DSEB: 1997 Fall Newsleter
This Newsletter by Section
Message from the Secretary
This year we have an excellent slate of candidates listed in this newsletter for the
offices of chair, Paula Mabee and Mark Westneat, and secretary, Bonnie Bain and Miriam
Zelditch. Due to some confusion we got off track with our elections, but thanks to the
diligent work of our Nominating Committee headed by Marvalee Wake and our chair, Carole
Hickman, we are back on track! In order to rectify the situation, we will elect a new
chair and secretary this year and a new program officer in the following election. In the
meantime, Jon Norenburg has accepted an appointment by the chair to serve as program
officer for the next year. Thanks Jon!
At the Annual Meeting this year our division is co-sponsoring a symposium on
"Evolutionary Relationships of Metazoan Phyla." Don't miss this exciting
symposium which unites an international group of scientists whose work is focused on new
research in metazoan phylogeny and the problems and approaches to reconstructing
See you all in Boston!.
DSEB Candidates for Election
Candidates for Chair
Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, San Diego State
Education: Ph.D., Duke University, 1987; B.A., St. Olaf College, 1981. SICB
Activities: Editorial Board, Education Committee. Other Memberships: Society for
Systematic Biologists, President, 1996-1997, Associate Editor, 1994-present, Councilor,
1992-1995, Editorial Board, 1993-1994, Chair, Publications Committee, 1996-1997,
Membership Committee, 1995-1996, Committee member for Systematics Agenda 2000, 1994;
American Society of Ichthyologist and Herpetologists, Chair-elect of Student Awards
Committee, 1996; National Science Foundation, Panel, NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
in the Biosciences (IBN), 1996.
Research Interests: Development and evolution of bone in fishes; theory and methods
in phylogenetic systematics.
Goals Statement: To promote the incorporation of an explicit evolutionary
perspective into all aspects of comparative organismal research. As chair, I would promote
connections among SICB divisions as well as with systematists whose primary affiliation is
not SICB. Because the goals of systematics are so diverse, extending from education about
the importance of biodiversity to research into the methods of phylogenetic systematics,
there is a need and leadership role for several formal associations of
systematists/evolutionary biologists. One of my goals will be to help define the role of
DSEB within the systematics and organismal biology community.
Mark W. Westneat
Current Position: Associate Curator of Zoology, Head of Division of Fishes;
Lecturer, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago; Lecturer,
Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago.
Education: B.A., The College of Wooster, Ohio, 1984; Ph.D., Department of Zoology,
Duke University, Durham, N.C., 1990.
SICB Activities: DVM Program Officer, 1994-96; D. Dwight Davis Award Committee,
Other Memberships: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Chair,
Committee on Graduate Student Participation, 1989-1990, Stoye Award Committee, 1993.
Research Interests: Functional morphology of vertebrates, with emphasis on
behavioral kinematics and muscle physiology during feeding and locomotion. Systematics and
evolution of tropical marine fishes, with a focus on the phylogeny and correlated
evolution of structural, functional and ecological features of the family Labridae.
Quantitative modeling of vertebrate musculoskeletal systems as a way of predicting
behavior based on morphometrics.
Goals Statement: Phylogenetic systematics occupies a central position in biology.
It can easily be argued that systematics is the most integrative and synthetic field in
biology because the generation of phylogenetic trees and the use of phylogenies as
evolutionary frameworks can make use of virtually all biological data. Our division within
SICB needs to take on more of that feeling of centrality and begin to wield the
integrative power that systematics provides. As SICB is challenged by membership problems
and the search for our role in biology, so DSEB is challenged by similar issues regarding
our role in the society. I hope to provide leadership to DSEB and promote our cause by 1.)
developing cross disciplinary symposia involving systematic biology, 2.) attempting to
reestablish strong contributed paper sessions in systematics at the Annual Meeting, and
3.) urging DSEB and SICB members to recruit colleagues and students to our division.
Candidates for Secretary
Current Position: Biology Department, Yavapai College, Verde Campus.
Education: B.A., California State University; Ph.D., City University of New York.
Other Memberships: Organized "Systematics Discussion Group" at AMNH (for
postdoctorates and graduate students); organized a hands-on systematics workshop for
curators, postdoctorates and students at AMNH; participant in symposium on
"Systematics and Biogeography of Marine Biodiversity;" reviewer for Cladistics;
reviewer for Appraisal (children's science books).
Research Interests: Systematics and biogeography of pycnogonids (sea spiders).
Higher level classification of pycnogonids and of chelicerates. Larval biology of
pycnogonids. Cladistics. Evolution of mating strategies in pycnogonids.
Goals Statement: To work towards integrating systematics into the activities and
functions of SICB. Systematics is the reference system for the biological sciences and so
will play a major role in the future in all discussions on integrating different aspects
of the biology of various organisms; it is indispensable for any comparative studies.
Future symposia planned by our division should reflect these important aspects of the
science of systematics. In addition to integrating systematics into various SICB symposia,
I would like to reach out to systematics graduate students and work towards recruiting
them to become SICB members and join in our activities at national meetings.
Education: B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz; Ph.D., Michigan State
Current Position: Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology, San Diego State.
SICB Activities: Graduate student representative to DHPB/DICI; organizer for the
"Historical Patterns of Developmental Integration" symposium (co-sponsored by
DVM and DSEB/DSZ; DSEB/DSZ Nominating Committee.
Other Memberships: Systematic Biology Editorial Board; Society of Systematic
Biologists, Council Member; Society for the Study of Evolution.
Research Interests: The evolution of growth and form, phylogenetic analysis of
morphometric data, systematics of piranhas.
Goals Statement: A phylogenetic framework is the basis for comparative studies.
This has been increasingly recognized by biologists in all divisions of SICB, but DSEB can
still play a special role in SICB. One of these roles is to promote both methodological
and empirical systematic studies. Another role is to foster systematic expertise in all