SSE Council is pleased to announce the launch of a tri-society initiative between SSE, ASN, and SSB to draft a Code of Ethics. While behavior at the annual meeting falls under our Code of Conduct, the societies currently have no policy regarding conduct outside of our meetings. Establishing a Code of Ethics will allow the societies to set criteria for membership, leadership, and meeting attendance that are fair to all involved. Currently, committee members representing SSE (Amy Angert), SSB (Rayna Bell), ASN (Emilio Bruna), and grads/postdocs (Emlyn Resetariats) are tasked with researching existing societal Codes and producing a framework for ours. After this initial phase, each society will form its own internal committee to draft its Code of Ethics. Finally, the tri-society committee will reconvene to ensure compatibility of the individual Codes as they pertain to joint meetings. We welcome input from the community. Feedback and ideas can be sent to SSE Councilor Amy Angert at email@example.com.
Earlier this year, SSE Council voted to co-sponsor the European Meeting of Ph.D. Students in Evolutionary Biology (EMPSEB) through the SSE International Committee’s “Co-sponsorship of symposia organized by non-US based evolution societies” award. The goal of this award is to foster communication between scientists from different countries by stimulating scientific dialogue through co-sponsored symposia. Continue reading to hear from the conference organizers Carolina Osuna Mascaró and María Martín Peciña, PhD students at the University of Granada.
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 provides 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. Learn more about the grants here.
The GREG – R.C. Lewontin Early Awards are to assist students in the early stages of their Ph.D. programs by enabling them to collect preliminary data (to pursue additional sources of support) or to enhance the scope of their research beyond current funding limits (e.g. by visiting additional field sites, or working at other labs). Awards will be made up to $2500. Proposals will be due February 15. Learn more and apply here.
The annual Stephen Jay Gould Prize recognizes individuals who have increased public understanding of evolutionary biology and its place in modern science. The recipient will receive $5,000 USD and will present the Public Outreach Seminar at Evolution 2019 in Providence, RI. The awardee should be a leader in evolutionary thought and in public outreach who can deliver an inspiring lecture for both professionals and the broader public. Nominations are due January 15. Learn more here.
The R. A. Fisher Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation paper published in the journal Evolution during a given calendar year. The award comes with a $1000 USD honorarium. Nominations are due January 31. Learn more here.
Nominations/applications are now open for the Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize, awarded annually to recognize the accomplishments and future promise of an outstanding young evolutionary biologist. The recipient will receive $5000 USD and present their research at Evolution 2019 in Providence, RI. Nominations are due January 31. Learn more here.
The SSE Education and Outreach Committee is pleased to announce a call for proposals from SSE members for support for local and regional educational outreach activities to take place during 2019. It is our hope that these projects will lead to ongoing outreach collaboration in future years. Examples of past outreach activities have included public lectures, exhibits, student competitions, and professional development events for teachers. Proposals will be accepted until January 18. Learn more here.
We are pleased to announce a limited-time travel award for students, postdocs, and early-career researchers conducting research in Brazil to attend Evolution 2019 in Providence, RI. This award is made possible by the surplus of funds from the 2015 Evolution meeting in Guarujá, Brazil. Applicants must be (1) a current member of SSE, ASN, SSB, or the Sociedade Brasileira de Genética, (2) conducting research at a university or institution in Brazil, (3) a current graduate student or within 6 years of finishing their PhD, and (4) presenting a talk or poster at the meeting. Apply here by January 15. Clique aqui para a versão em português.
The New Faculty Profile series highlights and introduces new Principal Investigators who are SSE members. This month we highlight Dr. Melissa Kemp. Dr. Kemp is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Integrative Biology studying how environmental perturbations shape vertebrate communities through time and space. Read her full profile here.
The New Faculty Profile series highlights and introduces new Principal Investigators who are SSE members. This month we highlight Dr. Anahí Espíndola. Dr. Espíndola is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park studying how the abiotic and biotic environment affects the way species interact and diversify. Read her full profile here.
Earlier this year, SSE sponsored the third Evolution, Ecology, and Environment National Symposium, held October 1-5, 2018 in Tunja, Colombia through the SSE Evolution International Events Awards. This symposium was presented by the Evolutionary and Epistemological Biology Investigation group (BIEVEP, by its Spanish acronym) and the BIEVEP Foundation. Continue reading for a statement from José Luis Cómbita (Delegate Representative – BIEVEP Study Group and Director of the BIEVEP Foundation, Tunja-Colombia).
The New Faculty Profile series highlights and introduces new Principal Investigators who are SSE members. This month we highlight Dr. Aleeza Gerstein. Dr. Gerstein is an assistant professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Statistics at the University of Manitoba studying how different ecological and genomic factors influence the rate and predictability of evolution. Read her full profile here.
The New Faculty Profile series highlights and introduces new Principal Investigators who are SSE members. This month we highlight Dr. Michael Sheehan. Dr. Sheehan is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University studying the causes and consequences of social evolution. Read his full profile here.
Did you know that when you review for Evolution, you have the option to do so jointly with one of your post-docs or graduate students? In fact, it’s encouraged! Joint reviews with trainees can make for better reviews and help train the next generation of researchers and peer-reviewers. Thank you to all who already do this!
The talks recorded during the Second Joint Conference on Evolutionary Biology in Montpellier are now online. Scroll through the program to view links to PDFs and recordings: https://www.evolutionmontpellier2018.org/program-second-joint-congress-evolutionary-biology
It’s election season again! This year we’ll be voting in a new President-Elect, the North American Vice President, and two new Councilors. Candidate statements will be posted soon on the website, with polls opening in early November. Please join me in thanking our outgoing officers for their hard work and dedication: Past President Sally Otto, North American VP Jenny Boughman, and Councilors Susan Alberts and Becky Fuller. A big thank you also to our Nominating Committee, Norman Johnson, Marc Johnson, and Anne Charmantier for their work selecting the new candidates.
As part of our ongoing efforts to grow and reflect our nature as an international society, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new Global Membership Assistance (GMA) scheme, which will offer free or 50% reduced SSE membership fees to researchers from lower-income countries. This will replace the previous “Developing Nation” discounted membership. Please help spread the word and invite your non-member colleagues in these lower-income countries to consider taking advantage of this new program! Learn more here.
This year the deadlines for the new Graduate Research Excellence Grants (GREG) have shifted. The R.C. Lewontin Early Awards (for students in the first two years of their PhD) will be announced in November with proposals due in mid-February. The Rosemary Grant Advanced Awards (for PhD candidates) will be announced in June 2019 with proposals due in September. Learn more about these grants and how to apply here.
Congratulations to Frances Arnold, George Smith, and Greg Winter on receiving the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry! Half of the award goes to Dr. Arnold for her work on directed evolution of enzymes. The other half is awarded to Dr. Smith and Dr. Winter for their research on the phage display of peptides and antibodies. We are pleased to offer these three outstanding researchers, who use evolutionary principles to engineer proteins, lifetime membership in SSE. Read more about their award-winning work on the Nobel Prize site.
We, the Council of the Society for the Study of Evolution, strongly oppose attempts by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to claim that there is a biological basis to defining gender as a strictly binary trait (male/female) determined by genitalia at birth. Variation in biological sex and in gendered expression has been well documented in many species, including humans, through hundreds of scientific articles. Such variation is observed at both the genetic level and at the individual level (including hormone levels, secondary sexual characteristics, as well as genital morphology). Moreover, models predict that variation should exist within the categories that HHS proposes as "male" and “female”, indicating that sex should be more accurately viewed as a continuum.* Indeed, experiments in other organisms have confirmed that variation in traits associated with sex is more extensive than for many other traits. Beyond the false claim that science backs up a simple binary definition of sex or gender, the lived experience of people clearly demonstrates that the genitalia one is born with do not define one's identity. Diversity is a hallmark of biological species, including humans. As a Society, we welcome this diversity and commit to serving and protecting members regardless of their biological sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.
*Here we are speaking of the multi-dimensional aspects that underlie male-ness and female-ness, including hormones, physiology, morphology, development, and genetic aspects. We acknowledge that many of these aspects are bimodal. Furthermore, some of these aspects are discrete categories (e.g., XX/XY, SRY presence/absence, gamete size, sperm production vs egg production, presence/absence of certain genitalia), but these categories don’t always align within individuals, are not always binary, and should be irrelevant to the determination of a person’s legal rights and freedoms.
Continue reading for a copy of the letter sent to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
This year the SSE International Committee awarded over $20,000 in travel awards to international researchers to attend the Evolution meeting. Continue reading for statements from four recipients.