

January 5, 2020

  • S4 — SICB Wide Symposium: Reproduction: the female perspective from an integrative and comparative framework, Organizers: Virginia Hayssen, Teri Orr

January 6, 2020

  • S7 — SICB Wide Symposium: Building Bridges from Genome to Phenome: Molecules, Methods and Models, Organizers: Karen Burnett, Jonathon Stillman, Donald Mykles, David Durica

Watch the website for a number of workshops that will be posted soon.

The George A. Bartholomew Award winner will give their lecture on Saturday, January 4th, which will be followed by the DCPB/Bart Award Social. Make sure to attend!

Develop Your Symposium & Workshop Ideas for Future SICB Meetings: We were thrilled to receive a large number of high-quality and cutting-edge symposium proposals this year, and many of these included topics in comparative physiology and biochemistry. Symposia are the life blood of SICB. They anchor the annual meeting, increase the impact of our society’s journal Integrative and Comparative Biology, and generate revenue for the Society. SICB reimburses registration fees for all SICB symposium participants once they submit their paper for publication. The Executive Committee has made this large investment in recognition of how pivotal symposia are to the overall health of the annual meeting and to the society’s journal.

Student and postdoc members are also encouraged to engage in organizing a symposium; it is a great way to increase the visibility of your work and to network. If you have an idea for a symposium or workshop that you would like to explore, please contact me at the email above or track me down at the Austin meeting. In fact, if any Division members have ideas for making the SICB and DCPB experience even better and more inclusive, please email me and we can discuss in Austin. A great place to share your ideas regarding future activities and direction of the Division will be at the DCPB members meeting on Sunday, January 5th from 5:45–6:30 pm. Students and postdoctoral members are encouraged to attend and participate!

Consider Submitting Your Manuscripts to Integrative Organismal Biology: If you are looking to publish your integrative and comparative research in an open-access journal that supports the Society, please consider submitting a manuscript to Integrative Organismal Biology, published on behalf of SICB. Editor-in-chief Adam Summers (University of Washington) was at the planning meeting to hear about the great science being done by our Society members. IOB will publish data articles and opinion pieces and will “serve as a home for the field of integrative and comparative organismal biology, promoting the best features of the discipline and illustrating the novel advances that can arise from synthesis, setting the standards for progress in organismal biology.” You can view the inaugural issue here: https://academic.oup.com/iob/issue/1/1 And read more about why we want and need this journal here: https://academic.oup.com/iob/article/1/1/oby005/5248376

Finally, members receive a significant discount for publication charges, making this one of the most reasonable open-access publishing options available!

Message from the Secretary, Marshall McCue, Secretary.DCPB@sicb.org

Congratulations to Heather Liwanag who was elected to serve as Divisional secretary from 2020–2022. Remember, there are many ways to serve your home Division. For example in 2020 we will be seeking nominations for the next Program Officer (http://www.sicb.org/resources/Program_Officer_Manual_DRAFT.pdf). This is an excellent opportunity to ensure a balanced and exciting program for future meetings and to interact with other members within the Division. We will also be looking for student and postdoctoral volunteers to serve to represent DCPB on the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee. Feel free to ask any of the current officers about their experiences, and be sure to send your names to members of the DCPB Nominating Committee.

Currently we have only ten scientists who are featured on our DCPB Researchers Database http://www.sicb.org/divisions/DCPB/researchers.php3. I welcome each of you to send (via email) me a research-related photo of you, your organisms, or your research team along with a ~200-word summary of your research projects/findings (written in the 3rd person). We will also accept a graphical abstract if you are photo-shy. We can add links to a video or online reprints (e.g. through the publishers’ websites, Researchgate.com, Academia.com, or similar). The DCPB lagging far behind the other Divisions, so I will be contacting many of you directly, so that we can improve our on-line visibility.

Please know that we have our own DCPB Divisional Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Div.Comp.Phys.Biochem/ It is a great way to communicate informally with other group members (e.g., share information about events, open positions, or ask questions of interest to DCPB members). Just click to ‘Join Group’ and I will approve your request. If you prefer to use Twitter, see Andrea Rummel’s message below.

Message from the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative, Andrea Rummel, andrea_rummel@brown.edu

SPDAC is working on some exciting programs for the 2020 annual meeting! First, we plan to have a booth in the Exhibitor’s Hall with a “How-To” theme. For this booth, we would like to create and distribute a number of “How-To” brochures that would be useful for students and post-docs (e.g., science communication, research and teaching statement design, creating a symposium proposal, getting a post-doc, etc.). If there are any topics that you would like to see included, please reach out with all of your amazing suggestions as we want this to be as useful as possible for early career scientists!

Second, we plan to hold a workshop on “Transitions in Science”. This will be set up as a round-table discussion where we can discuss the major transitions in science careers (e.g., undergraduate to graduate student, PhD to postdoc, academia, or other career paths). We would love your input on this! If you have any suggestions for improvements/things to include for either of these two items, or any other ideas of how to improve our meetings for students and post-docs, please email me (andrea_rummel@brown.edu). Don’t forget to follow DCPB and SPDAC on twitter @sicb_dcpb and @SICB_SPDAC!

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