Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology

Spring 2019 Newsletter

Alice C. Gibb
Apr 23, 2019 · 49 min read
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Message from the President

by Beth Brainerd, President

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Beth Brainerd, President

The SICB Annual Meeting in Tampa was a great success, thanks to our hardworking Program Committee, dedicated staff at Burk & Associates, and all of our members who attended and shared their science.

A highlight of the meeting was the launch of SICB’s new open access journal, Integrative Organismal Biology. The first issue included seven articles and an editorial that all dropped at once on the first day of the conference (each with its own cover image!). The editorial was authored by the IOB Editorial Board and titled Integrative Organismal Biology — A Journal We Want and Need. The founding seven papers covered a wide range of organismal biology, including fossil histology, bird beak combat, and ectothermic trials in mountain passes. For each of these articles, and every one since, an Outreach Associate has written a blog post that has helped news organizations and the general public get a better handle on the research. The blog posts are one of the free publicity perks for IOB authors, which also include social media outreach for every paper. These outreach efforts are already bearing fruit, with the Altmetric scores for the first dozen articles ranging from ten to almost 200 (well above other journals in this area). The founding IOB Editor Adam Summers gave a presentation in Tampa to explain to the society some of the innovations of the journal. In addition to outreach for every article, these include double-blind review process, initials only for authors, and a supportive review process that includes redacting and rephrasing non-constructive review text. This last point caused the most discussion, and will be the subject of a future editorial from the journal’s editors. SICB members submitting manuscripts before the next meeting will pay a discounted Author Processing Charge of $1190 (30% discount applied as long as at least one author is a SICB member). We look forward to reporting on the further IOB successes at the meeting in Austin. Sign up for email Table of Contents Alerts from Integrative Organismal Biology.

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All 7 covers at the IOB Booth (photo credit: Beth Brainerd)

In further SICB journal news, we welcome Prof. Ulrike Müller as the new Editor for Integrative and Comparative Biology. Ulrike was selected through a comprehensive search process that yielded several outstanding candidates. Professor Müller brings exceptional experience with journal editing and a strong vision for the future of ICB. Sign up for email Table of Contents Alerts from Integrative and Comparative Biology.

A presentation from the Special Focus Meeting on Organismal Botany at Tampa (photo credit: SICB student photographer)

A new initiative for SICB this year was the Special Focus Meeting on Organismal Botany. This meeting-within-a-meeting was designed to bring more botanists to SICB, with a goal of increasing the diversity of organisms within SICB’s research scope. Having previously been the American Society of Zoologists, SICB suffers a “zoology hangover” in our membership and science. One goal of our name change from ASZ to SICB was to welcome more botanists to attend, but presentations on plants and algae have remained a small slice of our annual meeting program. At the Tampa meeting I chaired an open discussion on the future of Botany in SICB with about 25 botanists from all career stages. We began by agreeing that increasing the diversity of organisms within SICB’s research scope would strengthen the scientific mission of the Society, and more botany papers would also strengthen our journals, Integrative and Comparative Biology and Integrative Organismal Biology. We discussed at length whether creating a new Botany division would be the best way to achieve this goal, and decided that yes, a Botany division would set out a clear welcome mat for more botanists to attend SICB. The Executive Committee voted in favor of creating a new Botany division, and we are grateful to three colleagues who have stepped up to serve as the Founding Officers: Chris Martine, Chair; Janet Steven, Program Officer; and Chris Muir, Secretary. Thanks to all who are contributing to this important new initiative!

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Susan Williams, Program Officer

Program Officer’s Report

by Susan Williams, Program Officer

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2019 SICB meeting in Tampa. A special thanks to all those who worked to make the meeting a success — from the SICB Program Committee, the staff at Burk and Associates, Inc. and to all the folks who volunteered their time at the meeting chairing sessions or helping out in other ways. The annual meeting is truly a collaborative effort, and overall, I think it was a very successful collaboration.

Meeting Survey Results for 2019 SICB meeting in Tampa, FL: Attendance at the most recent meeting showed a slight decrease from the 2018 San Francisco meeting. We had 2350 registered attendees at the Tampa meeting compared to 2497 in 2018. Abstracts were also slightly down this year as well but only by a small amount: 1803 presentations in Tampa compared to 1833 in San Francisco. Of these, over 700 were from student presenters. Despite the lower number of abstracts and attendees, I am confident that this is not the start of a downward trend.

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Plenary Speaker Peter Wainwright, Past President of SICB

There were many notable events at SICB this year, and there is not enough space to mention them all. I would like to mention the excellent Plenary lecture on a key innovation in fishes, the specialized pharyngeal jaw, by SICB Past President Peter Wainwright (at left). In addition to providing fascinating scientific content, his lecture really highlighted how a research idea is inspired and then developed throughout one’s career. Finally, this was the first year, that the DPCB offered an Ask-An-Expert Booth (see below), which was in the exhibit hall each day of the conference. This booth was staffed by expert consultants who were there to provide advice to anyone who needed it on phylogenetic and comparative methods. I would also like to mention the Special Focus Meeting on Organismal Botany consisting of the Integrative Plant Biology Symposium and complementary oral session, the Rising Star Award in Organismal Botany student oral competition, a poster session, and a Botany at SICB Organizational Meeting and Social Event. This meeting within a meeting was intended to highlight the diversity of plant research at the meeting.

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DPCB Ask-An-Expert Booth: Consultants met with attendees needing advice or help with phylogenetic and comparative methods.

We received a lot of feedback on the conference, and I want to thank the 619 individuals who completed our Post-Meeting Survey. Your feedback is really important to the leadership of the society. The Executive Officers of SICB use it to find ways to improve the annual meetings. For example, following requests to make the meeting more family friendly, this year we provided fully subsidized (i.e., free) childcare through Preferred Sitters to those who pre-registered and service that continued through the evening. We also had a mother’s room with a refrigerator, sink and chairs for nursing located next-door to the childcare room and within quick access of talks. As a result, the meeting was rated as very or somewhat family friendly by 31% and 23%, respectively, of the respondents who had an opinion on the matter. Only 5% of these respondents rated it as not family friendly.

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Graph 1: Ratings of SICB members who responded in 2018 and 2019 to the question “Overall, how would you rate the meeting?”

More generally, the overwhelming majority of respondents rated the meeting positively, with 91% indicating that it was very good (47%) or excellent (44%), compared to 82% in 2018 for these two categories (see Graph 1 at left). A smaller percentage of respondents also rated the 2019 meeting as fair. Overall, this indicates a notable improvement from the San Francisco meeting. There were many aspects to these positive ratings, so I will highlight just a few of them here.

As in previous years, positive feedback we received from many respondents focused on the student-friendly nature of the conference, the diversity of topics covered in sessions and symposia, the quality of the research presented and workshops, and the networking opportunities.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive feedback on the conference, we did receive criticism in two areas that are of high importance to society leadership. First, we received a significant number of comments related to the AV issues that occurred at the meeting. Many of you experienced or saw presentations crashing when videos were played. We are truly sorry if that happened to you — it was something that the technical staff were notified of early on in the meeting and worked hard to fix before the meeting’s end. We certainly want to make sure everyone is able to give their best talks and a large part of this is having a seamless technical experience. The issue this year only seemed to occur in session rooms and not in the speaker-ready room so it came as a surprise to the technical support crew. In the future, we will be more thoroughly testing computers in each session room for video capability.

Another area of concern that was raised by many respondents was the lack of diversity of presenters for the society-wide lectures. The Plenary speaker has traditionally been the Past-President every other year so we kept with that tradition for 2019, and we are dependent on committees to provide the line-up for the other named lectures. Nevertheless, as a society, we recognize that we can do better to ensure that our highlighted speakers come from diverse backgrounds. Thus we have adopted Guidelines for Broadening Participation in SICB’s Leadership, Programs and Awards in support of this. We also ask that all of our membership participate in this goal by submitting nominations that broaden participation for the special lecture and awards.

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SICB Poster sessions engaged many conference attendees (photo credit: SICB student photographer)

As in previous years, crowding in the poster session continues to be an issue. With the number of posters that are submitted for presentation each year, this will always be difficult. Nevertheless, the Executive Officers have already initiated discussions as to how to make the posters more accessible to everyone. Other issues raised that have consistently presented challenges for us include the packed schedule often with competing sessions of interest and the lack of down-time. This is certainly evidence of a vibrant meeting, which we want to have. Nevertheless, the Program Committee does try to make sure there are as few competing sessions placed against each other as possible but there is sometimes little that can be done to avoid these conflicts. We work with a number of programming constraints that dictate when things must be schedules so thematic conflicts are inevitable. For example, as part of our student-friendly mission, we try to make sure that divisional student competitions are not competing against one another or against other sessions if there may be overlap in the audience. This year, we also had a large number of workshops associated with our committees, symposia and various other initiatives and this likely increased the potential conflicts that arose when trying to plan individual schedules.

When asked to rate what they liked most about the meeting venue, respondents tended to rate the distance from the conference location to the hotels, the layout of the sessions and being able to get between sessions quickly and the weather as high. As the PO, I definitely appreciated the layout of the conference center when it came to programming the sessions in rooms. This also made my work during the meeting so much easier. Despite the positive comments about the conference layout, there were a number of negative comments about the location of the conference center relative to food options and downtown Tampa.

The social events at SICB have typically been very popular but this year we did receive a fair amount of feedback focused on the cost of drinks and lack of sufficient food at the SICB-wide events hosted at the conference center. For all of these social events, we have to consider the price and what can be covered without major changes to registration fees when we plan the meeting. Food at conference locations is always pricey, and to make the meeting student-friendly, affordability must be one of our continuing major priorities.

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Graph 2: Percentage of Respondents who posted to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter during the meeting in 2018 and 2019.

Social media is continually becoming more important for highlighting interesting science and connecting with colleagues and the public at the meeting. Based on survey results, Twitter usage and Instagram usage continues to increase over previous years but even fewer people are using Facebook (see Graph 2 at left). Although a significant number of respondents did not use the meeting app, for those folks who did (74% of respondents), 35% found it to be very useful whereas 30% found it to marginally useful (see Graph 3 below). This is notably down from the previous year indicating that this is somewhere we can improve significantly. We received a lot of specific suggestions to make it more user-friendly, which we will take into consideration. Many noted that the lack of access to free wifi was significant detractor from the meeting, particularly for international attendees. Because of the cost of wifi at different conference locations, this may need to be factored into the registration fees and there seems to be general support for this potential added expense.

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Graph 3: Ratings of SICB members who responded to the questions concerning the usefulness of the Meeting App in 2018 and 2019.

For the first time this year, SICB had a formal Intellectual Property and Social Media Policy. This policy was developed by SICB’s Public Affairs Committee as an opt-out policy whereby presenters must show no tweet or no photographs icons if they wish to opt out of social media. When asked whether respondents were comfortable with an opt-out (instead of opt-in) policy, 67% said they were, with an additional 21% indicating they were neutral on the policy. Based on the comments, it is clear we need to do a better job advertising the policy to our presenters and in each session rooms before the start of the session and at breaks.

Student participation at SICB continues to be strong, and we had 1037 students (high school: 2; undergraduate: 394; graduate: 641) register for the meeting. Over 700 of the presentations were given by students. This is just under half (44%) of all registered attendees. Many of these students were able to attend with support from our travel awards programs for annual meeting attendance. Last year we noted a drop in the % of Full Member respondents who brought students to the meeting. In 2018, 64% of the Full Members had at least 1 student at the meeting versus 80% in 2017. I am happy to report that this number has not decreased substantially: 62% of Full Member respondents reported bringing at least 1 student to Tampa.

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Tampa waterfront (photo credit: Alice Gibb)

Many thanks to the organizers of the 12 symposia in Tampa: Matt Ogburn, Erika Edwards, Jeff Olberding, Michael Rosario, Stephen Deban, Haruka Wada, Britt Heidinger, Fred Nijhout, Kenneth McKenna, Robert Campbell, Mason Dean, Daniel Becker, Laura Schoenle, Cynthia Downs, Marty Martin, Timothy Grieves, Rachel Bowden, Martha Muñoz, Samantha Price, Justin Havird, Geoffrey Hill, Tim Higham, Alyssa Stark, Anthony Russell, Stacy Farina, Emily Kane, Patricia Hernandez, Paul Long, Laura Mydlarz, an Beth Okamura. The symposia are an important component of the annual meeting and it takes a lot of effort to pull these off. Papers from the symposia will be published in the 2019 issues of ICB.

Looking Ahead to the 2021 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC: It is already time to start planning symposia for the 2021 meeting in Washington DC. The deadline for symposium proposals for the 2021 meeting is set for August 23, 2019. SICB welcomes symposium proposals from folks at all career stages, including junior faculty, postdocs, and graduate students. If you are thinking about organizing a symposium for 2021, contact your divisional program officers or Program Officer Elect Jake Socha ( to discuss your ideas and ask for suggestions that could help ensure broad appeal across the Society. I am also happy to answer questions and give feedback ( The SICB SYMPOSIA POLICIES AND GUIDELINES are a good place to get started and full of helpful information on how to pitch your idea. You can find the official Call for 2021 Symposia on the SICB Meetings website. New as of the 2019 meeting, SICB reimburses symposium speakers for the full meeting registration fee upon submission of the manuscript to ICB. This is just small incentive to encourage symposia at the meeting to support the journal and society.

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Austin, TX is where SICB members will meet in 2020 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Updates for the 2020 Meeting in Austin, TX: For the 2020 Austin meeting, we have an exciting 4 days of symposia planned.

January 4, 2020

  • SICB Wide Symposium: New Frontiers in Antarctic Marine Biology, Organizers: James McClintock, Charles Amsler, Bill Baker, Art Woods, Amy Moran
  • Epigenetic Variation in Endocrine Systems, Organizers: Tyler Stevenson, Lynn Martin, Haley Hanson
  • Biology at the Cusp: Teeth as a Model Phenotype for Integrating Developmental Genomics, Biomechanics, and Ecology, Organizers: Gareth Fraser, Darrin Hulsey

January 5, 2020

  • SICB Wide Symposium: Reproduction: the female perspective from an integrative and comparative framework, Organizers: Virginia Hayssen, Teri Orr
  • Form, structure and function: How plants vs. animals solve physical problems, Organizers: Ulrike Müller, Simon Poppinga, Anna Westermeier
  • Bio-inspiration of silent flight of owls and other flying animals: recent advances and unanswered questions, Organizers: Christopher Clark, Justin Jaworski

January 6, 2020

  • SICB Wide Symposium: Building Bridges from Genome to Phenome: Molecules, Methods and Models, Organizers: Karen Burnett, Jonathon Stillman, Donald Mykles, David Durica
  • Long Limbless Locomotors: The mechanics and biology of elongate, limbless vertebrate locomotion, Organizer: Henry Astley
  • Applied Functional Biology: linking ecological morphology to conservation and management, Organizers: Lance McBrayer, Eric McElroy, Diego Sustaita

January 7, 2020

  • Melding Modeling and Morphology: integrating approaches to understand the evolution of form and function, Organizers: Lindsay Waldrop, Jonathan Rader
  • Integrative comparative cognition: can neurobiology and neurogenomics inform comparative analyses of cognitive phenotype? Organizers: Yuxiang Liu, Sarah Burmeister

SICB 2020 Program: Check out the 2020 SICB meeting webpage for updates on the venue and program throughout the coming year. And you can look ahead to see the future venues — we have confirmed the locations through 2023.

Finally, I want thank Program Officer-Elect Jake Socha for all of his help to make this a great meeting. Assembling the annual meeting requires a lot of effort, and the work invested by dedicated people like Jake, Lori Strong and the rest of the management staff at Burk Inc., and the Division Program Officers makes the amount of work doable for someone with another full-time job. We have a great team, and I am looking forward to working with everyone to make SICB 2020 in Austin a success.

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Miriam Ashley-Ross, Treasurer

Treasurer’s Report

by Miriam Ashley-Ross, Treasurer

Many, many thanks to outgoing SICB Treasurer Karen Martin, whose tireless work has left the society on stable financial footing with increased transparency to members and Divisional officers. The Society finished fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 — June 30, 2018) in the black, with net income of $160,543. Revenue from the 2018 annual meeting in San Francisco was $511,835, with expenses of $552,376 (the difference between these numbers is made up by membership dues and other revenues). Final numbers are not yet in for the 2019 meeting in Tampa, but revenue is projected at just shy of $450,000.

One of the most important aspects of the annual meeting is the welcoming environment for students, and financial support for student attendance is a large part of that. At each of the last few annual meetings, a total of $40,000 has gone to (1) defray the cost of student housing at the meeting (through operations budget and Charlotte Mangum fund support) and (2) the Student Research Grants (Grants In Aid of Research and the Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel; these both support research efforts by graduate students). Increasing the amount of support we can offer students is the aim of the current “Double Your Dues For Student Support” drive at membership renewal — this asks all members, of whatever level, to contribute an amount equal to a single year’s dues during the period 2018–2020. These contributions will go to support the Student Research Grants (GIAR/FGST).

In addition to the Charlotte Mangum and Student Research Grant funds mentioned above, SICB maintains a number of named funds (invested in the stock market) that have different purposes, many of them administered by specific Divisions (e.g., Bartholomew fund, Gans fund, Bern fund, etc.). Each year, these funds are able to spend a certain amount that is based on the trailing five-year average return on investment. Given the recent volatility in the markets, at the Tampa meeting the Executive Committee voted to reduce the annual maximum allowable distribution from 4% of the five-year trailing average to 3.5% to ensure that the principal does not begin to deplete. All of the named funds have target amounts that, once reached, will provide sustainable income to support the goals of the fund each year. With the exception of the Dwight Davis fund, all of them are below the set targets. Division chairs have access to fund information, and are encouraged to communicate with their membership regarding Division goals for their named funds.

Finally, revenue from Integrative and Comparative Biologyremains solid, totaling $372,000 for FY 2018. Industry trends project that revenue will decrease somewhat as subscriptions decrease, particularly for the print format of the journal. Offsetting this somewhat are lower costs associated with online publishing. The new SICB open access online journal Integrative Organismal Biologyis projected as a net cost for the first few years as IOBenters the market. However, a signing bonus from Oxford mitigates the net cost to SICB, and projections are that the journal will turn a profit within five years.

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Alice Gibb, Secretary

Message from the Secretary

by Alice Gibb, Secretary

The most important thing I do for SICB each year is organize and implement the elections at both the divisional and society-wide levels. SICB depends on many good folks volunteering their time to help make the gears of the society run smoothly. However, once the executive officers and nomination committees have helped to identify “talent,” and I have worked with the webmaster to set up the candidate biographies (see below) and the election ballot, the outcome of the election is no longer in our hands. At this point, it is up to you all, the members of the society, to make the election a success.

Typically, we see fair participation in elections from full members, but postdoctoral and graduate student members participate at very low rates. I’d like to ask ALL of you to vote this year. If you were a member during they 2019 meeting in Tampa, then you are eligible to vote in the 2019 spring elections! You don’t have to be a long-term SICB member or meeting attendee to vote—we want members at all levels to help us decide our leadership for future years. SICB graduate student and postdoctoral members, please vote this year! Full members, please encourage your colleagues, mentees, and students to participate. I look forward to seeing record-breaking election returns this year!

SICB Tampa Meeting Experience

A Guest Report by Charlotte Devitz (

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Charlotte and her service dog, a tan labradoodle named Fisher (photo credit C. Devitz)

“I recently had the pleasure of attending the 2019 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting and the chance to present my first year master’s project there. meeting was held in the beginning of January in Tampa, FL, a 1100 mile stretch from my home in Ann Arbor. One of my greatest reservations in traveling is dealing with accessibility issues, a primary reason that I haven’t really gone anywhere since I began using a wheelchair nearly 3 ½ years ago. The odds are that, if you aren’t disabled, you probably have never even considered the accessibility concerned associated with travel. When you are able-bodied and traveling to any sort of event, you don’t have to worry about things like whether the venue will have (functioning) elevators or truly accessible bathrooms. My main goal of this post is to provide a perspective on how the accessibility of an event like this can shape the experience of a disabled person. Conferences are an integral part of academia and STEM research, so assuring accessibility should be standard.

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Ramps near the convention center assured access for people in wheelchairs (photo credit C. Devitz)

My hotel was only about a block from the Tampa convention center, but a significant amount of construction meant that the most direct pathways were blocked. I followed the detour out and around the back of the hotel and was excited to see ramps were already in place, assuring access to the venue. I’m unsure if this was the doing of the conference, hotel or city, but either way it was a pleasant turn of events to not need to seek out a different route or make a request for a ramp to be installed. Detours around construction sites don’t always considered disabled individuals, and they can be forced into difficult or dangerous situations like having to bypass the site by going on the street.

The convention center is new enough that I expected basic accessibility to have been considered in its design. The elevators in the building were functional, although the downside was that there was only one set of them and it wasn’t very convenient in location in relation to where many of the events were occurring. This slowed me down a bit in trying to dash between events and I often ended up coming into talks late, which I don’t like to do. These rapid room changes were also made more difficult because the lower floor of the convention center was primarily carpeted and if you’ve ever used a wheelchair, you will know how much harder it is to move than on hard flooring.

Beyond the building itself, there were some other important points I wanted to make. Attending an event as large as this conference was can be daunting when you have a service dog. With so many people around, you are almost guaranteed to be dealing with individuals petting or distracting them. Although it doesn’t necessarily reflect on those running the conference, it does say something good about the scientific community that over the five days I spent at the conference I didn’t have issues with a single conference attendee trying to interfere with Fisher while he was working. If anyone wanted to interact with him, they asked first and did so politely. It’s an amazing experience to be surrounded by people that actually respect the fact that a service dog has a job to do and isn’t there to be a source of entertainment.

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Charlotte Devitz and her service dog in Tampa at the SICB Annual Meeting (photo credit C. Devitz)

The majority of the events that occurred during the conference were short talks, and because of the size of the venue there were often a dozen or more occurring simultaneously in different rooms. Some of the larger rooms had stages, and I had my concerns about how I would present given that there were no ramps. Thankfully the room I gave my talk in didn’t have one, but the staff assured me they would have arranged something if necessary. Additionally, most people spoke from a podium that had an attached microphone, and again the staff were amazing and assured me that a hands-free one would be available for me. In going to listen to talks, there was always plenty of space for me to park my chair to listen and at some of the busier sessions, my chair offered the added bonus of not needing to find an empty seat!

The other major events were poster sessions in which 100+ posters were on display and you had a chance to interact with those who had made them. These were admittedly a bit of a challenge to navigate in a chair. It was crowded, meaning it was very hard to move around, and with so many people around I wasn’t able to get a proper look at many of the posters. The alternative was to come and look at the posters before the official sessions started, a time when very few people were present, so I did this often. The downside of this was that one, the presenters weren’t there to speak with and two, it meant skipping other events to come look at the posters. Improvements in accessibility could be made by the increasing the space between rows of posters as well as the posters themselves to open things up a bit. This may be limited by the space available in the venue, but it something to consider.

I was very nervous at first, but was absolutely blown away at the care that was taken to assure this conference would be accessible to anyone. I want to thank everyone who helped to run SICB and made sure I had the same awesome experience as everyone else there — I can’t wait to come back next year! Encouraging accessibility in STEM is important in many ways, and if it can be done at an international conference there is no reason we can’t integrate it into labs and universities across the country and world.”

These passages are excerpted from a longer blog report on the same topic, with permission of the author. Read all of the report on accessibility at the Tampa SICB meeting by Amy-Charlotte “Charlotte” Devitz at her “BendyBiologist” blog:

Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) Report

by John Hutchinson, Chair

SPDAC had a productive, busy SICB 2019. Before the meeting, we sponsored an online poster making course, led by Zen Faulkes (former SPDAC chair, and creator of As usual, we began the meeting with a first-timer orientation, which was very well-attended. We also held a brown bag poster workshop during the meeting, with active discussion of how to make better posters and feedback on draft posters or ideas.

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Osprey sighted at the SICB conference venue in Tampa, FL (photo credit: SICB student photographer)

Furthermore, rather than have our usual booth for discussions, we put two posters out in the poster sessions and discussed them with passers-by. One addressed the issue of co-authorship on scientific publications, with a primary message that this is an issue that is often put off too late and deserves early, ongoing discussions and reflection. The second addressed the use of social media, particularly Twitter, at conferences like SICB, with a primary message that it can be helpful in numerous ways but one should respect what the presenter prefers to be done with their presentation.

We have exciting new ideas for SICB2020! We will try hosting a SPDAC booth again, but with an altered approach. We will still have posters as conversation-starters, but each day we will host a different “how-to” theme at the booth, plus hand out “how-to brochures” there throughout SICB to give information on these and other themes. Themes will include: science communication, research and teaching and diversity statement design for job applications, SICB symposium proposals, handling the Code of Conduct, “elevator talks” to introduce yourself, getting a postdocs (NSF etc.), and more. We welcome requests from the SICB community — contact me (your new Chair, John Hutchinson) or your divisional representative. If you’d like to be one of our booth hosts on one of these themes or another, please contact us — we will want extra help from experts.

We will also do a workshop on “Transitions in Science”: a big lunch-time event in which we bring together students and postdocs, SPDAC and experts (~faculty-level) for roundtable chats on major issues confronting those shifting undergrad-grad school (and Masters-PhD), PhD-postdoc, and postdoc-academia as well as other career options. Again, here well will be reaching out to the SICB community for experts to join the roundtable discussions, so volunteers are welcome at any time now.

Also for the first-timer orientation on day 1, we’ll have “actors” with semi-scripted role-playing interactions to go through, on what might happen at SICB that could be a difficult situation to resolve as a first-timer, and appropriate/inappropriate ways to handle it; regarding ethics and other conduct relevant to the SICB conference.

We are here throughout the year, too, to serve the SICB community. We have remained active on Facebook ( and Twitter ( to share ideas and advice and promote discussion. Please join us!

Broadening Participation Committee Report

by Rita Mehta, Chair

The goal of the Broadening Participation (BP) committee is to increase the diversity of SICB and the field of integrative biology at all career stages, in terms of gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, ability/disability, and socioeconomic background. The BP committee works to increase the diversity of SICB members through the following activities: 1) providing travel awards to help underrepresented attendees defray the costs of attending the annual meeting, 2) supporting a workshop with a topic that fosters inclusivity and mentoring, 3) hosting an evening social at the SICB meeting, and 4) organizing a one-on-one meeting mentorship program. These events and programs are open to all SICB members.

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Diversity in our membership makes SICB a stronger, more vibrant society (photo credit: SICB student photographer)

The Broadening Participation Committee met during the annual meeting in Tampa, Florida to discuss committee membership, maintenance and potential expansion of the BP Meeting Mentorship program, and scoring rubric for the BP travel awards. Throughout the coming year, the committee will continue to benefit from the participation of members Nick Burnett, Kaushik Jayaram, Karen Maruska, and Gabriel Rivera. BP and SICB leadership would like to thank Clare Adams, Brian Tsukimura, Sharlene Santana, and Walter Wilczynski for their service over the last few years and their contributions which have improved our activities. I would like to welcome one new member Shayle Matsuda and a returning member, Andrew Clark.

Recently, the BP Committee was fortunate to receive a generous donation from the Gans Collections and Charitable Fund, Inc., a foundation established by renowned vertebrate morphologist and functional anatomist Carl Gans, to provide additional support for our travel award program. To learn more about the foundation and additional opportunities for conference travel grants, please visit

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Carl Gans: vertebrate morphologist and functional anatomist

This donation has allowed the BP committee to nearly double the number of travel awards given since the 2016 meeting! The committee offered travel awards of up to $500 to 44 applicants, 25 of whom were women. Our awardees were of Latin X descent, Black/African American descent, and Native American/Pacific Islander descent and represented varied career stages from undergraduate to faculty and adjunct faculty members. Travel award recipients were welcomed at an evening Meet-and-Greet on January 3rd, and their accomplishments were celebrated at the BP award social on Sunday, January 6th at the Marriott, our conference venue.

Since we received such positive feedback from the 2018 meeting, the Broadening Participation committee continued the BP Meeting Mentorship program, which was opened to the broader SICB community for the second time this year. The program provides all SICB members who are underrepresented and/or who enhance diversity within their field, region, or institution with the opportunity to be matched with a “meeting mentor” — a more experienced student, post-doc, or faculty member who has attended SICB several times. Mentors were able to help their mentees make the most of the meeting, offer tips on which sessions and events to attend, provide career-related advice, and/or attend events with their mentees to help expand their professional network at SICB.

The BP committee is excited about the positive response from our members and we will continue to solicit mentors and refine the matching process for the 2020 meeting in Austin, Texas. We encourage all SICB members to consider taking part in this program and offering their time to serve as a meeting mentor. Direct one-on-one mentorship can have a huge effect on a younger member’s experience of the SICB meeting, particularly for first-time attendees. In addition, we strongly encourage any members who completed the survey but were not matched at the 2019 meeting to apply again for 2020 meeting. The matching survey and additional information about the program will be posted next fall on the Broadening Participation web page at

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Inclusive Teaching Workshop at the 2019 Meeting in Tampa, FL: Our workshop for this year was entitled: “Creating a comfortable and welcoming learning community: From a strategic syllabus to realized student engagement.” Elizabeth Congdon and Danielle Lee brought much energy and insight into understanding student engagement styles on the introvert-extrovert continuum and how to create a learning environment that is conducive for students to express themselves. For those who were unable to attend the workshop, we will be posting presentation materials, mentoring worksheets, and other references on the Broadening Participation web page at

We welcome the participation of all SICB members at Broadening Participation events, and we look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions for broadening participation in our society. If you have any ideas or comments, please contact

Public Affairs Committee Report

by Thom Sanger, Chair

SICB’s Public Affairs Committee (PAC) had another successful meeting packed with workshops and events. For the third year running we sponsored Shayle Matsuda’s popular Sketchnoting workshop, which instructs participant how to effectively sketch their meeting notes for better retention of the information. We thank Shayle for hosting this workshop and hope for his continued support.

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Sketchnoting workshop participant (photo credit: SICB student photographer)

The PAC also put on two workshops led by professional acting coach Eliza VanCort, organized by past PAC member Jimmy Liao. VanCort has made her career teaching academics, industry scientists, business professionals, and CEOs how to demonstrate more impactful communication using non-verbal cues of body position, eye contact, and voice inflection. In her workshops she emphasized that scientists have no shortage of content to share with people, but that we can make our presentations more engaging and memorable with a few simple tricks. Using audience members to illustrate her points, VanCort demonstrated how she can capture the attention of a room within minutes by strategically engaging with the biggest skeptics and supporters in the audience. Her lessons on different communication styles of men and women resonated with many in the audience. Finally, the PAC once again kicked off its science communication video contest using the #Sciwow theme. We asked participants to explain their best “Wow!” moment from their careers in science in two minutes or less. We have some amazing entries. Keep your eyes on the SICB social media accounts for updates on this contest and be ready to help us decide on the winner!

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Eliza VanCort demonstrated how she can capture the attention of a room within minutes

Educational Council Report

by Bram Lutton, Chair

The Educational Council is excited about our role in assisting with the development of the updated SICB website by helping to gather teaching and research materials from YOU, our members!

We have begun efforts to build upon the existing Research and Education Resources database and to construct a user-friendly mechanism for acquiring helpful resources, whether for integrative and comparative biology-focused research or teaching methods instrumental in our STEM classrooms and laboratories. During the annual conference in Tampa, the Educational Council provided the Executive Committee and Division Officers a report detailing how we can most effectively gather materials from members so that we can have a trusted peer review process. We hope to set this plan in action at the upcoming meeting in Austin, TX. To learn more, or to offer ICB-related research and educational materials, please e-mail the Educational Council Chair at

Dr. Kevin Padian offered SICB members an inspiring Moore Lecture. The John A. Moore Lectureship was established in 1990 by the SICB Educational Council. The aim of this lecture series is to invite a nationally-recognized speaker who does not generally attend the SICB annual meeting to offer the society a new perspective on science education. SICB members lucky enough to stay for the final society-wide talk of 2019 were treated to a heartening Moore Lecture by Dr. Kevin Padian, “Lessons from the Intelligent Design trial: explaining evolution and climate science in a post-evidentiary world”. Please check out Dr. Padian’s lecture, which is being published in the upcoming issue of Integrative and Comparative Biology.

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Kevin Padian (Moore Lecturer), Bram Lutton and M. Patricia Morse

Dr. Padian has been a professor of evolutionary biology and a curator in the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley, for 37 years. He is interested in the origin of major evolutionary adaptations, such as flight, and in the history of thought about biology and evolution. A lot of Dr. Padian’s focus is on the “age of dinosaurs” and how dinosaurs evolved into birds; and much of his current research is on how dinosaurs grew and lived. He has authored, co-authored, or edited more than 150 scientific articles, 200 popular articles, and ten books. He was twice named Professeur Invité at the College of France, as well as at the University of Paris and the French National Museum of Natural History. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer of Sigma Xi and has won the Carl Sagan Award for the Popularization of Science. He was named a Fellow of AAAS, as well as Western Evolutionary Biologist of the Year in 2008. And if that isn’t enough, Dr. Padian is also a Past President of the National Center for Science Education. But it may be our society’s favorite accomplishment of Dr. Padian’s many that in 2005 he was an expert witness in the Dover, Pennsylvania, “Intelligent Design” trial! Indeed, many of us recall how vehemently the Federal Judge, John E. Jones III, ruled that Intelligent Design is not science, but rather creationism-in-disguise, and that this sly, pseudoscientific theory could not be presented as science in high school classrooms. Judge Jones further concluded that bogus “criticisms” of evolution must not be introduced to undermine its teaching. And yet… with our own eyes we have seen the method, science, mocked and feared in recent years; so we all very much needed to be bathed in the wise and interminably humorous words of Dr. Padian. This society owes a great deal of gratitude to Dr. Kevin Padian, one of our most generous and influential SICB members.

The Moore Lecture is scheduled on the final day of the annual conference and is a 45 minute-long presentation. Nominations should include a curriculum vitae, a one-page description of the nominee’s contributions to science education, and any additional supporting materials related to the nominee’s achievements in science education, along with up to three recommendation letters. A file including nominated candidate materials will be kept for consideration for a total of three years, and candidates can update any component of the file before consideration for that year’s award. The Chair of the Educational Council may authorize funds to help support the winner’s attendance at that year’s meeting. Please send nominations for this award to the Chair of the Educational Council ( The deadline for nominations is 23 August 2019.

2019 TAL-X Workshop: Diving into the Divisions’ Strengths. The goal of the SICB Teaching and Learning (TAL) Workshops is to take advantage of the broad teaching expertise within SICB by giving members a forum to share their most innovative ideas for instruction. Since the outset of these enlightening workshops, then Educational Council Chair, Dr. Bob Podolsky, envisioned members of SICB’s divisions taking a lead in combining their knowledge in a specific field of biology with methods of instruction in the classroom; in other words, the goal was to combine specific (integrative and comparative, of course) research directly with classroom education. The TAL-X workshops (the X being a different discipline or topic at each annual meeting) are designed to address the needs of SICB members, specifically guidance in understanding innovative pedagogies that have been developed for science classrooms and laboratories, implementing new methods in the classroom, and engaging academic administrators so that they understand and support utilization of novel approaches to teaching.

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Nicole Danos, Lisa Whitenack, and Katie Staab at TalX

This year the workshop followed Dr. Podolsky’s primary objective perhaps more directly than ever as one of the Educational Council’s own members and Incoming Chair, Dr. Lisa Whitenack, and her fellow organizers, Dr. Nicole Danos and Dr. Katie Staab, shared their ideas and brainstormed with SICB members about teaching Vertebrate Morphology to graduate and undergraduate students. The workshop really began with the poster session dedicated to science education on day 1, where Dr. Whitenack and her collaborators were thrilled to be inundated with sticky notes full of ideas from SICB members regarding the focus of the TAL — to identify “core concepts” in Vertebrate Morphology. The accumulated members’ ideas then landed in a full house for the round-table workshop during the evening prior to the Moore Lecture. There was an absolute treasure trove of vertebrate morphology knowledge and pedagogy shared thanks to Dr. Whitenack and her colleagues, which can certainly relate to each of the SICB divisions. So, the Educational Council would like to request that other divisions follow these SICB leaders with another workshop dedicated to your own fields of expertise, and always with the aim of becoming better educators.

To begin coordinating each annual workshop, applications include the following specific information, along with any foreseeable logistical considerations: for example, space/location, timing, invited participants, refreshments, and an itemized budget. Past TALX workshops have generally been 1.5–2 hours in length, in the evening, and they generally include refreshments; however, this is an informal and flexible opportunity and all ideas are welcome! The Chair of the Educational Council may authorize funds to help in support of the TALX workshop at each year’s meeting. Please send application materials to the Chair of the Educational Council ( The deadline for applications is May 1st, 2019.

A CURE-all for Science Educators. One of the most inspiring science education phenomena that emanated from the Tampa meeting was the dynamically growing method, or perhaps field, of classroom instruction referred to as course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). A CURE is a project that engages whole classes of students in addressing a research question or problem that is of genuine interest to the scientific community. For more on CUREs, please visit CUREnet! But in a nutshell (like that of a squirrel, wink wink), what these experiences offer students are opportunities to make discoveries that are of interest to the broader scientific community, iterative problem-solving team tasks, and practice with communicating authentic scientific research results to “stakeholders” both inside and outside the classroom.

Therefore, the Educational Council requested a brief summary of one particularly exciting example — an enormously collaborative CURE — from a group of scientists, educators, and all-around small-mammal enthusiasts! This team of mammal huggers, like many SICB members including myself, share a common goal: to promote authentic research within the undergraduate curricula. They hold faculty and teaching positions at institutions across the United States, which range from R1 universities to primarily undergraduate institutions and colleges serving underrepresented populations. Since meeting in 2017 at the American Society of Mammalogists conference, they have developed and implemented a set of CUREs involving behavioral ecology of sciurids — a.k.a., squirrels! One of this CURE’s pioneers, Patrice Kurnath Connors, described squirrels as “charismatic, active during the day as well as year-round, and found in numerous habitat types including college campuses, making them an appealing and transferable study subject.” In discussing the “Squirrel CURE”, Dr. Connors explained that “students from non-majors and upper division biology majors’ courses collected and submitted data using standardized protocols, and then analyzed the resulting nationally aggregated dataset to test their own hypotheses. Assessments from the 2017–2018 academic year suggested students gained confidence in their research abilities and became more interested in science careers after participation. Additionally, students sought out independent research opportunities to extend their results (e.g., using giving-up density and/or camera trap methods).” The team leading the Squirrel CURE explained that student participation in CUREs enhances both research skills and their confidence in conducting research, which has important implications for their future as scientists and for increased retention/persistence of students from underrepresented groups. They feel strongly that “the standardized ‘Squirrel-Net’ protocols and aggregated dataset will allow both researchers and students to address a wide array of ecological questions about squirrels and other small mammals across a range of spatial and temporal scales.” The Educational Council hopes this exciting collaborative science education initiative triggers communication between SICB members to elaborate upon these successes and potentially develop a symposium for an upcoming annual conference. To learn more or join the “Squirrel-Net”, please fill out the following form: To further discuss a potential CURE symposium, please contact the Chair of the Educational Council at

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Educational Council recognized Dr. Broder (pictured above) for creating and maintaining outstanding science education partnerships with secondary schools (photo credit: Dale Broder)

Dale Broder received the 2019 Morse Award. While the SICB Educational Council had a number of excellent candidates for the 2019 M. Patricia Morse Award for Excellence and Innovation in Science Education, Dr. Dale Broder (at left) from St. Ambrose University came out on top! Dr. Broder was nominated by her many science education colleagues, both those involved in secondary school education, and those at Colorado State University. Dr. Broder’s Ph.D. Thesis, which she carried out along with her nominator and long-time SICB member, Cameron Ghalambor, focused on the role of behavioral plasticity in adaptive evolution of Trinidadian guppies. The Educational Council is thrilled to recognize Dr. Broder for creating and maintaining outstanding science education partnerships with secondary schools, and we encourage other members to follow her lead and fill us in on the details.

The M. Patricia Morse Award for Excellence and Innovation in Science Education is an annual prize awarded to a SICB member at any career stage for significant achievement in science education. This award honors the achievements and contributions of M. Patricia Morse, President of SICB in 1985, to the Society especially in the area of education. The SICB Educational Council will accept and evaluate applications as well as nominations for this award. Nominations should include a curriculum vitae, a one-page description and any supporting materials related to achievements in science education, and three letters of support. In lieu of an oral presentation, awardees are expected to write a brief article for the SICB newsletter or journal describing their achievements or any important aspect of science education. Each year’s winner will be recognized prior to the introduction of the Moore Lecturer, and the Chair of the Educational Council may also authorize funds to help support the winner’s attendance at that year’s meeting. Please send nominations for this award to the Chair of the Educational Council at The deadline for nominations is 23 August 2019.

Election Information: Candidate Biographies (vote here:

Candidates for Program Officer-Elect

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Thomas Sanger

Thomas J. Sanger

Current Position: Assistant Professor at Loyola University Chicago

Education: B.S. Cornell University (2001); Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis (2008)

Professional Experience: Postdoc, Harvard University (2008–2013); Postdoc, University of Florida (2013–2015)

SICB Activities: Member of SICB since 2002; Member of Public Affairs Committee (2014–2017), SICB Social Media Editor (2015-present), Chair of Public Affairs Committee (2017 to present)

Other Memberships: Sigma Xi, Pan-American Society of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Research Interests: The developmental basis of morphological diversity, the interaction of development and the environment, particularly interested in Anolis lizards

Statement of Goals: SICB has been my home society since I began graduate school. It has been my absolute pleasure to give back to the SICB community as a member and chair of the Public Affairs Committee for the past five years. As Program Officer (PO), my attention will shift from broadening SICB’s reach into the general public to advancing the needs of our membership. My primary goal will be to continue that of my predecessors, organizing annual meetings of the absolute highest quality. However, there are additional objectives that I will also work to address as the PO. I will focus on assisting our students, postdocs, and early career researchers organize symposia and workshops that will help advance their careers and the goals of the society. These events should be forward thinking, integrative, and embrace SICB’s commitment to furthering diversity in science. SICB has been a leader in its commitment to diversity. We must continue to actively engage in these discussions at all levels of the society, especially within our programming that outwardly demonstrates the society’s values. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for me to work with symposia organizers, divisional officers, and award committees to assure that organizing bodies across SICB consider a broad pool of applicants from the outset of their discussions, not in retrospect. Finally, as the PO, I will work closely with the executive officers to assure that SICB is best preparing our membership for the changing environment within and outside of academia. As officers we must look ahead to foresee emerging challenges that will impact our membership and their careers. With this foresight we can preemptively arm our membership with the tools necessary to overcome those challenges. I am looking forward to taking on these new responsibilities and furthering the missions of SICB.

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Brian Walker

Brian G. Walker

Current Position: Professor of Biology, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

Education: B.A. Biology. Drake University, Des Moines, IA (1990); M.Sc. Biology. Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. Canada (1992); Ph.D. Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (2003); Post-Doctoral Fellow, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (2004).

Professional Experience: Assistant through Full Professor, Fairfield University (2006-present); Director, Integrated Health Studies, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, Fairfield University (2016–2017); Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Fairfield University (2014–2017); Chair, Department of Biology, Fairfield University (2010–2014); Co-director, Latin American & Caribbean Studies -Fairfield University (2009–2011); Visiting Assistant Professor, Gonzaga University (2005–2006); Instructor, University of Washington, Seattle WA (2005); Adjunct Professor, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle WA (2004–2005)

SICB Activities: First presentation at SICB in 2003, Toronto, Canada; Membership in SICB throughout grad school and professionally, 15+ years; Conference presentations in 2019, 2016, 2006, 2005*, 2004, 2003 (*co-author); Additional Attendee Years: 2015, 2014 & 2012; Symposium organizer (2014); Student Award judge (2015 & 2012); Program Officer for DCE from 2019–2020.

Other Memberships: Sigma Xi

Research Interests: Effects of human disturbances on the development and expression of the glucocorticoid stress response in free living animals, with a focus on Magellanic penguins. Recent new work examining stress physiology in humans as a function of nutritional health and occupation.

Statement of Goals: Historically, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology has primarily been the home to scientists and researchers from Research-I institutions who have incredibly productive careers. Scientists and researchers from other institutions, including colleagues from smaller liberal arts colleges, governmental agencies and private industry, while welcomed, typically are less well represented in attendance at our annual conferences. The work of these colleagues is incredibly important, and, one goal of my time in the Executive Committee of SICB will be to further facilitate the inclusion of these other non-traditional SICB participants to join our amazing society. As a member of the Division of Comparative Endocrinology, one of the smaller in the society, I would also hope to broaden the representation on the executive board beyond the larger divisions which tend to dominate the executive. Finally, I would also like to work with our SICB colleagues who are already focused on expanding opportunities for increased attendance and leadership for members from other underrepresented groups, including, for example, gender, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic differences.

Candidates for Secretary-Elect

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Jonathan Allen

Jonathan D. Allen

Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Education: B.S. Bates College (1998); Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2005); Postdoctoral Scholar Bowdoin College (2005–2008).

Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, Randolph-Macon College (2008–2009); Assistant Professor, College of William and Mary (2009–2015); Associate Professor, College of William and Mary (2015-Present).

SICB Activities: SICB member since 1999; Student Support Committee (2013–2016); Membership Committee (2012–2015); Secretary, Division of Invertebrate Zoology (2013–2016).

Other Memberships: American Microscopical Society, American Society of Naturalists, Ecological Society of America, Sigma Xi

Research Interests: Larval biology of marine invertebrates; evolution of complex life cycles with particular emphasis on the role of maternal investment in driving changes in development; ecological developmental biology with emphasis on the role that predator cues and changes in water quality play in inducing phenotypic plasticity.

Statement of Goals: The annual SICB meeting was the first professional conference that I ever attended. This is a familiar refrain for many of us who call SICB ‘home’ and return with students year after year. We can, and need to, do more to make sure that every year we share the excitement of the annual meeting with our students and make sure that SICB continues to foster the next generation of excellence in integrative biology. The society is well positioned to do this, but in my own experience I see ways that we can continue to evolve and improve the experience for new members. As someone who works primarily with undergraduate and masters students I see the SICB meeting as offering a much-needed window into the vast world of research possibilities that go beyond whatever is driving a student’s passion today. As Secretary, I would be eager to explore ways that SICB can increase its profile as a destination for young researchers, while maintaining our standards for excellence. I would also work to find ways for SICB to provide more information for new members about the opportunities for career development for scientists that go beyond academic research and serve as a place to connect highly motivated students with opportunities to pursue scientific excellence. More generally, SICB holds a special place for me as a professional home away from home and I count many of my greatest friends in its membership. I want to do what I can to give back to the society that has meant so much to me.

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Michele Johnson

Michele A. Johnson

Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX.

Education: B.S., Wake Forest University (2001); Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis (2007); Postdoctoral Fellow, Michigan State University (2007–2009).

Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, Trinity University (2009–2015); Associate Professor, Trinity University (2015-present).

SICB Activities: SICB member since 2006; Education Council (2014–2017); Secretary, Division of Animal Behavior (DAB; 2015–2018); Represented DAB at Fall Program Meeting (2017); Judge for DAB Student Presentation Awards (2011–2018); co-organized symposium (2018)

Other Memberships: Animal Behavior Society, Association for Women in Science, Sigma Xi, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, Society for the Study of Evolution, Texas Herpetological Society.

Research Interests: Evolution and ecology of lizard behavior, particularly social and reproductive behavior; neuromuscular and endocrine mechanisms of behavior; large-scale comparative analyses. See more at

Statement of Goals: Scientific societies have the potential to play an important role in our changing world. I am proud that our society, SICB, has been a leader in our field in many ways. SICB has a long history of supporting students and early career scientists, creating an environment that includes all members of our community, and engaging with the public — yet many opportunities remain. As the Secretary of the Society, I would work with our community toward three goals. First, academic careers have become the “alternative” career path for many graduate students, and SICB could more intentionally connect with integrative biologists working in a variety of careers, and provide more support early career scientists looking to explore those career paths. Second, SICB has the opportunity to more directly engage the local public communities in which our annual meetings occur. Third, as we welcome our diverse membership, we have the obligation to continue to become a more inclusive Society. I am excited for this opportunity to give back to the Society that has been my intellectual home for many years.

Candidates for Member-at-Large (Term to begin in 2019)

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Ajna Saphronia Rivera

Ajna Saphronia Rivera

Current Position: Associate Professor of Biological Science, University of the Pacific, California

Education: BSc Stanford University (1999); PhD UC Berkeley (2006); Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Santa Barbara (2006–9); Postdoctoral Fellow (with teaching), University of Richmond

Professional Experience: Lecturer, UC Santa Barbara; Assistant and Associate Professor, University of the Pacific; Conceived of and ran BioBridge (2017-present)

SICB Activities: SICB member since grad school, judge for divisional student best-poster competitions (every year I’ve attended since becoming faculty), divisional mentor for grad students (every year I’ve attended since it’s conception), symposium speaker (x2).

Other Memberships: The Crustacean Society, AAC&U

Research Interests: Evolution of gene regulatory networks. Evolution and development of sensory and nervous systems. Visual and Behavioral Ecology.

Statement of Goals: Over the last two decades, SICB’s commitment to equity and inclusion of diverse scientists and diverse science has grown and solidified. Society-wide activities like Broadening Participation, on-site childcare, Charlotte Magnum and Dorothy Skinner awards as well as Divisional mentorship activities and student-led initiatives like Outgroup have had a visible effect on participation in our annual meetings. As Member-At-Large I would be committed to representing the wide diversity of SICB members and our integrative approach to biology. I am an advocate for increasing the visibility and participation of underrepresented groups at my own (minority-serving) institution where I conceived of and run our BioBridge program, a summer/first semester program for California Central Valley students to learn study, time-management, and wellness skills. I perform outreach by running field-trips for a local Title 1 elementary school to do hands-on Biology activities with undergrads, grad students, and professors. I advocate for rigorous experiential learning as chair-elect of my University GE-committee and head of the Student Success committee in my department. Finally, I have demonstrated my commitment to Integrative and Comparative Biology as well as to inclusivity in biology by writing and publishing a free Evolutionary Developmental Biology textbook (OER) aimed at all levels of Biology students (undergrads and grads). In these activities I have always sought diverse perspectives from outside my own specialty. As Member-At-Large, I will continue this by seeking input from our members and ensuring that member voices are represented.

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Haruka Wada

Haruka Wada

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University

Education: B.S., Zoology, University of Washington (1999); Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, The University of Texas at Austin (2007).

Professional Experience: Postdoctoral associate, Virginia Tech (2007–2009); Postdoctoral fellow, University of Western Ontario (2009–2011); Assistant Professor, Auburn University (2012-present).

SICB Activities: I have been an active member of SICB since 2003 and involved in two symposium organizations (2014 & 2019), a mentorship program, chairing sessions, and judging presentations.

Other Memberships: American Ornithologists’ Union

Research Interests: My primary research interest is to deepen our understanding of developmental phenotypic plasticity from a mechanistic perspective. Specifically, I aim to link neuroendocrine and cellular stress response in order to understand the orchestration between the two and elucidate how developmental environment alters this relationship.

Statement of Goals: SICB has been my primary society and conference to attend since 2003. What makes SICB so intellectually stimulating, cutting edge, and diverse is 1) SICB actively promotes cross-talks between disciplines through selection of symposia, accompanying Integrative and Comparative Biology issues, social opportunities, and special awards, 2) SICB is committed to education and involvement of researchers from diverse background, and 3) SICB makes every effort to encourage student participation and communications among researchers at different stage of their career. If I were selected as a Member at Large, I will devote myself to enrich these strengths and advance SICB’s mission of promoting interdisciplinary and integrative approaches in organismal, function, and evolutionary biology. Thank you for considering me for the SICB Member at Large position.

Candidates for Member-at-Large (Term to begin in 2020)

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Marguerite A. Butler

Current Position: Professor of Biology, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI

Education: B.S. Interdisciplinary Science (Physics, Biology, Mathematics; 1985–1998), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY; M.S. Microbiology (1989–1991), RPI; Ph.D Evolution and Population Biology. Washington University, St. Louis (1991–1998); Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo (1998–2000), University of California, Berkeley (2000–2002).

Professional Experience: Research Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2003–2006); Assistant through Full Professor, University of Hawaii (2006-present). Vice Chair and Chair, Mānoa Faculty Senate (2015–2017), and Co-chair, All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs, University of Hawaii (2016–2017).

SICB Activities: Member since graduate school; Student Support Committee (2006–2007); Participant, Minisymposium in Honor of Marvalee Wake (2004), Symposium on Ecological Dimorphisms (2007); Associate Editor of Integrative Organismal Biology (2018-).

Other Memberships: Society for Experimental Biology, American Society of Naturalists, Society for the Study of Evolution, International Society of Vertebrate Morphology, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Research Interests: Animal performance in the context of the evolution of biodiversity. Three current projects include the contributions of adaptation (locomotor performance) and biogeography to diversification in a large group of Papuan microhylid frogs (300+ species); visual system specialization in the exploitation of light microhabitats in an adaptive radiation of Hawaiian damselflies; and phylogenetic comparative methods for the study of adaptation.

Statement of Goals: I occasionally attend other society meetings to catch up on subdisciplines, but I have long attended SICB each year to catch up on EVERYTHING. Like many of you, I am extremely loyal to SICB because there is nothing more exciting than the cross-fertilization of ideas that fuel the expansion of our approaches, and nothing more supportive than the wonderful SICB community. It is where we come to meet, light our minds on fire, and form new collaborations. I am especially interested in finding more ways to support the career development of SICB members at all stages, and support the executive committee and the SICB journals in soliciting ideas from members for new symposia, initiatives, and other ways to promote integrative biology. I am excited and deeply honored to be nominated to run for Member-at-Large. Interdisciplinary approaches seem to be the way my brain works (I even have a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Sciences!). I will enthusiastically “advocate for the entire scope of SICBʻs science.” Thank you for considering my candidacy.

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Ryan Earley

Ryan Earley

Current Position: Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Education: B.S. Syracuse University (1997), Ph.D. University of Louisville (2002); Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Behavioral Neuroscience & Georgia State University (2006; NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award)

Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, California State University Fresno (2006–2008); Assistant — Associate Professor, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (2008-present)

SICB Activities: SICB member for 13 years; Associate Editor of Integrative & Comparative Biology (2015-present); Student Support Committee member (2012–2015); Chair, Student Support Committee (2015–2018); Developed Student Grant (GIAR/FGST) Workshop; DEE Beers & Brains Mixer participant (2018); Regular participant as a student poster/oral presentation judge for Division of Comparative Endocrinology, Division of Animal Behavior, Division of Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry, Division of Ecology & Evolution.

Other Memberships: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; Divers Alert Network; Fisheries Society of the British Isles; Society for the Study of Evolution; Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology.

Research Interests: Endocrine and neurobiological mechanisms underlying social behavior and sexual plasticity; evolution of sex change and mating systems; behavioral and reproductive consequences of endocrine disruption; structuring and evolution of complex phenotypes; physiological tolerance to extreme environments; ecology of life history variation; field and laboratory research, primarily on killifish and cichlid species.

Statement of Goals: I am honored to have been nominated for the Member-at-Large position on SICB’s Executive Committee. After attending my first SICB conference, I was completely hooked. Being part of a society where I could randomly waltz into any session at the meeting and be absolutely mesmerized by creative, rock-solid science really resonated with me. I feel that the diverse scholarly approaches to fundamentally important questions in biology is a unique strength, if not the hallmark, of our society. Our brilliant students are exposed to the power of integration and interdisciplinary collaboration, and are immersed in an environment where joy is derived from discovery and from going out on a limb (or fin) to satisfy intellectual curiosities. As the Associate Editor of Integrative & Comparative Biology, I have become intimately familiar with, and have come to further appreciate the breadth of research interests in our society. As the Chair of the Student Support Committee, I felt the future pulse of our society and can confidently say that, with continued investment in our student members, SICB will remain at the forefront of innovation in the biological sciences. I am a strong advocate for Women in STEM at my home institution, and have had the fortune of mentoring many inspiring women graduate students. It will thus be a great privilege to serve on the Dorothy Skinner Award committee. I have great respect and admiration for the research being conducted by investigators in each of our Divisions, and I think the most thrilling part of science is attempting to put the biological jigsaw puzzle together. This requires strong communication among investigators, Divisions, and disciplines. As Member-at-Large, I will promote all of SICB’s incredible science and hope to be a sounding board for the membership and an effective liaison between membership and the Executive Committee.

Development Committee Report

by Lou Burnett, Development Committee Chair and SICB Past-President

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Lou Burnett

SICB has an endowment that provides support for students to attend the annual meeting, support for student research, symposia, lectures, and several awards. There are separate funds within the SICB endowment that are designed for specific purposes including the ones mentioned above. Without the endowment most of the SICB activities would not occur in their current robust form.

We are in the second year of our Double Your Dues (DYD) Campaign where we have asked each member of SICB, including the students, to contribute over a period of three years the equivalent of SICB dues for one year. At this time 101 SICB members have donated over $6,000 to fund student research through the DYD Campaign!

Since 2014, the Society has recognized donors both through ribbons attached to badges at the annual meeting and listing donors in the Spring Newsletter. In 2018, 167 individuals donated $45,767 to the SICB endowment supporting different funds. On behalf of the Executive and Development Committees, thank you for your generous support. Your contributions have a significant and important impact on the Society. Below is a list of individual who generously donated to the SICB endowment in 2018 and through January 2019.

Special Recognition for SICB Donors contributing more than $1000.

  • Bruce Alberts
  • Barbara Best
  • Emily Carrington
  • Tom Daniel
  • Patricia Morse
  • Dianna Padilla
  • Robert Roer
  • Kenneth Sebens
  • Jarid Simons
  • Sable Systems International
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Diamond ($500 and up)

  • Karen Burnett
  • Louis Burnett
  • Melina Hale
  • Darwin Jorgensen
  • George Lauder
  • David Lentink
  • Mark Martindale
  • David Wake
  • Marvalee Wake
  • Mark Westneat
  • Susan Williams

Platinum ($250–499)

  • Andy Baxevanis
  • Richard Blob
  • Frances Bonier
  • Kathy Dickson
  • Judith Grassle
  • Ignacio Moore
  • Brian Tsukimura
  • Peter Wainwright

Gold ($100–249)

  • Elizabeth Adkins-Regan
  • Michael Baltzley
  • Catherine Bevier
  • Elizabeth Brainerd
  • Theresa Bucher
  • Luke Butler
  • Marguerite Butler
  • Chuan-Hua Chen
  • Ana Christensen
  • David Cowles
  • Robert Cox
  • Brandon Creighton
  • Alistair Cullum
  • Robert Druzinsky
  • Alice Gibb
  • Jeffrey Goldman
  • Michael Hadfield
  • Thomas Hahn
  • Jon Harrison
  • Tyson Hedrick
  • John Hermanson
  • Susan Herring
  • Frances Irish
  • Sandy Kawano
  • Darcy Kelley
  • Rosemary Knapp
  • Alan Kohn
  • Duncan Mackenzie
  • Rita Mehta
  • Kristi Montooth
  • David Norris
  • Sara O’Brien
  • John Pearse
  • Bruno Pernet
  • Robert Podolsky
  • Bernard Rees
  • Mary Rice
  • Lynn Riddiford
  • Jeff Riffell
  • Michael Romero
  • Kenneth Shorter
  • Nancy Staub
  • Michelle Stocker
  • Yuichiro Suzuki
  • Sherry Tamone
  • Brian Walker
  • Jacqueline Webb
  • Cheryl Wilga
  • John Wingfield

Silver ($50–99)

  • Christine Bedore
  • Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks
  • Philip Bergmann
  • Rachel Bowden
  • Brett Burk
  • Abigail Cahill
  • Jonathan Chang
  • Alfred Crompton
  • Roslyn Dakin
  • Monica Daley
  • Ben Dantzer
  • Eric Erkenbrack
  • Frank Fish
  • Douglas Fudge
  • Aaron Galloway
  • Timothy Geives
  • Diana Hews
  • Stuart Humphries
  • Michele Johnson
  • Emily Kane
  • Diane Kelly
  • Petra Lenz
  • Paul Maderson
  • Duane McPherson
  • Alissa Mercado
  • Kristjan Niitepold
  • Sarah O’Brien
  • Jennifer Olori
  • Marianne Porter
  • Vivek Nagendra Prakash
  • Vania Regina Assis
  • Alexus Roberts
  • Stephan Schoech
  • Eric Schultz
  • Nora Terwilliger
  • Virginia Weis
  • Terry West
  • William Wilson
  • Sarah Woodley
  • Zvi Yaron

Bronze (up to $49)

  • Haley Amplo
  • Roger Anderson
  • Miriam Ashley-Ross
  • Charles Booth
  • David Buchwalter
  • Joyce Caughron
  • Jules Chabain
  • Alex Champagne
  • Scott Cinel
  • Katherine Corn
  • Shannon Curry
  • Ryan Earley
  • Hugh Ellis
  • Stacey Farina
  • Lara Ferry
  • Markus Frederich
  • Eric Gangloff
  • Daniel Goldman
  • Malcolm Stephen Gordon
  • Hilary Hayford
  • Patricia Hernandez
  • Jose Iriarte-Diaz
  • Brandon Jackson
  • Barbara Joos
  • Steven Kempf
  • Jane Khudyakov
  • Mathew Landau
  • Danielle Lee
  • Harvey Lillywhite
  • Christopher Mayerl
  • Marianne Moore
  • Julia Notar
  • Christopher Richardson
  • Sara Sawyer
  • Wendy Smith
  • Derek Somo
  • Larry Spencer
  • Christy Strand
  • William Talbot
  • Jessica Tingle
  • Alan Tousignant
  • Sam Van Wassenbergh
  • Dylan Wainwright
  • Erica Westerman
  • Travis Wilcoxen
  • William Zamer
  • Jerrold Zar
  • John Zardus

Individuals Honored: The following SICB funds received donations in 2018 to honor specific individuals.

John A. Moore Lectureship Fund

  • Donation by Bruce Alberts to honor Trish Morse.
  • Donation by Trish Morse to honor John A. Moore.

Howard A. Bern Lecture Fund

  • Donation by David Norris to honor Louis J. Guillette Jr.

Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship Fund

  • Donation by Aaron Galloway to honor Sasha Seroy.
  • Donation by Alissa Mercado to honor Claire B. Bailey.
  • Donation by Bruno Pernet to honor Elizabeth (Susie) Balser.

Student Research Award: Donations by many individuals since 2017 have helped establish the new Steven Vogel Student Research Award.

  • Susan Claire Alberts
  • David Alexander
  • Barbara Best
  • Richard Blob
  • Calhoun Bond
  • Elizabeth Brainerd
  • Karen Burnett
  • Louis Burnett
  • Emily Carrington
  • Chuan-Hua Chen
  • Brandon Creighton
  • Monica Daley
  • Tom Daniel
  • Kathy Dickson
  • Robert Dudley
  • Richard Emlet
  • Frank Fish
  • Douglas Fudge
  • Daniel Goldman
  • Jeffrey Goldman
  • Melina Hale
  • Elizabeth Harris
  • Tyson Hedrick
  • Brian Helmuth
  • Stuart Humphries
  • Brandon Jackson
  • Darwin Jorgensen
  • Emily Kane
  • Sandy Kawano
  • Diane Kelly
  • Steven Kempf
  • William Kier
  • Mimi Koehl
  • Michael LaBarbera
  • George Lauder
  • David Lentink
  • John Long
  • Catherine Loudon
  • Matt McHenry
  • Rachel Merz
  • M. Patricia Morse
  • Aaron Olsen
  • Dianna Padilla
  • Sheila Patek
  • Chuck Pell
  • Marianne Porter
  • Alexus Roberts
  • Robert Roer
  • Virginia Louise Roth
  • Gregory Sawicki
  • Ken Sebens
  • Kathleen Smith
  • Jake Socha
  • Adam Summers
  • Jessica Tingle
  • Frederick Vosburgh
  • Peter Wainwright
  • Stephen Wainwright
  • Mark Westneat
  • Susan Williams
  • William Wilson

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