Division of Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology

Alice C. Gibb
Nov 1 · 7 min read

Fall Newsletter 2019

Message from the Chair, Travis Wilcoxen, Chair.DEDE@sicb.org

The 2020 meeting in Austin is quickly approaching! I am looking forward to escaping the Midwest for Texas around that time. Our division is sponsoring four symposia at this meeting and the title and brief description of each DEDE-sponsored symposium can be found in this newsletter in the message from our Program Officer, Cynthia Downs.

Austin skyline at night. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

We successfully elected members to fill the Secretary-Elect and Program Officer-Elect positions earlier in 2019. Congratulations to Laura Mydlarz on her election as Program Officer-Elect and to Patricia Lopes for her election to the position of Secretary-Elect. At the end of the 2020 meeting, we will need to elect a Chair-Elect to follow Laura Zimmerman (the current Chair-Elect) when her term ends in 2022. With the exception of students and post-docs, anyone who feels called to serve and help lead this division is encouraged to let me, or any of the other officers, know of your interest in a role as an officer so that we may discuss the responsibilities of that position with you and work towards getting your candidate profile in the newsletter and your name on the ballot. As you can see from our current and past officer slates and candidate profiles, officers come from large universities, small universities, government agencies, and other research institutions. We simply need people who genuinely care about the future of DEDE and who are willing to commit some of their time to leading us into that future. To that end, we have a DEDE Nominating Committee consisting of Travis Wilcoxen (me; twilcoxen@millikin.edu, Cynthia Downs; cjdowns@esf.edu, and Patricia Lopes; lopes@chapman.edu). Please contact one of us if you are interested in serving as an officer.

I encourage DEDE members to consider the SICB journals as possible destinations for your manuscripts. SICB’s open-access Integrative Organismal Biology (IOB), in particular, should be a good home for the type of work that is presented in the DEDE scientific program at the annual meeting. DEDE member and past-DEDE Chair Carol Fassbinder-Orth currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board for IOB. We also have DEDE representation on the Editorial Board of Integrative Comparative Biology (ICB) in current DEDE Secretary, Ken Field, and we elected Joel Slade to serve in that role starting in 2020. Thanks to Carol, Ken, and Joel for their service to the SICB journals!

I would like to thank Ashley Love for her continued service as the DEDE Student/Post Doc Representative. Ashley has great ideas for how we can continue to support and engage our student and postdoctoral participants and some of those activities involve connections with faculty and PI’s. I encourage DEDE members to participate in those activities in the future.

In closing, I encourage everyone to consider symposia proposals for the 2022 Phoenix, Arizona meeting. The deadline for 2022 symposia proposals is less than one year away! As always, please contact the DEDE Program Officer with proposal ideas and questions about divisional support.

I hope the rest of 2019 is good to you and I will see you in Austin!

Message from the Program Officer, Cynthia Downs, DPO.DEDE@sicb.org

The meeting in Austin, Texas, is shaping up to be an outstanding meeting. This year we received almost 1894 abstracts, including over 1,000 talks, more than 700 posters, and strong student participation. There will be 140 sessions and 11 symposia. DEDE will host 6 oral sessions on diverse topics, including immunity, the microbiome, host-parasite/pathogen interactions, and immune-based trade-offs. This year, all talks that are part of the Best Student Presentation Competition will be in a single session on Saturday, Jan 4th. Come support these rising stars in our division! DEDE received 29 posters and will host sessions during all three poster sessions. Many of these posters are part of the Best Student Poster Competition. Again, come support our student contributors. All SICB presenters must register for the conference by November 6th.

DEDE is also supporting 4 symposia, one on each full day of the meeting. “Epigenetic Variation in Endocrine Systems” organized by Tyler Stevenson, Lynn Martin, and Haley Hanson is on Saturday, Jan. 4. “Reproduction: the female perspective from an integrative and comparative framework” organized by Virginia Hayssen and Teri Orr is on Sunday, Jan 5. “Building Bridges from Genome to Phenome: Molecules, Methods and Models” organized by Karen Burnett, Jonathon Stillman, Donald Mykles, and David Durica is on Monday, Jan. 6. “Integrative comparative cognition: can neurobiology and neurogenomics inform comparative analyses of cognitive phenotype?” organize by Yuxiang Liu and Sabrina Burmeister is on Tuesday, Jan 7. More information on symposia can be found here: http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2020/symposia/ We have tried our best to minimize scheduling conflicts; however, please keep in mind that it is impossible to eliminate all conflicts because there are just too many cool abstracts. One might say that we suffer the problem of a wealth of riches.

To continue to foster SICB as an intellectual home for ecoimmunologists and disease ecologists, it is critical that we continue to organize relevant symposia. As you attend symposia, talks, and posters, please make notes about exciting topics in emerging areas of research within our fields. These topics are excellent candidates for the basis for an upcoming symposium in future meetings. As always, if you have an idea for a symposium please me (dpo.dede@sicb.org) or our incoming Division Chair, Lauren Zimmerman (chair.dede@sicb.org).

I’m pleased to announce that SICB will provide free childcare during the meeting and a Mother’s Room for nursing. Both rooms are full of beautiful windows with views of the city and the Mother’s Room will have comfy chairs, a fridge, and a water station. We hope that these accommodations will help support our members and make the meeting accessible to those with young children.

I have been informed that disposable cups will not be provided during 2020 meeting to make the meeting more sustainable. We will be providing reusable coffee mugs during the coffee breaks. Bring a refillable water bottle with you to take advantage of the many water stations around the conference center. SICB water bottles will also be available for purchase during the meeting

Austin should prove to be an excellent location for our annual meeting and, come January, a much-needed break from the cold for many of us. This year the conference will be held in the JW Marriott Austin, which is also the main hotel for the conference. The facilities are beautiful and within walking distance of many restaurants and bars. If you’re staying at the Marriott, you’ll receive free internet, but you must be a Marriott Bonvoy member. It’s free to join. Use the link on the SICB meeting page to get the SICB rate for your room. Make your reservations for your room soon!

The Austin Airport (AUS) is 9.5 miles away from the hotel. A SuperShuttle trip is $17.00 one-way (discounts for round trips), and the taxi ride is ~$30. Ridesharing is also available. However, I recommend booking your rideshare once you get to the pickup point at the airport because it’s a bit of a walk from the main terminal to the taxi and rideshare pickup spot.

You can find out more about hotel accommodations and transportation to and from the meeting this year at www.sicb.org/meetings/2020/travel.php. Please be aware that SICB has learned that some travel companies not officially affiliated with the society are contacting attendees to assist with hotel reservations for the meeting. If you are contacted by travel booking agencies, SICB strongly urges you NOT to utilize their services; book hotel accommodations through the SICB web page or contact the hotel directly.

Be sure to attend the DEDE Division Members Meeting held on Saturday, January 4th, from 5:45 to 6:30 pm. Also, be sure to catch the Bern Lecture on Sunday, January 5th, followed by our social at 8:00 pm. DEDE is once again partnering with the Divisions of Comparative Endocrinology (DCE), Animal Behavior (DAB) and Neurobiology, Neuroethology, and Sensory Biology (DNNSB) for our social. It will be held the JW Marriott and should be an enjoyable way for our members to meet and promote broader interactions across our related research interests.

One last note about the meeting, although we do our best to match talks with sessions, occasionally presenters feel their talks would have fit better in a different session. If so, we ask for your help to address this issue for future meetings. Talks are organized into sessions primarily based on the topics selected during the abstract submission process, and not with respect to your divisional affiliation. Please make sure the topics you select accurately represent the session you would like to be part of.

Looking forward to another great SICB meeting. See you in Austin!

Message from the Secretary, Ken Field, Secretary.DEDE@sicb.org

I join my fellow officers in looking forward to seeing you all in Austin! And I’d like to offer a quick welcome to both Laura Mydlarz, who will become our new Program Officer-Elect and Patricia Lopes, who is taking over from me as Secretary-Elect. In addition, sincere thanks to those who offered their nominations in our recent election — we are a strong division because of your involvement and willingness to serve.

I’ll also echo Travis Wilcoxen’s call that we’ll be electing a new Chair-Elect in spring of 2020. Please see any of the current officers and officers-elect if you’re interested in running for that position.

Finally, my standard reminder that although our newsletter only comes twice a year, you can always use the Monthly Member Updates to share information about meetings, workshops, or other opportunities for in ecoimmunology and disease ecology. If you have announcements or information you’d like to share with DEDE members, please send that to me (Secretary.DEDE@sicb.org) no later than the 4th of any given month. I’ll make sure that gets into the Monthly Member Updates.

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