This month we’re kicking off a new series of New Faculty Profiles to highlight and introduce up-and-coming PIs in SSE. Dr. Rayna C. Bell is a vertebrate research zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History studying the mechanisms that generate ecological and evolutionary diversity in amphibians and reptiles. Continue reading here to learn more about and her work.
Every year SSE celebrates Darwin’s birthday (February 12th) with the Darwin Day Roadshow, an SSE and BEACON program to bring hands-on science activities to K–12 students. This year we also engaged with other scientists and the public on social media to celebrate the diversity of researchers, questions, approaches and study organisms in our community—the breadth and depth of which Darwin never could have imagined. Thank you to everyone who joined the conversation on Twitter! Search the hashtag #IStudyEvolution to see the great variety of exciting research happening in this field.
Last month the SSE Council met in New Orleans to welcome the new leaders, share updates on committee activities, and discuss plans for 2018. For the first time the votes included graduate student members (from GSAC), Chair Jodie Wiggins and Past Chair Megan Kobiela. Plans discussed for 2018 included launching an online member database, establishing an SSE blog, and implementing a demographic survey of members to inform future diversity initiatives. Stay tuned for more news on these items in the next few months!
February is your last chance to get an SSE lifetime membership for $800—a bargain at the equivalent of 16 years of regular membership! Starting March 1, the lifetime rate will be $1000, corrected to meet a stipulation in the SSE Constitution that the lifetime rate be 20 times the regular yearly rate. (You can read the full Constitution and Bylaws here.) To become a lifetime member of SSE, please visit https://payments.evolutionsociety.org/joinsse/.
Applications are now open for the T. H. Huxley Award, which recognizes and promotes the development of high-quality evolution education resources. If you have an interesting project or educational activity to share, consider applying for this award. Information on previous awards is available here. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are especially encouraged to apply. The awardee will receive funding to present evolution education resources at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) annual conference. This year's NABT conference will be held Nov. 8-11 in San Diego, CA. The deadline for applying for the Huxley award is March 23. Learn more and apply here.
The Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) Council invites proposals for grants up to $3,000 to help support Society-sponsored Early-career Vocational Opportunities (EVO) Workshops. There are no requirements for topic or format of the workshop, as long as it is interactive and its content serves to provide foundational skills that are appropriate for early-career SSE members in the areas of conceptual understanding, data collection, data analysis, or professional development. The Workshop Selection Committee will select proposals on a rolling basis, and has already made one award, for an Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics Workshop at Friday Harbor Laboratories. (SSE members receive a $200 discount on registration!) Learn more about the grants here.
Does your research involve biological materials? The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefits Sharing was adopted in 2010 as part of the international treaty known as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The aim of the Nagoya Protocol is to ensure that the benefits associated with genetic resources, and also with traditional knowledge of biodiversity, are shared fairly and equitably. If you export biological materials from one of the 100 countries party to the Nagoya Protocol, you will need a Genetic Resource Access Permit. Continue reading to learn how you may be affected.
Continue reading for a special note about the graduate/postdoc travel awards from SSE and ASN for Evolution 2018 in Montpellier:
The deadline has been extended for the Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize, which recognizes the accomplishments and future promise of an outstanding young evolutionary biologist. We consider candidates who are working on all areas of evolutionary biology and on any taxonomic group (i.e., plants, animals, fungi, microbes, etc.) and who take empirical and/or theoretical approaches. We value diversity, and are seeking a broad and diverse applicant pool from all axes and components of diversity in the evolutionary biology community. Nominations and applications are due March 1. Learn more here.
This year's annual meeting with ASN, SSB, and ESEB has received more than 3500 applications for talks and posters. Concerns have been raised that the number of abstract submissions is many more than can be accommodated (800 talks and 1200 posters), which could lead to a large number of members being unable to present. Continue reading for a letter from SSE, ASN, and SSB presidents regarding these concerns.
Abstract submissions for Evolution 2018 in Montpellier have reopened for today only! They close again on January 18 at 9:00 am Central European Time. If you weren't able to submit an abstract, now is your chance. Visit the meeting website to submit an abstract.
Please contribute to our fundraising drive to offer financial support for graduate students in evolutionary biology who were affected by the devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico this past summer: https://subfill.uchicago.edu/JournalPubs/Donation.aspx?webpub=ANX. We are coordinating funding with ASN. So far, more than 50 students have applied for grants to help replace lost lab equipment, cover travel to host labs, or help meet basic living expenses. Thank you to those members who have already donated! The first rounds of grants have now been issued, and I know that the funds will make a huge difference to these students.
The election results are in! We welcome Mark Rausher as the new president-elect, Tracey Chapman as the new Non-North American VP, John Stinchcombe as the new Secretary, and Amy Angert and Andrea Sweigart as the new Councilors (class of 2020). Congratulations to our newly elected officers, and thank you for being willing to contribute your time and energy to serving the Society! The amendment to include two members of the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) as voting members on the SSE Council also passed -- congratulations and thank you to GSAC members for their commitment to the society!
Students and recent graduates interested in attending Evolution 2018 can also submit abstracts to the Hamilton Symposium until January 15. Applicants are encouraged to also apply for other symposia; if you are not selected for the Hamilton Symposium, you may be selected for another symposium. You will not be required to register for the conference until all presenters have been selected and notified. To learn more, visit the Hamilton Award page here.
The SSE Council and GSAC invite proposals for grants up to $3,000 to help support Society-sponsored Early-career Vocational Opportunities (EVO) Workshops. This is a new program to provide valuable learning opportunities for Society graduate students and postdocs. The topic of the workshop can be anything, and material can be presented in any format, as long as it is interactive and its content serves to provide foundational skills that are appropriate for early-career SSE members in the areas of conceptual understanding, data collection, data analysis, or professional development. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply here.
Do you think science should influence policy? Do you have a particular issue that you would like to bring to the attention of policymakers? Sign up for an online policy training session hosted by the SSE Policy Committee. Participants will learn how to write a brief and meet with policymakers, then apply what they learned by meeting with a policymaker about an issue of their choosing. I will be leading the training and bringing in guest speakers online via four webinars during January-March 2018. Registration is limited to 15 members and closes January 8. Free to SSE members. Learn more here.
The SSE Education Committee is now accepting proposals for support of up to $1000 for local and regional educational outreach activities to take place during 2018. Examples of past outreach activities have included public lectures, exhibits, student competitions, and professional development events for teachers. Proposals will be accepted until January 25, 2018. To learn more and apply, visit the award page here.
The leadership of SSE, ASN, and SSB have agreed to avoid scheduling the joint annual meeting in states subject to California Assembly Bill 1887, which prohibits state-funded travel to states with discriminatory policies. The following letter was sent to legislators in each of the eight states listed in the bill, which can be read here.
We are creating a database of researchers who would be willing to be contacted by the media to comment on others’ research in their area of expertise. With increasing specialization of research, it can be difficult for science communicators to find appropriate sources to comment on new research. By joining this database, you can be a resource for science communicators and contribute to accurate science reporting. To sign up, fill out this survey.
If you are a science communicator and would like access to the database, please contact Kati Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a PhD in a non-academic career? Would you like to help guide students as they decide what career path to pursue? Consider joining the Diverse Careers Mentor Database. This database will be shared with current graduate students who are interested in non-academic careers. Students will be encouraged to contact mentors to set up informational interviews and learn more about their mentor’s field. To join, please fill out the form here.
To learn more about the Diverse Careers Committee, or to view other resources for current students, please visit the Diverse Careers website.
SSE will fund a limited number of SSE members to attend the AIBS Congressional Visits Day on April 17-18, 2018 in Washington, DC. This event will include an advocacy-training program and congressional meetings with elected officials. Scientists and graduate students who are interested in communicating the importance of federal investments in scientific research and education to lawmakers are encouraged to participate in this important event. Learn more and register here. To apply for funding to cover travel and lodging, please apply here by January 31, 2018.
Do you think science should influence policy? Do you have a particular issue that you would like to bring to the attention of policymakers? Sign up for an online policy training session hosted by the SSE Policy Committee. Participants will learn how to write a brief and meet with policymakers, then apply what they learned by meeting with a policymaker about an issue of their choosing. Training will take place online via four webinars during January-March 2018. Registration is limited to 15 members and closes December 15. Free to SSE members. Learn more here.
On November 23, SSE, ASN, and SSB sent a letter to members of the House and Senate regarding the proposed tax on graduate student tuition waivers included in the version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the House of Representatives on November 16, 2017. Read the full letter below.
SSE has started a new initiative to help student and postdoc researchers in Puerto Rico whose research was affected by Hurricane Maria. In addition to providing funding for students, we are looking to connect students with host labs. If you would like to host a student researcher in your lab, please fill out the form here. If you know of an affected student in need of funding and/or a host lab, please send them the application form here.
The election of 2018 candidates for SSE offices (President, Secretary, Non-NA Vice President, and Council members) is now open. Elected candidates will serve beginning January 1. The SSE council is also proposing an amendment to Article 4 of the Society Constitution and Bylaws to 1) add two GSAC representatives to the Council as voting members with three-year terms and 2) conduct Council business via email. Voting will close on November 21.