The SSE Education and Outreach Committee is pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 T. H. Huxley Award, Dr. Katie Grogan and colleagues Dr. Teresa W. Lee and Dr. Justine Liepkalns, who developed an educational activity for teaching evolutionary mechanisms. In the activity, students use a population of sticky notes to reveal the consequences of natural selection, genetic drift, and gene flow on phenotype frequency. Read more here.
Congratulations to the 2018 winner of the R. A. Fisher Prize, Dr. Valerie Morley, for her paper “Dynamics of molecular evolution in RNA virus populations depend on sudden versus gradual environmental change” published in Evolution. The R. A. Fisher Prize is awarded annually by SSE for an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation paper published in the journal Evolution during a given calendar year. The award comes with a $1000 honorarium. Learn more about the prize and this year’s recipient here.
From 2010 to 2017, SSE offered one research award for early career students – the Rosemary Grant Award. SSE has since implemented a new awards program, the Graduate Research Excellence Grants, which include the Rosemary Grant Advanced Award for PhD candidates and the R. C. Lewontin Early Award for students in the first two years of their PhD. Continue reading to hear from past recipients of the original Rosemary Grant Award on how the award helped their graduate research work.
Last month, Evolution Letters published a study by Florence Débarre and colleagues about gender representation at evolution conferences. The study used select data from the SSE membership database and the annual Evolution meeting. The results indicated that the proportion of invited women speakers at conferences is higher when there are more women among the organizers and when organizers consider gender when choosing speakers. SSE will use the findings from this study to better engage a diversity of scientists at future meetings. Read the full paper here.
The New Faculty Profile series highlights and introduces new Principal Investigators who are SSE members. This month we highlight Alison Wright and Cassie Stoddard. Dr. Wright is a NERC Independent Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield studying evolutionary conflicts of interest between males and females and the genomic mechanisms that lead to their resolution. Read her full profile here. Dr. Stoddard is an Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University studying avian vision and coloration as well as the development and structure of avian eggs. Read her full profile here.
Congratulations to the 22 recipients of the 2018 Graduate Research Excellence Grant (GREG) R.C. Lewontin Award! This award assists students in the early stages of their Ph.D. by enabling them to collect preliminary data or to enhance the scope of their research. Thank you to our members whose donations helped fund these awards! Continue reading for a list of this year's recipients.
Thanks to additional donations received earlier this year, SSE and ASN were able to award financial aid to seven additional graduate students in Puerto Rico whose research was impacted by Hurricane Maria last year. Thank you to all who donated!
Last month, SSE funded 4 members to attend the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) Congressional Visits Day and the AIBS Communications Bootcamp in Washington, DC. The event included an advocacy-training program and congressional meetings with elected officials. Continue reading to hear from participants about their experiences.
Due to space constraints at the venue, there will be limited spots to register for Evolution 2018. Please see the message below from the organizers:
General registration for the second Joint Conference on Evolutionary Biology (Montpellier 2018) will open on April 10th 5pm Central European Summer Time (11am EST). We will then apply a first-come, first-served rule independently of whether people are presenting or not. We expect the cap to be reached very quickly once registration is open for all. Prepare your registration in advance to speed up the process.
On April 10th, the registration department will be on duty until 12am (midnight, Central European Summer Time) to answer your queries if you experience difficulties in registering. Then the service will close for a few hours and reopen on April 11th 9am(Central European Summer Time): you can register while the service is closed but specific queries can be answered only during times where it is open.
We will maintain a waiting list for registration and will inform persons on the list as cancellations of registered participants occur.
Looking forward welcoming you in Montpellier.
SSE sponsors and funds a variety of exciting initiatives to further the study of evolution and engage a diversity of people in research. This month we highlight the Colombian Association for Evolutionary Biology (COLEVOL) Symposium. SSE has contributed funds to this program for several years, including last year’s meeting in Cali, Colombia. Continue reading to hear from Franchesco Molina Henao, who helped organize last year’s meeting, about how SSE funding helped them achieve their goals.
The New Faculty Profile series highlights and introduces new Principal Investigators who are SSE members. This month we highlight Jeremy Yoder and Megan Phifer-Rixey. Dr. Yoder is an assistant professor of biology at California State University Northridge studying coevolution and the population genomics of plants. Read his full profile here. Dr. Phifer-Rixey is an assistant professor of biology at Monmouth University studying speciation and adaptation in mice. Read her full profile here.
The SSE Council invites proposals for two SSE-sponsored symposia to be held in conjunction with the 2019 annual meeting in Providence, RI. The Council considers the novelty of the topic and likely interest among its members. We encourage proposals from sub-fields or taxonomic groups that have been underrepresented in past symposia. Please note: The SSE Council considers the diversity of participants as an important criterion for symposium selection. Proposals are due July 15, 2018. Learn more about the selection process and how to submit your proposal here.
Congratulations to the 12 recipients of the 2018 Graduate Research Excellence Grant (GREG) Rosemary Grant Advanced Award! This award, created this year, assists PhD candidates in enhancing the scope of their dissertation research. Thank you to our members whose donations helped fund these awards! Click here to view this year's recipients.
This year SSE is granting more than $100,000 in travel awards to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows attend the Second Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Montpellier. Email notifications have now been sent to the >100 selected awardees. Thank you to our 2017 donors who allowed us to fund extra travel awards!
The SSE Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) is in search of two additional PhD student members to serve in the 2019 cohort! The GSAC represents student interests to the Council and facilitates interaction among students and between students and mentors. Applicants should be organized, outgoing, and possess leadership skills. Learn more about GSAC and apply here by April 15.
Thank you to everyone who donated to ASN and SSE to fund grants to students in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. We were able to grant over $18,000 to help students continue their research. Continue reading to hear one student who received funding, Paola Matos Ruiz, explain the impact of these funds.
It’s never too early to start thinking about the next Evolution meeting! Next year’s meeting with SSE, ASN, and SSB will be in Providence, RI on June 21-25. Keep an eye out for the call for symposium proposals - coming soon!
On February 8, the National Science Foundation (NSF) posted an important notice to presidents of universities and colleges and heads of other NSF grantee organizations stating that the NSF does not tolerate sexual harassment, or any kind of harassment, within the agency, at grantee organizations, field sites, or anywhere NSF-funded science and education are conducted. Read the full notice here.
The SSE Education and Outreach Committee is launching a new program to place teachers in research labs for part of the summer, and we need society members like you to host teachers! Scientists in host labs are asked to work with the teacher to engage them in some aspect of a research project for 4-8 weeks. This program will give teachers funded, hands-on experiences that they can then take back to their classrooms. Continue reading to learn more about the program and how to get involved!
As part of SSE's new series of New Faculty Profiles, we highlight Dr. Sarah W. Fitzpatrick, who is an assistant professor at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University. She studies how genetic drift, gene flow, and selection interact in small and recently isolated populations in a changing environment. Read her full profile here.
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.