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.
Continue reading for the letter sent to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Society for the Study of Evolution was founded in March, 1946. The objectives of the Society for the Study of Evolution are the promotion of the study of organic evolution and the integration of the various fields of science concerned with evolution. The Society publishes the scientific journal Evolution and co-publishes Evolution Letters along with the European Society of Evolutionary Biology. SSE also holds annual meetings in which scientific findings on evolutionary biology are presented and discussed.