Mission & History

Mission Statement

The mission of SICB is to further research, education and public awareness in the areas of organismal, functional and evolutionary biology. Organismal biology comprises diverse fields that lead to a better understanding of whole organism function and the interface between organisms and their physical and biological environments. Comparative morphological, developmental, physiological, behavioral and biomechanical approaches examine functional diversity and integrate the study of living and physical systems. Evolutionary and ecological approaches examine stability versus change over time, how genomes evolve, how they produce phenotypes, interact with the environment, and lead to functional diversity. SICB encourages interdisciplinary cooperative research that integrates across levels of biological organization, from molecules and cells to ecosystems, and can move beyond standard model organisms and methodologies. SICB also encourages use of new technologies that allow researchers to improve their abilities to collect and properly analyze these new and complex data sets. SICB enhances education and scholarship at all levels, from K-12 to postgraduate. The society also works to inform the public, legislators and granting agencies of the importance of organismal biology and its potential to produce valuable new knowledge, findings, applications and tools.

Short Version

SICB fosters research, education, public awareness and understanding of living organisms from molecules and cells to ecology and evolution. SICB encourages interdisciplinary cooperative research that integrates across scales, and new models and methodologies to enhance research and education.


The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) is one of the largest and most prestigious professional associations of its kind. Formed as the American Society of Zoologists through a 1902 merger of two societies, the Central Naturalists and the American Morphological Society, its focus has remained to integrate the many fields of specialization which occur in the broad field of biology. Throughout most of its history the Society was known as the American Society of Zoologists and changed its name to the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in 1996 to reflect the scientific breadth, integrative approaches, and interests of its membership across all disciplines of biology. The SICB is organized around disciplinary divisions, each relevant to a major segment of biology. The Society is dedicated to promoting the pursuit and public dissemination of important information relating to biology. Research is presented in numerous symposia during the SICB Annual Meeting, as well as in the publication of one of its journals Integrative and Comparative Biology (ICB) (formerly: American Zoologist). In 2019 the Society began a new journal Integrative Organismal Biology (IOB) that is a fully open access journal publishing original data articles, opinion pieces, and letters.The SICB takes pride in the fact that one of the Society’s focal points is to support its student members, and that the organization is fundamentally committed to the advancement and development of the field of biology through its members.

For a listing of SICB Presidents from 1890 to present, please visit our list of society presidents.

We invite you to visit our ‘in memoriam’ page here.

For more on the history of the Society, please see the following articles. SICB members may access these articles online through the Society’s journal, Integrative & Comparative Biology.

  • C. EDWARD QUINN. Introduction to the Symposium: Birth and Growth of the American Society of Zoologists. Amer. Zool. 1979: 1241. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/19.4.1241
  • JAMES WILLIAM ATKINSON.  The Importance of the History of Science to the American Society of Zoologists. Amer. Zool. 1979: 1243-1246.  https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/19.4.1243
  • C. EDWARD QUINN. The Beginnings of the American Society of Zoologists. Amer. Zool. 1979 19: 1247-1249.  https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/19.4.1241
  • RALPH W. DEXTER. C. O. Whitman and the American Society of Zoologists. Amer. Zool. 1979 19: 1251-1253. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/19.4.1251
  • ANTHONY C. CLEMENT. Edwin Grant Conklin. Amer. Zool. 1979 19: 1255-1259. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/19.4.1255
  • C. EDWARD QUINN. Ancestry and Beginnings: The Early History of the American Society of Zoologists. Amer. Zool. 1982 22: 735-748. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/22.4.735
  • KEITH R. BENSON and C. EDWARD QUINN. The American Society of Zoologists, 1889-1989: A Century of Integrating the Biological Sciences. Amer. Zool. 1990 30: 353-396. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/30.2.353
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