ASN RSS https://amnat.org/ Latest press releases and announcements from the ASN en-us Wed, 10 Apr 2024 05:00:00 GMT 60 “Color as an Interspecific Badge of Status: A Comparative Test” https://amnat.org/an/newpapers/Oct-2023-Kenyon-Martin.html Haley L. Kenyon and Paul R. Martin Read the Article Due to the costly nature of physical aggression (injury or death), interaction between members of the same species over resources (intraspecific competition) makes heavy use of color to signal dominance. It is unclear, however, if this also occurs between species competing over resources (interspecific competition). Dr. Kenyon and Dr. Martin sought to address this gap in our understanding by examining the relationship between coloration and dominance status among closely related bird species. They hypothesized that differences in color were indicators of dominance among closely related bird species engaging in aggressive interactions over resources. To test this, the authors used scientific illustrations and written descriptions to measure the proportions of black, white, and carotenoid colors in areas associated with aggressive signaling (face, throat, and bill) and overall appearance for 445 species from 178 genera, examining whether the appearances of dominant species have more of these focal colors. Differences between dominant and subordinate species in the amounts of these colors were considered along with mass difference, evolutionary distance, and range overlap because each factor was expected to impact between-species signaling. Among closely related species of birds, dominant species tend to have more black coloration in key regions commonly used for aggressive signaling compared to subordinate species. This association between dominance and black coloration is consistent across different bird lineages and may be especially important for species without a size advantage to signal dominance. However, the association between dominance and white or carotenoid colors was less consistent across bird species, suggesting that different color signals may vary in their association with dominance depending on the specific lineage of birds. Factors such as size differences and coloration percentage between species were found to influence the importance of focal colors for broadcasting between-species dominance. For instance, the presence of more white coloration may signal dominance when paired with differences in black coloration, while less white coloration may signal subordinance when paired with differences in carotenoid coloration. Dr. Kenyon and Dr. Martin’s work highlights how color-based dominance signals may play a crucial role in mediating interspecific aggressive interactions and promoting coexistence among closely related species. Asking this question of other taxa will enable researchers to understand how color signaling influences between-species aggression. Kate Blackwell is working toward her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution under Dr. Heather Lynch at Stony Brook University. Her work focuses on identifying the nesting locations of Antarctic petrels using satellite imagery and understanding the connectivity between them using genetics and morphology. In her spare time, Kate enjoys scuba diving and running a biweekly book club podcast. <h4>Haley L. Kenyon and Paul R. Martin</h4> <p><i><a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/725916">Read the Article</a></i></p> <p><span style="float: left; font-size: 40px; line-height: 25px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 2px; padding-left: 2px; font-family: Garamond; font-weight: bold;">D</span>ue to the costly nature of physical aggression (injury or death), interaction between members of the same species over resources (intraspecific competition) makes heavy use of color to signal dominance. It is unclear, however, if this also occurs between species competing over resources (interspecific competition). Dr. Kenyon and Dr. Martin sought to address this gap in our understanding by examining the relationship between coloration and dominance status among closely related bird species.</p> <p>They hypothesized that differences in color were indicators of dominance among closely related bird species engaging in aggressive interactions over resources. To test this, the authors used scientific illustrations and written descriptions to measure the proportions of black, white, and carotenoid colors in areas associated with aggressive signaling (face, throat, and bill) and overall appearance for 445 species from 178 genera, examining whether the appearances of dominant species have more of these focal colors. Differences between dominant and subordinate species in the amounts of these colors were considered along with mass difference, evolutionary distance, and range overlap because each factor was expected to impact between-species signaling.</p> <p>Among closely related species of birds, dominant species tend to have more black coloration in key regions commonly used for aggressive signaling compared to subordinate species. This association between dominance and black coloration is consistent across different bird lineages and may be especially important for species without a size advantage to signal dominance. However, the association between dominance and white or carotenoid colors was less consistent across bird species, suggesting that different color signals may vary in their association with dominance depending on the specific lineage of birds. Factors such as size differences and coloration percentage between species were found to influence the importance of focal colors for broadcasting between-species dominance. For instance, the presence of more white coloration may signal dominance when paired with differences in black coloration, while less white coloration may signal subordinance when paired with differences in carotenoid coloration.</p> <p>Dr. Kenyon and Dr. Martin&rsquo;s work highlights how color-based dominance signals may play a crucial role in mediating interspecific aggressive interactions and promoting coexistence among closely related species. Asking this question of other taxa will enable researchers to understand how color signaling influences between-species aggression.</p> <hr /><p>Kate Blackwell is working toward her Ph.D. in Ecology &amp; Evolution under Dr. Heather Lynch at Stony Brook University. Her work focuses on identifying the nesting locations of Antarctic petrels using satellite imagery and understanding the connectivity between them using genetics and morphology. In her spare time, Kate enjoys scuba diving and running a biweekly book club podcast.</p> Wed, 10 Apr 2024 05:00:00 GMT “Mutation and Selection Induce Correlations between Selection Coefficients and Mutation Rates” https://amnat.org/an/newpapers/Oct-2023-Gitschlag-et-al.html Bryan L. Gitschlag, Alejandro V. Cano, Joshua L. Payne, David M. McCandlish, and Arlin Stoltzfus Read the Article Exploring the causes and consequences of evolutionary adaptation has led to countless discoveries about how life changes over time. As a compound process, adaptation is subject to the effects of both mutations and selection. In terms of mutation, only some beneficial mutations will occur in a given interval out of all possible beneficial mutations. Among those that occur, even fewer will be present in all population members or “fixed.” Whether a mutation fixes depends partially on the occurrence rate and the fitness effect, which represents the relative fitness of a mutation. Since mutations are “random,” one might suppose that the probability of a mutation occurring is unrelated to its effect on fitness; that is, the joint distribution of mutation rates and fitness effects is uninteresting. However, recent work shows that the adaptation process can induce notable correlations between the distributions of mutation rates and fitness effects. Researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, ETH Z&uuml;rich in Switzerland, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland developed a formal theory to make sense of correlations between mutation rates and fitness effects. To do so, they distinguished between three different joint distributions for each possible mutation: the nominal distribution (a set of possibilities prior to mutation and selection), de novo distribution (the relative probability that any given mutation in the nominal distribution will appear next), and fixed distribution (the fixed mutations in a population). Mutations with higher mutation rates should occur more often, which can result in a biased distribution. This concept, called “size-biasing,” is a process that systematically reweights distributions to favor larger outcomes and is used to generate the de novo and fixed distributions. For mathematically tractable cases, the three joint distributions can show any pattern of positive and negative correlations. The authors randomly sampled nominal distributions from a continuous distribution to simulate biologically realistic theoretical distributions. Interestingly, this revealed that mutation and selection will most frequently, but not always, induce negative correlations in the fixed distributions. However, patterns among the joint distributions can become complicated due to complex nominal distributions, outliers with high mutation rates and fitness effects, and differences between single-nucleotide and multi-nucleotide mutations (a proxy for high-rate versus low-rate mutations). To begin exploring the potential effects of these factors, two recently published datasets with mutation rate and fitness values were considered. The first, a dataset on dengue virus variants, demonstrated a negative correlation in the fixed distribution. The other, a dataset of mutations in the TP53 (tumor encoding) gene, had a more modest relationship in the fixed distribution, but characterizing mutations as single-nucleotide or multi-nucleotide strengthened this correlation. Through a combination of theoretical work and connections to published datasets, the authors demonstrated an initial theoretical framework for addressing nonrandom associations between the rates and fitness effects of mutations. Applications of this framework to real datasets showed correlations between mutation rates and fitness effects in disparate real-world systems similar to predictions. Future applications include expanding this framework to include the joint distributions of contributions to adaptation and parallelism and investigating what intrinsic biological factors may impact nominal distributions. This work&#39;s impacts span computational biology and genetics fields and may reveal variation in evolutionary patterns among species. This article was presented as part of the 2022 Vice Presidential Symposium at the annual meetings of the American Society of Naturalists in Cleveland, Ohio. Alex Pamfilie is a Ph.D. Candidate at Stony Brook University in Dr. Natasha Vitek&#39;s lab. She combines methods from morphology, genomics, and paleontology to study diversification processes in mammals. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction novels, crocheting, and playing video games. <h4>Bryan L. Gitschlag, Alejandro V. Cano, Joshua L. Payne, David M. McCandlish, and Arlin Stoltzfus</h4> <p><i><a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/726014">Read the Article</a></i></p> <p><span style="float: left; font-size: 40px; line-height: 25px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 2px; padding-left: 2px; font-family: Garamond; font-weight: bold;">E</span>xploring the causes and consequences of evolutionary adaptation has led to countless discoveries about how life changes over time. As a compound process, adaptation is subject to the effects of both mutations and selection. In terms of mutation, only some beneficial mutations will occur in a given interval out of all possible beneficial mutations. Among those that occur, even fewer will be present in all population members or &ldquo;fixed.&rdquo; Whether a mutation fixes depends partially on the occurrence rate and the fitness effect, which represents the relative fitness of a mutation. Since mutations are &ldquo;random,&rdquo; one might suppose that the probability of a mutation occurring is unrelated to its effect on fitness; that is, the joint distribution of mutation rates and fitness effects is uninteresting. However, recent work shows that the adaptation process can induce notable correlations between the distributions of mutation rates and fitness effects.</p> <p>Researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, ETH Z&uuml;rich in Switzerland, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland developed a formal theory to make sense of correlations between mutation rates and fitness effects. To do so, they distinguished between three different joint distributions for each possible mutation: the nominal distribution (a set of possibilities prior to mutation and selection), de novo distribution (the relative probability that any given mutation in the nominal distribution will appear next), and fixed distribution (the fixed mutations in a population). Mutations with higher mutation rates should occur more often, which can result in a biased distribution. This concept, called &ldquo;size-biasing,&rdquo; is a process that systematically reweights distributions to favor larger outcomes and is used to generate the de novo and fixed distributions.</p> <p>For mathematically tractable cases, the three joint distributions can show any pattern of positive and negative correlations. The authors randomly sampled nominal distributions from a continuous distribution to simulate biologically realistic theoretical distributions. Interestingly, this revealed that mutation and selection will most frequently, but not always, induce negative correlations in the fixed distributions. However, patterns among the joint distributions can become complicated due to complex nominal distributions, outliers with high mutation rates and fitness effects, and differences between single-nucleotide and multi-nucleotide mutations (a proxy for high-rate versus low-rate mutations).</p> <p>To begin exploring the potential effects of these factors, two recently published datasets with mutation rate and fitness values were considered. The first, a dataset on dengue virus variants, demonstrated a negative correlation in the fixed distribution. The other, a dataset of mutations in the TP53 (tumor encoding) gene, had a more modest relationship in the fixed distribution, but characterizing mutations as single-nucleotide or multi-nucleotide strengthened this correlation.</p> <p>Through a combination of theoretical work and connections to published datasets, the authors demonstrated an initial theoretical framework for addressing nonrandom associations between the rates and fitness effects of mutations. Applications of this framework to real datasets showed correlations between mutation rates and fitness effects in disparate real-world systems similar to predictions. Future applications include expanding this framework to include the joint distributions of contributions to adaptation and parallelism and investigating what intrinsic biological factors may impact nominal distributions. This work&#39;s impacts span computational biology and genetics fields and may reveal variation in evolutionary patterns among species.</p> <p><i>This article was presented as part of the 2022 Vice Presidential Symposium at the annual meetings of the American Society of Naturalists in Cleveland, Ohio. </i></p> <hr /><p>Alex Pamfilie is a Ph.D. Candidate at Stony Brook University in Dr. Natasha Vitek&#39;s lab. She combines methods from morphology, genomics, and paleontology to study diversification processes in mammals. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction novels, crocheting, and playing video games.</p> Wed, 10 Apr 2024 05:00:00 GMT “Seasonality in Environment and Population Processes Alters Population Spatial Synchrony” https://amnat.org/an/newpapers/Oct-2023-Walter-et-al.html Jonathan A. Walter, Daniel C. Reuman, Kimberly R. Hall, Herman H. Shugart, and Lauren G. Shoemaker Read the Article Spatial synchrony is a key feature of pest and disease outbreaks and major source of instability, but little is known about how seasonality affects it. Walter et al. show using theoretical models how seasonality in population processes and environmental drivers alters synchrony. Cold winds and snow buffet the deer of an isolated valley. The harsh winter conditions dramatically reduce survival over the season, causing the deer population to plummet. We might expect a similar fate for the deer of a neighboring valley, but where does this intuition come from? The essential concept in this scenario is spatial population synchrony, defined as the tendency of spatially separated populations to experience similar demographic change. One of the main causes of this synchrony is the response of populations to environmental conditions correlated over space, known as the Moran effect. We expect both valleys to experience particularly intense winters while simultaneously resulting in similar declines in the two deer populations. Overall, greater synchrony between populations is expected to destabilize metapopulations, reducing the chance that one subpopulation will survive and repopulate the landscape while increasing the probability of total extinction of the metapopulation. Yet environmental conditions can vary over time and space; the same deer populations will experience spring, and environmental conditions in this season may or may not correlate with the winter. The degree of spatial correlation could differ between seasons, complicating our ability to predict how synchronous the populations will result over time. The impact of seasonality on spatial synchrony has gone relatively understudied despite the importance of seasonality to countless species. Seasons bring variations in environmental temperatures, precipitation, and population processes (e.g., seasonal reproduction and migration). Quantifying the many impacts of seasonality on spatial synchrony is challenging using empirical studies, as they require long-term data in several locations and can struggle to determine causality. Instead, theoretical studies can be employed to provide clear expectations and mechanistically link the different features of seasonality to spatial synchrony. In this paper, Jonathan Walter and his colleagues expanded on classic models of spatial synchrony by adding seasonality, thereby exploring how environmental correlations between two populations in a winter and breeding season impact their synchrony over time. The authors analytically solved how population growth and synchrony depended on covariation between populations and seasons and used simulations to compare these relationships in various scenarios, including situations with dispersal and over-winter reproduction. Within certain contexts, the models behaved as expected, with greater environmental correlations between populations resulting in greater synchrony. However, the correlation between population change could become negative under certain scenarios, meaning even if the environments of both populations were correlated, the populations could be asynchronous depending on exactly how correlated the winter and breeding season environments were. Interactions between the spatial correlations of winter and breeding season conditions could also result in greater synchrony between the populations than in models without seasons. Finally, the relationship between environmental correlations and spatial synchrony depended on the strength of density dependence, where moving from weak to strong intraspecific competition sometimes flipped the relationship between parameters and spatial synchrony. Overall, the authors found that across biologically relevant forms of seasonality, population synchrony can behave in unexpected ways. These findings could help explain known discrepancies between winter and breeding season population synchrony measurements used to monitor migratory bird populations. The authors also note that changing whether population size estimates were calculated for the breeding season or winter could change whether the populations appeared synchronous or asynchronous, identifying how the timing of population monitoring can bias estimates of spatial synchrony. Cross-seasonal and spatial environmental correlations are changing in response to climate change in ways that could result in greater synchrony across populations. Whether a metapopulation synchronizes and is driven to extinction by a harsh winter or summer drought depends on a slew of parameters explored by Walter et al. The authors created a plethora of model worlds that can lay the groundwork for empirical studies into preserving populations in our rapidly changing world. Jeremy Summers is a PhD student at the University of Rochester studying the demographic and genetic consequences of dispersal in birds. They are also interested in long-term human impacts on species and landscapes, and in innovative ways of teaching ecology and evolution. When not talking science, Jeremy enjoys hiking, cooking, and playing board games. <h4>Jonathan A. Walter, Daniel C. Reuman, Kimberly R. Hall, Herman H. Shugart, and Lauren G. Shoemaker</h4> <p><i><a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/725804">Read the Article</a></i></p> <i>Spatial synchrony is a key feature of pest and disease outbreaks and major source of instability, but little is known about how seasonality affects it. Walter et al. show using theoretical models how seasonality in population processes and environmental drivers alters synchrony.</i> <p><span style="float: left; font-size: 40px; line-height: 25px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 2px; padding-left: 2px; font-family: Garamond; font-weight: bold;">C</span>old winds and snow buffet the deer of an isolated valley. The harsh winter conditions dramatically reduce survival over the season, causing the deer population to plummet. We might expect a similar fate for the deer of a neighboring valley, but where does this intuition come from?</p> <p>The essential concept in this scenario is spatial population synchrony, defined as the tendency of spatially separated populations to experience similar demographic change. One of the main causes of this synchrony is the response of populations to environmental conditions correlated over space, known as the Moran effect. We expect both valleys to experience particularly intense winters while simultaneously resulting in similar declines in the two deer populations. Overall, greater synchrony between populations is expected to destabilize metapopulations, reducing the chance that one subpopulation will survive and repopulate the landscape while increasing the probability of total extinction of the metapopulation.</p> <p>Yet environmental conditions can vary over time and space; the same deer populations will experience spring, and environmental conditions in this season may or may not correlate with the winter. The degree of spatial correlation could differ between seasons, complicating our ability to predict how synchronous the populations will result over time. The impact of seasonality on spatial synchrony has gone relatively understudied despite the importance of seasonality to countless species. Seasons bring variations in environmental temperatures, precipitation, and population processes (e.g., seasonal reproduction and migration). Quantifying the many impacts of seasonality on spatial synchrony is challenging using empirical studies, as they require long-term data in several locations and can struggle to determine causality. Instead, theoretical studies can be employed to provide clear expectations and mechanistically link the different features of seasonality to spatial synchrony.</p> <p>In this paper, Jonathan Walter and his colleagues expanded on classic models of spatial synchrony by adding seasonality, thereby exploring how environmental correlations between two populations in a winter and breeding season impact their synchrony over time. The authors analytically solved how population growth and synchrony depended on covariation between populations and seasons and used simulations to compare these relationships in various scenarios, including situations with dispersal and over-winter reproduction. Within certain contexts, the models behaved as expected, with greater environmental correlations between populations resulting in greater synchrony. However, the correlation between population change could become negative under certain scenarios, meaning even if the environments of both populations were correlated, the populations could be asynchronous depending on exactly how correlated the winter and breeding season environments were. Interactions between the spatial correlations of winter and breeding season conditions could also result in greater synchrony between the populations than in models without seasons. Finally, the relationship between environmental correlations and spatial synchrony depended on the strength of density dependence, where moving from weak to strong intraspecific competition sometimes flipped the relationship between parameters and spatial synchrony.</p> <p>Overall, the authors found that across biologically relevant forms of seasonality, population synchrony can behave in unexpected ways. These findings could help explain known discrepancies between winter and breeding season population synchrony measurements used to monitor migratory bird populations. The authors also note that changing whether population size estimates were calculated for the breeding season or winter could change whether the populations appeared synchronous or asynchronous, identifying how the timing of population monitoring can bias estimates of spatial synchrony.</p> <p>Cross-seasonal and spatial environmental correlations are changing in response to climate change in ways that could result in greater synchrony across populations. Whether a metapopulation synchronizes and is driven to extinction by a harsh winter or summer drought depends on a slew of parameters explored by Walter <i>et al.</i> The authors created a plethora of model worlds that can lay the groundwork for empirical studies into preserving populations in our rapidly changing world.</p> <hr /><p>Jeremy Summers is a PhD student at the University of Rochester studying the demographic and genetic consequences of dispersal in birds. They are also interested in long-term human impacts on species and landscapes, and in innovative ways of teaching ecology and evolution. When not talking science, Jeremy enjoys hiking, cooking, and playing board games.</p> Wed, 10 Apr 2024 05:00:00 GMT “Whole-Genome Sequencing Reveals That Regulatory and Low Pleiotropy Variants Underlie Local Adaptation to Environmental Variability in Purple Sea Urchins” https://amnat.org/an/newpapers/Oct-2023-Petak-et-al.html Csenge Petak, Lapo Frati, Reid S. Brennan, and Melissa H. Pespeni Read the Article The genetic basis of local adaptation to environmental variability is poorly understood, and few studies have investigated genetic regulatory regions for their role in local adaptation to environmental variability. However, mutations in these regions may be important for adaptation to variability, particularly for broadly distributed species across spatially and temporally varying environments. Variation in regulatory regions can change the expression of nearby genes, facilitating local adaptation. These regulatory regions may also underlie molecular mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity, critical for resilience to sudden environmental change. Csenge Petak et al. of the University of Vermont, Burlington, addressed this knowledge gap by testing for signatures of local adaptation to temporal pH variability in the purple sea urchin. The purple sea urchin range encompasses a heterogeneous seascape, where northern Pacific coastal populations experience more variability in pH and higher frequency of low pH events due to upwelling. Importantly, low pH conditions are negatively associated with biomineralization ability and body size of urchin larvae, which can impede development. In their study, Petak et al. sequenced whole genomes of 140 purple sea urchin individuals collected from seven range-wide sites, ranging from Fogarty Creek, OR, to San Diego, CA. Despite finding no population structure across 1,700 km of seascape, they found that putatively adaptive genetic variants were strongly correlated with pH variability, associated with biomineralization and ion homeostasis, and largely found in genetic regulatory regions. This is an interesting paradox where extensive gene flow exists, but there are also population-level differences at specific loci correlated with adaptation to local environmental variability. The paradox could be explained by high genetic diversity in combination with low linkage disequilibrium, or high-fecundity, large populations that are responsive to strong selection. While many of the genetic variants associated with local adaptation to pH variability were found in regulatory regions, some were found in genes. However, putatively adaptive variants were uncommon in proteins connected in a protein-protein interaction network and in genes expressed during early development. Given this, Petak et al. conclude that loci with low pleiotropic effects are particularly important for local adaptation to environmental variability. In conclusion, the authors found that genetic variation in regulatory regions and in genes of low pleiotropic effect was driving local adaptation to temporal pH variability. Notably, genetic variation involved in local adaptation to pH variability was not found in key developmental genes. This set of results implies that the diversity of genetic variation found in purple sea urchins contributes to plastic responses which promote survival in low pH conditions. In a broader context, the genetic variation observed in regulatory regions will likely play a crucial role in potential future adaptation to ocean acidification from global climate change. This article was presented as part of the 2022 Vice Presidential Symposium at the annual meetings of the American Society of Naturalists in Cleveland, Ohio. Madeline Eppley is a PhD student at Northeastern University studying the relationship between spatial and temporal evolution in marine systems. They use eastern oyster genomics to investigate patterns of adaptation to environment and disease across space and time. When they’re not tackling cool science, they tackle people as a rugby player. <h4>Csenge Petak, Lapo Frati, Reid S. Brennan, and Melissa H. Pespeni</h4> <p><i><a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/726013">Read the Article</a></i></p> <p><span style="float: left; font-size: 40px; line-height: 25px; padding-top: 4px; padding-right: 2px; padding-left: 2px; font-family: Garamond; font-weight: bold;">T</span>he genetic basis of local adaptation to environmental variability is poorly understood, and few studies have investigated genetic regulatory regions for their role in local adaptation to environmental variability. However, mutations in these regions may be important for adaptation to variability, particularly for broadly distributed species across spatially and temporally varying environments. Variation in regulatory regions can change the expression of nearby genes, facilitating local adaptation. These regulatory regions may also underlie molecular mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity, critical for resilience to sudden environmental change.</p> <p>Csenge Petak et al. of the University of Vermont, Burlington, addressed this knowledge gap by testing for signatures of local adaptation to temporal pH variability in the purple sea urchin. The purple sea urchin range encompasses a heterogeneous seascape, where northern Pacific coastal populations experience more variability in pH and higher frequency of low pH events due to upwelling. Importantly, low pH conditions are negatively associated with biomineralization ability and body size of urchin larvae, which can impede development.</p> <p>In their study, Petak et al. sequenced whole genomes of 140 purple sea urchin individuals collected from seven range-wide sites, ranging from Fogarty Creek, OR, to San Diego, CA. Despite finding no population structure across 1,700 km of seascape, they found that putatively adaptive genetic variants were strongly correlated with pH variability, associated with biomineralization and ion homeostasis, and largely found in genetic regulatory regions. This is an interesting paradox where extensive gene flow exists, but there are also population-level differences at specific loci correlated with adaptation to local environmental variability. The paradox could be explained by high genetic diversity in combination with low linkage disequilibrium, or high-fecundity, large populations that are responsive to strong selection.</p> <p>While many of the genetic variants associated with local adaptation to pH variability were found in regulatory regions, some were found in genes. However, putatively adaptive variants were uncommon in proteins connected in a protein-protein interaction network and in genes expressed during early development. Given this, Petak et al. conclude that loci with low pleiotropic effects are particularly important for local adaptation to environmental variability.</p> <p>In conclusion, the authors found that genetic variation in regulatory regions and in genes of low pleiotropic effect was driving local adaptation to temporal pH variability. Notably, genetic variation involved in local adaptation to pH variability was not found in key developmental genes. This set of results implies that the diversity of genetic variation found in purple sea urchins contributes to plastic responses which promote survival in low pH conditions. In a broader context, the genetic variation observed in regulatory regions will likely play a crucial role in potential future adaptation to ocean acidification from global climate change.</p> <p><i>This article was presented as part of the 2022 Vice Presidential Symposium at the annual meetings of the American Society of Naturalists in Cleveland, Ohio.</i></p> <hr /><p>Madeline Eppley is a PhD student at Northeastern University studying the relationship between spatial and temporal evolution in marine systems. They use eastern oyster genomics to investigate patterns of adaptation to environment and disease across space and time. When they’re not tackling cool science, they tackle people as a rugby player.</p> Wed, 10 Apr 2024 05:00:00 GMT ASN Code of Ethics https://amnat.org/about/asn-code-of-ethics.html Why Implement a Code of Ethics? Scientific societies play a critical role in setting and upholding standards of excellence in the field. To foster a vibrant society that is welcoming to everyone, standards of excellence must encompass: our activities (high quality scientific research, teaching, and outreach) and our behavior (high standards of professional and ethical conduct). Until now, our professional societies have operated with an uncodified understanding of professional and ethical conduct. The problem with unstated rules is that different people can have a different understanding of what is appropriate. For example, if a professor is fired for violating a university&#39;s policies on sexual harassment and sexual discrimination, should they be eligible to serve as editor of a society journal, considered for a society award, or as a candidate for president of the society? What information will be used in making this determination, what will the process be, and who has the authority to make a decision? Having clear standards and procedures in place that have been vetted by lawyers provides societies with a transparent and fair process for addressing these real world examples of misconduct. This Code of Ethics makes explicit our shared standards of professional ethics and establishes a transparent process for upholding them. After reviewing numerous existing societal codes of ethics, drawing on resources and templates outlining best practices from the AAAS Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM, and going through several rounds of expert legal review, a joint-society committee has created a robust system that is transparent in its process, removes conflicts of interest in its implementation, and will result in appropriate sanctions when needed. An enforcement process for severe breaches of conduct, that includes sanctions and legal protections for those involved in the process of upholding the Code of Ethics, is critical for providing accountability. There are also provisions for less formal means of resolution that focus on community building, education, and restorative actions. This Code of Ethics dovetails with the already implemented Code of Conduct for Evolution meetings to provide a means of addressing ethical conduct in professional settings outside of the society-sponsored annual meeting. We believe that this Code of Ethics is one step towards making sure that everyone: has a shared understanding of appropriate conduct, is protected from abuse, and can seek recourse when faced with conduct concerns. After review and comments by the membership in 2022, the Code of Ethics Joint Committee has revised the Code of Ethics and its Enforcement Policy. Members of each society voted to adopt the SSE Code of Ethics. The ASN policy went into effect January 1, 2024. Code of Ethics (ASN) 1. Interactions with research and professional communities Adhere to community standards and journal policies regarding authorship, data availability, the disclosure of conflicts-of-interest, and service as editor or reviewer. Generate and disseminate knowledge with integrity and rigor. Actions such as falsifying data, plagiarism, and the failure to appropriately credit the contributions of others constitute unethical conduct. Report unethical or illegal research practices to the appropriate authorities, such as journal editors or university administration, when in a position to do so, and do not knowingly file false reports. Follow encouraging, constructive, inclusive, and respectful professional interactions and institutional practices. Unethical conduct such as harassment, discrimination, bullying, retaliation, and abuse of power are unacceptable. 2. Interactions with governments, institutions, and researchers Comply with legal requirements and ethical guidelines designed to protect human subjects and ensure the safety of all team members. Treat Indigenous and local communities with dignity and respect. Ensure responsible treatment of study organisms and local ecosystems. Comply with all regulations and agreements (including with sovereign Indigenous nations) regarding permitting, benefit sharing, reporting, and voucher specimens. Supply reports, specimens, and other specified services (e.g., seminars and training) as agreed upon in research authorizations. 3. Interactions with the public Promote an accurate understanding of our discipline when engaging with the public, including students. Ensure that the information presented is accurate and well supported when offering professional commentary. Members of the ASN have the right to criticize their colleagues, but they endeavor to do so without personal animus and without seeking to intimidate or coerce. Freedom of expression is crucial to the community of scientific practice, but such expression should not be used to bully or demean others.Process Review a text version of this flow chart below. Code of Ethics Process Acronyms: Investigatory Agent (IA), Ethics Review Committee (ERC) Optional: Contact the Investigatory Agent (IA) or any member of the Ethics Review Committee (ERC) to discuss your concerns and a potential complaint. Fill out a Complaint Form and submit it to the IA. IA may conduct initial information gathering, and then will make a Recommendation, which is accepted or amended by the ERC Chair. Potential outcomes of this are: Complaint is dismissed. ERC Chair informs Complainant. Respondent and any identified targets are not notified unless contacted by the IA during initial fact-finding. Optional: The Complainant may initiate an appeal to an Appeals Board. IA-led Resolutions Process. ERC Chair informs Complainant, Respondent, and any identified targets. The IA directs the resolutions process via education and/or mediation. Adjudication Committee is formed by the ERC Chair plus two members of the ERC. This committee can direct the IA to conduct additional investigation and fact-finding. When it is satisfied that it has the information needed (or all that it is possible to obtain), it votes on recommendations of responsibility and sanctions. Recommendations and supporting documentation are forwarded to the ASN Executive Committee. The Executive Committee makes the Final Determination about the responsibility and the actual remedial and/or disciplinary action. The ASN President informs the Complainant, Respondent, and any identified targets of the outcome. Optional: The Complainant, Respondent, and any identified targets may initiate an appeal to an Appeals Board. Frequently Asked Questions SCOPE | ROLES | CONFIDENTIALITY | PROCESS | OUTCOMES | TIMELINES Scope To whom does the Code of Ethics apply? The code applies to all members of the societies, and all individuals who participate in society-sponsored activities or provide services to the societies. These include elected and appointed leaders and committee members; nominees for, and holders of, honors and awards; and editorial boards of society journals and authors who publish in society journals. The Code of Conduct governs society-sponsored meetings. Anyone who engages in activities sponsored by the society, or joins the society, opts in to the Code of Ethics. Can a complaint be filed against someone who is not a member of the societies? Each society’s Ethics Review Committee has discretion whether to accept complaints against non-members of the society who were members at the time of the alleged unethical conduct or whose membership, role, or relationship with the societies has recently lapsed, as well as individuals who participate in society-sponsored activities or provide services to the societies. Can a complaint be filed about someone’s personal conduct? Violent, illegal, or otherwise unethical misconduct in personal affairs can be considered if it casts serious doubt on one’s ability to uphold professional ethical standards. However, legal conduct in an individual’s intimate personal relationships does not violate the code so long as the conduct is not undertaken in a society or other professional activity or role. Should a complaint relating to publication ethics be directed to the journal or this COE? Complaints relating to publication ethics should be directed to the journal. Society journals are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics. The editor of a society-owned journal may initiate a complaint by referring the matter to the Investigatory Agent when there has been a determination of a violation of publication ethics. Does the Code of Ethics obligate me to report something? Reporting is strongly encouraged when an observer is in a position to do so in a manner they believe is safe for them. However, failure to report an incident does not constitute a breach of the Code of Ethics. Can the society use results from investigations conducted by other entities? The Ethics Review Committee and Executive Committee may use information gathered by other entities when it is available. However, all determinations are solely at the discretion of the society. What if someone makes an intentionally false accusation? Intentionally false, malicious, or groundless complaints violate the Code of Ethics and could result in sanctions. Should complaints related to society journals be submitted here or to the journal publisher? COPE guidelines cover society journals, and the Code of Ethics will apply to anything beyond the scope of COPE. Complaints under the Code of Ethics could also affect society activities unrelated to the society journals, even if the complaint was related to the journal. Why does each society have a separate Code of Ethics? Legally, the societies are separate entities from one another. Therefore each society has its own Code of Ethics and any complaints submitted to more than one society will be evaluated independently. Roles Who is on the Ethics Review Committee? The Ethics Review Committee for SSE is chaired by the Past President and includes eight other SSE members who are appointed by the President-Elect, with the approval of elected Council. The Ethics Review Committee for SSB is chaired by the Past-President and includes eight other SSB members who are appointed by the President-Elect, with the approval of elected Council. The ASN Ethics Review Committee is chaired by the Past-President of ASN’s Executive Council and includes four other ASN members. Once formed, the committee for SSE will be able to be viewed here, the committee for SSB will be able to be found here, and the committee for ASN will be able to be viewed here. Who is on an Adjudication Committee? An Adjudication Committee is composed of the Chair and two other members of the Ethics Review Committee. The Chair selects two members, in consultation with the Investigatory Agent to avoid conflicts of interest. Who is the Investigatory Agent? The Investigatory Agent will be an independent entity contracted by the Societies to assist in the fulfillment of the CoE, similar to the independent safety officers who carry out the Code of Conduct at the annual Evolution meetings. What is the role of the Investigatory Agent? The role of the Investigatory Agent is to receive complaints, perform initial reviews and investigations regarding whether the claim is credible, forward an initial recommendation (with supporting rationales) to the Ethics Review Committee as to how a complaint should be handled, conduct IA-led resolutions, and conduct further investigations as directed by an adjudication committee.Once an adjudication committee is formed, all final decisions rest with the societies’ elected leaders. What happens if the Ethics Review Committee disagrees with the recommendation of the Investigatory Agent? If the IA recommends dismissal, but the Ethics Review Committee disagrees with the recommendation, it will ask the IA to form an Adjudication Committee or conduct an IA-led resolution process. If the IA recommends adjudication, but the Ethics Review Committee unanimously disagrees, the complaint will be dismissed or the Ethics Review Committee will direct the IA to lead a resolutions process. The Ethics Review Committee may also rely on a determination made by an outside authority rather than directing the IA to conduct an investigation. Confidentiality Can I file an anonymous complaint? Yes, but if insufficient information is provided in or attached to the complaint to enable an investigation, it may be dismissed by the Investigatory Agent. Can I file a verbal complaint? Complaints must be submitted using the official complaint form. However, you may reach out to the Investigatory Agent, a member of the Ethics Review Committee, or any member of the society Governing Council to discuss a conduct concern prior to submitting a complaint. If I file a complaint, will my name be made known to the person I accuse? The societies seek to maintain confidentiality of the substance and process for resolving Complaints and conduct concerns. Except as specified in Section VII (confidentiality exceptions), the names and identities of complainants, identified targets if other than the complainant, respondents, and any other key persons shall be kept confidential. However, confidentiality does not ensure anonymity. The Chair or President may notify the respondent about a complaint or concern and their ability to respond, a determination, the right to appeal, and the determination of an appeal. How will confidentiality be protected? All records related to the complaint, investigation, and adjudication will be maintained by the Investigatory Agent (IA) in a secure, confidential format. The IA may provide confidential information to others involved in any capacity in an investigation or review of a complaint or conduct concern (for example, members of an adjudication committee), but in doing so the IA will remind those who receive the information of their confidentiality obligation. Who will be notified of the outcome of an investigation? After the Executive Committee has made a final determination, the society President will inform the complainant, any identified targets of the unethical conduct who are not the complainant, and the respondent of the decision and any actions to be imposed. The society President may also notify the home institution of a respondent. Nominations, including self-nominations, for society awards and prizes will include a requirement to disclose whether or not the nominee has been the subject of an investigation or violation of the Code of Ethics. If a nominee indicates that they have been the subject of an investigation or violation of the Code of Ethics, the award committee will discuss the matter with the Investigatory Agent and make a judgment as to whether to consider the nominee for the award. A confidential archive of complaints will be maintained for the Ethics Review Committee, in the same way as for the Evolution meeting Code of Conduct. Process What happens after I file a complaint? A graphical overview of the process for receiving complaints is viewable above. The complaint form is received by the Investigatory Agent (IA), who will conduct a preliminary review to determine whether to recommend to the Ethics Review Committee Chair that the complaint should be addressed in an IA-led process, dismissed without notifying the Respondent, or referred to an adjudication committee. What would lead to a complaint being immediately dismissed? Complaints may be dismissed if (1) the complaint form is incomplete, (2) the complaint is patently frivolous or otherwise without merit, (3) there is insufficient information provided with the complaint to enable an investigation, or (4) if the complaint is directed against an individual who is not covered by the Code of Ethics or concerns an issue that is not within the scope of the Code of Ethics. How will it be decided if a complaint is handled informally (directly by the IA) or formally (via an adjudication committee)? The goals of an IA-led process are education, community-building, repair of relationships, and restoration of inclusion, rather than punishment. Appendix B outlines the criteria for an IA-led process, which include considerations about the nature and severity of the conduct concern, lack of a pattern of ongoing recurrence, a commitment to avoid repetition, and both the accused and any identified targets agreeing that it is unnecessary to determine via adjudication whether the Code of Ethics has been violated. Outcomes What sanctions might result from a determination? Examples of disciplinary and remedial actions are outlined in Section VI. These include mediation, private reprimand, public or private apology, notification of home institution, denial of society membership privileges, suspension of publication rights, denial of editorial activities, revocation of honors and awards, removal from office or nomination, and termination of membership. Can sanctions be imposed before an outcome is determined? Yes, Appendix C outlines when and how short-term actions can be taken if there are serious concerns about safety or disruption of society activities. Can I appeal an outcome? Yes. A respondent, complainant, or identified target of unethical conduct may appeal the decision and any sanctions imposed under certain circumstances. Appeals will be considered by an Appeal Board, consisting of three people appointed by the society president from the society council. Timelines Could something that happened a long time ago be the subject of a complaint? There is no time limit on conduct that could be the subject of a complaint. How long does this process take? This will depend on the details of the complaint, including the length of time it takes for the Investigatory Agent to conduct investigations and whether an adjudication committee is convened. Two key points have a 30-day response period (with allowance for exceptions): for the respondent to reply to the Investigatory Agent, and for any involved party to submit an appeal. Enforcement Policy Here is the Enforcement Policy for the ASN (PDF format).Complaint Form Click "Download File" to preview the complaint submission form as a Word document. This form is for members of all three societies. <h2 align="center">Why Implement a Code of Ethics?</h2> <p><strong>Scientific societies play a critical role in setting and upholding standards of excellence in the field. </strong></p> <p>To foster a vibrant society that is welcoming to everyone, <strong> standards of excellence </strong> must encompass:</p> <ul> <li>our <strong>activities</strong> (high quality scientific research, teaching, and outreach) and</li> <li>our <strong>behavior</strong> (high standards of professional and ethical conduct).</li> </ul> <p>Until now, our professional societies have operated with an uncodified understanding of professional and ethical conduct. The problem with unstated rules is that different people can have a different understanding of what is appropriate.</p> <p>For example, if a professor is fired for violating a university&#39;s policies on sexual harassment and sexual discrimination, should they be eligible to serve as editor of a society journal, considered for a society award, or as a candidate for president of the society? What information will be used in making this determination, what will the process be, and who has the authority to make a decision? Having clear standards and procedures in place that have been vetted by lawyers provides societies with a transparent and fair process for addressing these real world examples of misconduct.</p> <p><strong>This Code of Ethics makes explicit our shared standards of professional ethics and establishes a transparent process for upholding them. </strong></p> <p>After reviewing numerous existing societal codes of ethics, drawing on resources and templates outlining best practices from the <strong> <a href="https://societiesconsortium.com/">AAAS Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM</a></strong>, and going through several rounds of expert legal review, <strong> a joint-society committee has created a robust system that is transparent in its process, removes conflicts of interest in its implementation, and will result in appropriate sanctions when needed. </strong></p> <p>An <strong>enforcement process</strong> for severe breaches of conduct, that includes sanctions and legal protections for those involved in the process of upholding the Code of Ethics, is critical for providing <strong> accountability</strong>. There are also provisions for less formal means of resolution that focus on <strong> community building, education, and restorative actions</strong>.</p> <p>This Code of Ethics dovetails with the already implemented <strong> <a href="https://www.evolutionmeetings.org/policies.html">Code of Conduct for Evolution meetings</a> </strong> to provide a means of addressing ethical conduct in professional settings outside of the society-sponsored annual meeting.</p> <p><strong>We believe that this Code of Ethics is one step towards making sure that everyone: </strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>has a shared understanding of appropriate conduct, </strong></li> <li><strong>is protected from abuse, </strong></li> <li><strong>and can seek recourse when faced with conduct concerns. </strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>After review and comments by the membership in 2022, the Code of Ethics Joint Committee has revised the Code of Ethics and its Enforcement Policy. Members of each society voted to adopt the SSE Code of Ethics. The ASN policy went into effect January 1, 2024. </strong></p><h1 align="center">Code of Ethics (ASN)</h1> <!--<p>Membership in the American Society of Naturalists (ASN) is a privilege open to all who want to contribute to the study of evolutionary biology. Members are expected to behave in a manner that is consistent with ASN’s values and goals. As such, members are expected to adhere to ASN’s Code of Ethics:</p>--> <p><strong>1. Interactions with research and professional communities </strong></p> <ul> <li>Adhere to community standards and journal policies regarding authorship, data availability, the disclosure of conflicts-of-interest, and service as editor or reviewer.</li> <li>Generate and disseminate knowledge with integrity and rigor. Actions such as falsifying data, plagiarism, and the failure to appropriately credit the contributions of others constitute unethical conduct.</li> <li>Report unethical or illegal research practices to the appropriate authorities, such as journal editors or university administration, when in a position to do so, and do not knowingly file false reports.</li> <li>Follow encouraging, constructive, inclusive, and respectful professional interactions and institutional practices. Unethical conduct such as harassment, discrimination, bullying, retaliation, and abuse of power are unacceptable.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Interactions with governments, institutions, and researchers </strong></p> <ul> <li>Comply with legal requirements and ethical guidelines designed to protect human subjects and ensure the safety of all team members.</li> <li>Treat Indigenous and local communities with dignity and respect.</li> <li>Ensure responsible treatment of study organisms and local ecosystems.</li> <li>Comply with all regulations and agreements (including with sovereign Indigenous nations) regarding permitting, benefit sharing, reporting, and voucher specimens.</li> <li>Supply reports, specimens, and other specified services (e.g., seminars and training) as agreed upon in research authorizations.</li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Interactions with the public</strong></p> <ul> <li>Promote an accurate understanding of our discipline when engaging with the public, including students.</li> <li>Ensure that the information presented is accurate and well supported when offering professional commentary.</li> </ul> <p>Members of the ASN have the right to criticize their colleagues, but they endeavor to do so without personal animus and without seeking to intimidate or coerce. Freedom of expression is crucial to the community of scientific practice, but such expression should not be used to bully or demean others.</p><h2 align="center" name="process">Process</h2> <p><a href="#text-process">Review a text version of this flow chart below</a>. </p><h3 id="text-process">Code of Ethics Process</h3> <p><em>Acronyms: Investigatory Agent (IA), Ethics Review Committee (ERC)</em></p> <ol> <li>Optional: Contact the Investigatory Agent (IA) or any member of the <em>Ethics Review Committee (ERC)</em> to discuss your concerns and a potential complaint.</li> <li>Fill out a <strong><a href="#submit-complaint">Complaint Form</a></strong> and submit it to the IA.</li> <li>IA may conduct initial information gathering, and then will make a <strong>Recommendation,</strong> which is accepted or amended by the ERC Chair. Potential outcomes of this are: <!-- 2nd level --> <ol> <li><strong>Complaint is dismissed.</strong> <!-- 3rd level --> <ol> <li>ERC Chair informs Complainant. Respondent and any identified targets are not notified unless contacted by the IA during initial fact-finding.</li> <li>Optional: The Complainant may initiate an appeal to an Appeals Board.</li> </ol> </li> <li><strong>IA-led Resolutions Process.</strong> <!-- 3rd level --> <ol> <li>ERC Chair informs Complainant, Respondent, and any identified targets.</li> <li>The IA directs the resolutions process via education and/or mediation.</li> </ol> </li> <li><strong>Adjudication Committee</strong> is formed by the ERC Chair plus two members of the ERC. <!-- 3rd level --> <ol> <li>This committee can direct the IA to conduct additional investigation and fact-finding.</li> <li>When it is satisfied that it has the information needed (or all that it is possible to obtain), it votes on recommendations of responsibility and sanctions.</li> <li><strong>Recommendations</strong> and supporting documentation are forwarded to the ASN Executive Committee.</li> <li>The Executive Committee makes the <strong> Final Determination </strong> about the responsibility and the actual remedial and/or disciplinary action.</li> <li>The ASN President informs the Complainant, Respondent, and any identified targets of the outcome.</li> <li>Optional: The Complainant, Respondent, and any identified targets may initiate an appeal to an Appeals Board.</li> </ol> </li> </ol> </li> </ol><h2 align="center" name="faq">Frequently Asked Questions</h2> <p align="center"><strong><a href="#faqscope">SCOPE</a> | <a href="#faqroles">ROLES</a> | <a href="#faqconfidentiality">CONFIDENTIALITY</a> | <a href="#faqprocess">PROCESS</a> | <a href="#faqoutcomes">OUTCOMES</a> | <a href="#faqtimelines">TIMELINES</a> </strong></p> <h3 name="faqscope">Scope</h3> <p><em>To whom does the Code of Ethics apply?</em></p> <p>The code applies to all members of the societies, and all individuals who participate in society-sponsored activities or provide services to the societies. These include elected and appointed leaders and committee members; nominees for, and holders of, honors and awards; and editorial boards of society journals and authors who publish in society journals. The <strong><a href="https://www.evolutionmeetings.org/policies.html">Code of Conduct</a></strong> governs society-sponsored meetings. Anyone who engages in activities sponsored by the society, or joins the society, opts in to the Code of Ethics.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Can a complaint be filed against someone who is not a member of the societies?</em></p> <p>Each society&rsquo;s Ethics Review Committee has discretion whether to accept complaints against non-members of the society who were members at the time of the alleged unethical conduct or whose membership, role, or relationship with the societies has recently lapsed, as well as individuals who participate in society-sponsored activities or provide services to the societies.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Can a complaint be filed about someone&rsquo;s personal conduct?</em></p> <p>Violent, illegal, or otherwise unethical misconduct in personal affairs can be considered if it casts serious doubt on one&rsquo;s ability to uphold professional ethical standards. However, legal conduct in an individual&rsquo;s intimate personal relationships does not violate the code so long as the conduct is not undertaken in a society or other professional activity or role.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Should a complaint relating to publication ethics be directed to the journal or this COE?</em></p> <p>Complaints relating to publication ethics should be directed to the journal. Society journals are members of the <a href="https://publicationethics.org">Committee on Publication Ethics</a>. The editor of a society-owned journal may initiate a complaint by referring the matter to the Investigatory Agent when there has been a determination of a violation of publication ethics.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Does the Code of Ethics obligate me to report something?</em></p> <p>Reporting is strongly encouraged when an observer is in a position to do so in a manner they believe is safe for them. However, failure to report an incident does not constitute a breach of the Code of Ethics.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Can the society use results from investigations conducted by other entities?</em></p> <p>The Ethics Review Committee and Executive Committee may use information gathered by other entities when it is available. However, all determinations are solely at the discretion of the society.</p> <hr /> <p><em>What if someone makes an intentionally false accusation?</em></p> <p>Intentionally false, malicious, or groundless complaints violate the Code of Ethics and could result in sanctions.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Should complaints related to society journals be submitted here or to the journal publisher?</em></p> <p><a href="https://publicationethics.org/">COPE guidelines</a> cover society journals, and the Code of Ethics will apply to anything beyond the scope of COPE. Complaints under the Code of Ethics could also affect society activities unrelated to the society journals, even if the complaint was related to the journal.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Why does each society have a separate Code of Ethics?</em></p> <p>Legally, the societies are separate entities from one another. Therefore each society has its own Code of Ethics and any complaints submitted to more than one society will be evaluated independently.</p> <hr /> <h3 name="faqroles">Roles</h3> <p><em>Who is on the Ethics Review Committee?</em></p> <p>The Ethics Review Committee for SSE is chaired by the Past President and includes eight other SSE members who are appointed by the President-Elect, with the approval of elected Council. The Ethics Review Committee for SSB is chaired by the Past-President and includes eight other SSB members who are appointed by the President-Elect, with the approval of elected Council. The ASN Ethics Review Committee is chaired by the Past-President of ASN&rsquo;s Executive Council and includes four other ASN members. Once formed, the committee for SSE will be able to be viewed <a href="http://www.evolutionsociety.org/index.php?module=content&amp;type=user&amp;func=view&amp;pid=3#committees">here</a>, the committee for SSB will be able to be found <a href="https://www.systbio.org/council.html">here</a>, and the committee for ASN will be able to be viewed <a href="https://www.amnat.org/about/governance/committees.html">here</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Who is on an Adjudication Committee?</em></p> <p>An Adjudication Committee is composed of the Chair and two other members of the Ethics Review Committee. The Chair selects two members, in consultation with the Investigatory Agent to avoid conflicts of interest.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Who is the Investigatory Agent?</em></p> <p>The Investigatory Agent will be an independent entity contracted by the Societies to assist in the fulfillment of the CoE, similar to the independent safety officers who carry out the Code of Conduct at the annual Evolution meetings.</p> <hr /> <p><em>What is the role of the Investigatory Agent?</em></p> <p>The role of the Investigatory Agent is to receive complaints, perform initial reviews and investigations regarding whether the claim is credible, forward an initial recommendation (with supporting rationales) to the Ethics Review Committee as to how a complaint should be handled, conduct IA-led resolutions, and conduct further investigations as directed by an adjudication committee.Once an adjudication committee is formed, all final decisions rest with the societies&rsquo; elected leaders.</p> <hr /> <p><em>What happens if the Ethics Review Committee disagrees with the recommendation of the Investigatory Agent?</em></p> <p>If the IA recommends dismissal, but the Ethics Review Committee disagrees with the recommendation, it will ask the IA to form an Adjudication Committee or conduct an IA-led resolution process.</p> <p>If the IA recommends adjudication, but the Ethics Review Committee unanimously disagrees, the complaint will be dismissed or the Ethics Review Committee will direct the IA to lead a resolutions process. The Ethics Review Committee may also rely on a determination made by an outside authority rather than directing the IA to conduct an investigation.</p> <hr /> <h3 name="faqconfidentiality">Confidentiality</h3> <p><em>Can I file an anonymous complaint?</em></p> <p>Yes, but if insufficient information is provided in or attached to the complaint to enable an investigation, it may be dismissed by the Investigatory Agent.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Can I file a verbal complaint?</em></p> <p>Complaints must be submitted using the official <strong><a href="#submit-complaint">complaint form</a></strong>. However, you may reach out to the Investigatory Agent, a member of the Ethics Review Committee, or any member of the society Governing Council to discuss a conduct concern prior to submitting a complaint.</p> <hr /> <p><em>If I file a complaint, will my name be made known to the person I accuse?</em></p> <p>The societies seek to maintain confidentiality of the substance and process for resolving Complaints and conduct concerns. Except as specified in Section VII (confidentiality exceptions), the names and identities of complainants, identified targets if other than the complainant, respondents, and any other key persons shall be kept confidential. However, confidentiality does not ensure anonymity. The Chair or President may notify the respondent about a complaint or concern and their ability to respond, a determination, the right to appeal, and the determination of an appeal.</p> <hr /> <p><em>How will confidentiality be protected?</em></p> <p>All records related to the complaint, investigation, and adjudication will be maintained by the Investigatory Agent (IA) in a secure, confidential format. The IA may provide confidential information to others involved in any capacity in an investigation or review of a complaint or conduct concern (for example, members of an adjudication committee), but in doing so the IA will remind those who receive the information of their confidentiality obligation.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Who will be notified of the outcome of an investigation?</em></p> <p>After the Executive Committee has made a final determination, the society President will inform the complainant, any identified targets of the unethical conduct who are not the complainant, and the respondent of the decision and any actions to be imposed. The society President may also notify the home institution of a respondent.</p> <p>Nominations, including self-nominations, for society awards and prizes will include a requirement to disclose whether or not the nominee has been the subject of an investigation or violation of the Code of Ethics. If a nominee indicates that they have been the subject of an investigation or violation of the Code of Ethics, the award committee will discuss the matter with the Investigatory Agent and make a judgment as to whether to consider the nominee for the award.</p> <p>A confidential archive of complaints will be maintained for the Ethics Review Committee, in the same way as for the Evolution meeting Code of Conduct.</p> <hr /> <h3 name="faqprocess">Process</h3> <p><em>What happens after I file a complaint?</em></p> <p>A graphical overview of the process for receiving complaints is viewable <a href="#process">above</a>. The complaint form is received by the Investigatory Agent (IA), who will conduct a preliminary review to determine whether to recommend to the Ethics Review Committee Chair that the complaint should be addressed in an IA-led process, dismissed without notifying the Respondent, or referred to an adjudication committee.</p> <hr /> <p><em>What would lead to a complaint being immediately dismissed?</em></p> <p>Complaints may be dismissed if (1) the complaint form is incomplete, (2) the complaint is patently frivolous or otherwise without merit, (3) there is insufficient information provided with the complaint to enable an investigation, or (4) if the complaint is directed against an individual who is not covered by the Code of Ethics or concerns an issue that is not within the scope of the Code of Ethics.</p> <hr /> <p><em>How will it be decided if a complaint is handled informally (directly by the IA) or formally (via an adjudication committee)?</em></p> <p>The goals of an IA-led process are education, community-building, repair of relationships, and restoration of inclusion, rather than punishment. Appendix B outlines the criteria for an IA-led process, which include considerations about the nature and severity of the conduct concern, lack of a pattern of ongoing recurrence, a commitment to avoid repetition, and both the accused and any identified targets agreeing that it is unnecessary to determine via adjudication whether the Code of Ethics has been violated.</p> <hr /> <h3 name="faqoutcomes">Outcomes</h3> <p><em>What sanctions might result from a determination?</em></p> <p>Examples of disciplinary and remedial actions are outlined in Section VI. These include mediation, private reprimand, public or private apology, notification of home institution, denial of society membership privileges, suspension of publication rights, denial of editorial activities, revocation of honors and awards, removal from office or nomination, and termination of membership.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Can sanctions be imposed before an outcome is determined?</em></p> <p>Yes, Appendix C outlines when and how short-term actions can be taken if there are serious concerns about safety or disruption of society activities.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Can I appeal an outcome?</em></p> <p>Yes. A respondent, complainant, or identified target of unethical conduct may appeal the decision and any sanctions imposed under certain circumstances. Appeals will be considered by an Appeal Board, consisting of three people appointed by the society president from the society council.</p> <hr /> <h3 name="faqtimelines">Timelines</h3> <p><em>Could something that happened a long time ago be the subject of a complaint?</em></p> <p>There is no time limit on conduct that could be the subject of a complaint.</p> <hr /> <p><em>How long does this process take?</em></p> <p>This will depend on the details of the complaint, including the length of time it takes for the Investigatory Agent to conduct investigations and whether an adjudication committee is convened. Two key points have a 30-day response period (with allowance for exceptions): for the respondent to reply to the Investigatory Agent, and for any involved party to submit an appeal.</p> <hr /><h2 align="center">Enforcement Policy</h2> <p><a href="/dam/jcr:9a37c32b-8c0a-4b1a-8a9c-e281301a0068/asn_coe_20230725.pdf">Here is the Enforcement Policy for the ASN</a><!-- (current as of July 25, 2023) --> (PDF format).</p><h2 align="center" id="submit-complaint">Complaint Form</h2> <p>Click <a href="/dam/jcr:a056fa68-71d1-475c-9220-f9d8b64ebd79/coe_complaintform_23-08-24.docx">&quot;Download File&quot;</a> to preview the complaint submission form as a Word document. This form is for members of all three societies.</p> Wed, 03 Apr 2024 05:00:00 GMT Save the dates for Asilomar 2025: January 3-7! https://amnat.org/announcements/Asilomar-2025.html The ASN will be returning to the Asilomar Conference Center for its (mostly) biennial stand-alone meeting from January 3-7, 2025. Further details to follow... <p>The ASN will be returning to the Asilomar Conference Center for its (mostly) biennial stand-alone meeting from January 3-7, 2025. Further details to follow...</p> Thu, 14 Mar 2024 05:00:00 GMT ASN Election, 2024 https://amnat.org/announcements/ASN-election-2024.html The ASN 2024 Election will open on March 18th for the offices of President, Vice President, and Secretary. The election will run until the end of March. The election website randomizes the order for each person voting. The names below are in alphabetical order.The PRESIDENT leads the ASN Executive Council and selects the membership of the award and officer nomination committees. The President selects the President’s Award for the “best” paper in The American Naturalist in the past year, gives the ASN Presidential Address and presents the Society’s awards at the annual meeting, and represents the ASN in multiple other ways through the year. The President serves on the Executive Council for five years, including one year as President-Elect and three years as a Past-President. Rebecca (Becky) Fuller, University of Illinois I am an evolutionary biologist who studies fishes with an emphasis on non-model systems. Much of my work has focused on the evolution of color patterns and color vision across diverse aquatic lighting environments from a sensory drive framework. My lab also studies speciation and seeks to determine the roles of adaption versus genomic rearrangements on reproductive isolation, as well as the cascading effects of reinforcement between species in behavioral isolation among populations within species. I obtained a BS at the University of Nebraska, an MS from Michigan State University, where I studied at Kellogg Biological Station, and a PhD at Florida State University. I joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2005 in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, where I am now a Professor and Department Head. I have received various awards from the University of Illinois for Teaching, Mentorship, and Leadership During the COVID-19 crisis, as well as awards for Scholarship and Research. I am a fellow of AAAS, and many years ago, I was an ASN Young Investigator (now called the ‘ASN Early Career Investigator Award’) and a Fulbright Fellow. Beyond my involvement with ASN, I have served on the council for the Society for the Study of Evolution (2016–1018), the SSE Rosemary Grant Award Committee (2016, 2018), the SSE Hamilton Award Committee (2012–2015), and the SSE Education Committee (2017–2020). I have served as an associate editor at Evolution (2011–2014, 2019–2022) and Current Zoology (2015–22). I have also led multiple teacher workshops to promote the teaching of evolution, developed K-12 curricula in relation to evolution and phenotypic plasticity, and created online resources and hands-on displays regarding the underappreciated fish diversity in central Illinois. I have been actively involved with ASN in various capacities. My roles have included serving as an Associate Editor at The&nbsp;American Naturalist (2014–present), participating as a member of the Student Research Awards Committee (2012–2014, chair 2014), contributing to the Asilomar Stand Alone Meeting Committee (2014), representing ASN on the Joint Meeting Committee for the Tri-Society Meeting (2014–2017), holding the position of ASN Treasurer (2020–2022), and currently serving as ASN Past Treasurer (2023–present). Additionally, I have organized two ASN sessions at the Tri-Society Meeting: the ASN Education Symposium: Natural History in the Classroom (Portland, 2017) and ASN Spotlight Session: 25 Years of Sensory Drive (Portland, 2017). The primary goals of science are to create new knowledge, to communicate that knowledge to our fellow scientists and the public, and to cultivate the next generation of scientists to carry forward this mission. The American Society of Naturalists supports these endeavors through our journal, our meetings, our support of early career scientists, and our recognition of excellence at all career stages. As president, I would work to ensure that ASN maintains its identity as the home for broad, conceptually driven biology. While evolution informs much of what we do, ASN spans a wider domain, including ecology, behavior, sensory ecology, biomechanics, conservation, and an appreciation of natural history; these relationships need constant nurturing. I am also keen to increase our support of regional (and perhaps virtual) meetings, which are less expensive to attend, have a smaller carbon footprint, and can provide good opportunities for early career scientists to network. I am committed to fostering inclusivity, ensuring equitable access for individuals from all backgrounds, particularly those historically marginalized, and amplifying the visibility of diverse voices within our scientific community. Central to this vision is the cultivation of a vibrant, diverse community where there is free discussion of issues involving science and life in general. Finally, I am committed to maintaining the good governance of the ASN and to maximizing the benefits derived from our resources. Mark Urban, University of Connecticut It would be my highest honor to serve as the President of the American Society of Naturalists. I was a naturalist from my earliest days—watching birds, collecting insects for my home natural history collection, stalking deer to record their behavior, and of course, knowing where every salamander lived. Over the subsequent years, I found the American Society of Naturalists to be my natural academic home—a gathering of top-notch scientists where theory, experimentation, and natural history are equally valued. In my research, I strive to fulfill the goals of the American Society of Naturalists through the conceptual unification of ecology and evolution, integrating across their many subfields, and throwing some applied global change ecology into the pot. I study eco-evo in space, where I seek to explain ecological patterns across landscapes through the joint dynamics of ecology and evolution. I am equally at home developing theory, collecting observations in the wild, and performing careful experiments, and often my hope is to integrate all of them into a (longish) American Naturalist paper. I received my B.S. in Environmental Science from Muhlenberg College, a small liberal arts school near my hometown in Pennsylvania in the shadow of the Appalachians. I received my M.E.Sc. and my Ph.D. from the Yale School of the Environment and then became a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, where I honed my skills at unification. I received a tenure-track position in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut where I currently hold the Arden Chair and Professorship. I am also the founder and director of the Center of Biological Risk, director of an NSF NRT graduate training program called Team TERRA, co-leader of the GEO BON modeling working group named Eco Code, and co-leader of a newly funded Biology Integration Institute. I have been one of the longest serving editors at Ecology and Ecological Monographs. I have helped organize several working groups and workshops on eco-evolution and predictive modeling. At UConn, I helped develop faculty search procedures that were blind to gender and race to limit implicit bias. I was twice honored by the American Society of Naturalists, first with a Young Investigator’s Award and second with a Presidential Award. I have also been an ISI Most Cited Researcher and was recently elected a fellow of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. My paper on extinction risks from climate change was named one of 2015’s most important discoveries by Discover Magazine as well as serving as a basis for IPCC and IPBES reports on the subject. I chaired and was a member of the committee that chooses the recipient of the ASN Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Conceptual Unification of the Biological Sciences. I have also organized ASN conference symposia and reviewed many articles for The&nbsp;American Naturalist over the years. My long-term goal has always been to become even more involved in the Society, and this nomination would jump-start that extended service. As President, I would defend and expand the progress that ASN has made in facilitating both innovative and inclusive science. I also want to share the great things about ASN with the rest of the world and provide the opportunity to learn from underrepresented geographic groups. Therefore, I would work to broaden the participation in ASN meetings of early career and diverse scientists from outside the U.S. and Canada. I would do this through fundraising, creating a special international symposium, and working with partners to identify and invite participants from these countries. I also want to make biology integration and theory more accessible to students through early career skills workshops and events that share the often circuitous paths that scientists take in developing mathematical, statistical, and modeling skills.The VICE-PRESIDENT organizes the Vice-President’s Symposium for the annual meeting and edits the special supplement to The&nbsp;American Naturalist that contains the papers derived from the VP Symposium. The Vice-President is also the Society’s liaison for the organizers of the annual meeting. The Vice-President serves as a member of the Executive Council for three years, including one year as Vice-President Elect and one year as a Past Vice President. Erol Akçay, University of Pennsylvania I am a theoretical biologist, and work on questions at the intersection of ecology, evolution, and social dynamics. Over the years, these questions ranged from evolutionary ecology of symbioses to social network dynamics of animals and cultural evolution in humans. My undergraduate training was in Physics and Biology at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, graduating in 2004. I received my PhD in 2008 at Stanford, followed by postdoctoral stints at National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee and Princeton University. Since 2014, I have been at the University of Pennsylvania where I am currently an Associate Professor, and am affiliated with various interdisciplinary centers here including MindCORE, Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences, and the Center for Mathematical Biology. I received the Samual Karlin Award in Mathematical Biology from Stanford University in 2008 and the Junior Faculty award from the Turkish American Scholars and Scientists Association in 2016. I have previously served at ASN in various capacities, including the Student Awards committee for ASN (2014–2017), and have been on the editorial board of The&nbsp;American Naturalist, first as Associate Editor (2017–2020). Since 2020, I have been one of the Editors of the journal. I also serve on the editorial board of Biology and Philosophy. I have also served in various capacities in the Turkish Society for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology since 2016. Reading The&nbsp;American Naturalist in the library as an undergraduate (torn between theoretical astrophysics and field ecology) was a life-changing experience and turned me on to the intellectual path I have followed ever since. Although my career often takes me to different fields, the ASN and The&nbsp;American Naturalist have always been the intellectual home I came back to. ASN to my mind has always been a model for how a scientific society can combine intellectual rigor with inclusivity and supportive environment. This is why I am extremely honored and excited to be nominated for the VP position at ASN! My goal would be to continuing the mission of the ASN in driving towards conceptual unification. I think the next frontier in this conceptual unification is the accelerating recognition that natural systems and human societies are both evolutionary systems that share basic processes. I would therefore prioritize supporting new generation of researchers that can operate at the interface of unified biological and social sciences. I think such conceptual integration is crucial to realizing our scientific discipline’s potential to contribute to the welfare of human societies and nature. To that end, I’d propose a VP symposium focused on the integration of ecology, evolution, and behavior with social sciences, specifically how insights from ecology and evolution apply to social and socio-ecological systems. Renée Duckworth, University of Arizona I am truly honored to be nominated for the office of Vice President of the ASN. As an integrative evolutionary biologist, this society has always occupied a special place for me with its emphasis in conceptual unification of the biological sciences, particularly evolution, ecology and behavior. My research integrates all three by using ecological and evolutionary concepts to understand the historical origin and current maintenance of adaptation, focusing on complex behaviors. Central to my approach is the view that organisms and environments are complex systems in which feedbacks, nonlinear dynamics, and networks of interactions across scales drive ecological and evolutionary change. To investigate these dynamics, I use field experiments, empirical measures of lifetime fitness, laboratory studies of neuroendocrine response to stressors, molecular multi-generational pedigree reconstruction, and, most recently, genomic approaches. Much of my work has focused on the dynamics of trait evolution in the context of successional cycles and species coexistence in passerine birds. After receiving my Ph.D. in the Biology Department at Duke University in 2006, I went on to complete two back-to-back postdocs, first at Edinburgh University’s Institute of Evolutionary Biology and then at Harvard University’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. I started a faculty position at the University of Arizona Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2010 and have been there ever since. Just prior to starting my faculty position, I received the American Society of Naturalists’ Young Investigator Prize and the American Ornithologist Union’s Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award. In 2014, I received an NSF CAREER Award and I am currently a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society. I have received many benefits from ASN over the years and I am happy to serve and give back to the society whenever possible. I have been an Associate Editor for The&nbsp;American Naturalist since 2018, have served on several important society committees (e.g. Young Investigator Prize committee and the Regional Society Liaison committee). I have also served in leadership roles in other societies and scientific organizations, e.g. as a past Associate Editor for both Evolutionary Ecology and Ornithological Applications, on the board of directors and council for the American Ornithological Societies (before and after a large merger), and as a co-organizer of annual society conferences. In these roles, I have championed initiatives to broaden participation, and to increase society benefits for students and early career professionals. These past editorial and organizational roles have prepared me well for the duties of the ASN Vice President’s office. I participated in my first Vice Presidential Symposium in 2007, at the annual meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand. I was a postdoc at the time and it was a highly impactful experience. It showed me the power of bringing together a diverse group of scientists to focus on a single topic. I would use my own opportunity to organize a symposium to bring together a similarly diverse group of scientists from all career stages, including many early career researchers. If elected for this position, I would be excited to organize a symposium on the topic of dynamic stability in evolutionary systems. The goal of this symposium will be to integrate our understanding of how ecological systems maintain stability over time and ask whether these same mechanisms might help us to understand patterns of stasis and change on evolutionary timescales. I envision a symposium that brings together scientists from diverse fields that investigate dynamics of biological systems across scales (from developmental biology and physiology to eco- and macroevolutionary change) with the ultimate goal of searching for unifying principles that regulate phenotypic change and stability. The SECRETARY records and publishes the minutes of the annual meeting of the Executive Committee and ensures that elections for Society offices are conducted in a timely manner. In addition, the Secretary works closely with the President with respect to the normal running of the Society, documents the Executive Committee’s actions, sees that the ASN Officer’s handbook and website are up to date, and coordinates communication between the Executive Committee, other societies’ Executive Committees, the University of Chicago Press and ASN membership. The Secretary serves for a three-year term, and then three years as Past Secretary. For both terms, the Secretary is a member of the ASN Executive Committee. Katie Lotterhos, Northeastern University I am thrilled to be nominated as Secretary of the Executive Committee for ASN. I am an Associate Professor at Northeastern University who seeks to understand how the past has shaped current patterns of biodiversity and how a now rapidly changing climate will affect biodiversity in the future. My lab&#39;s research uses theory and experiment to inform each other and develops novel statistical methodology to integrate data across biological, spatial, and temporal scales. To address pressing issues in biological science, we use a combination of field surveys, experiments, mathematical modeling, genomics, and bioinformatics. Current study systems in the lab include oysters, eelgrass, and marine fish. I received a BA in Physics with a Biology Minor from Binghamton University and a PhD in Biology from Florida State University, where my dissertation focused on population genetics of a long-lived marine fish. I am the Principal Investigator for the Research Coordination Network for Evolution in Changing Seas, a Fulbright Scholar, and a recipient of the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Diversity and inclusion are central in my lab’s work. We reach high schoolers from environmental justice communities via a few different outreach programs in the Boston area. For undergraduate and graduate students, I spearheaded a Virtual Lab Meeting Program that matched students from diverse backgrounds with labs in another geographic area that matched their interests. This program helped to expand the student&#39;s professional networks and open them to new opportunities. Elsewhere, I have organized and taught in several workshops that covered topics in statistical genomics, coding, and building apps for data collection. As PI of a Research Coordination Network, I have experience coordinating many teams of people that will serve me well in the position of Secretary. I am a lifetime member of ASN. I have served as an Associate Editor to The&nbsp;American Naturalist for a few years now and I am currently leading a Special Feature for the journal on Genomic Forecasting. As an interdisciplinary scientist who integrates evolution, genomics, ecology, biostatistics, and data science, I often look toward the "conceptual unification" mission of The&nbsp;American Naturalist as a guiding compass for my research. As Secretary of the ASN, I will serve as a point person for committees, DEI efforts, graduate students, and affiliated societies. I aim to be approachable, to ensure that the records are well organized, and to run fair and equitable elections. I would be interested in organizing cross-society workshops on interdisciplinary science and data interoperability. These workshops would cover how to formulate interdisciplinary scientific questions, manage collaborations, and collect data from multiple levels of biological organization (e.g. genotypes to phenotypes) in a way that allows efficient data synthesis and analysis. Matthew Schrader, University of the South I am excited and honored to be nominated as a candidate for Secretary for the American Society of Naturalists. I am an evolutionary ecologist and my research seeks to understand how interactions among family members influence the evolution of parental care. In particular, I study how cooperation and conflict among family members generate natural selection and how populations adapt and diversify in response to this selection. My current research focuses on Nicrophorusbeetles, but I have also worked on poeciliid fish and (long ago) birds. I received my BS from the University of Florida and attended graduate school at Florida State University where I worked with Fran James (MS) and Joe Travis (PhD). I completed post-docs at the University of Illinois with Becky Fuller and Carla C&aacute;ceres, and at the University of Cambridge with Rebecca Kilner. I have been a faculty member (currently Associate Professor) at the University of the South (Sewanee) since 2015. I have been a member of ASN and SSE for nearly 20 years and have served as an Associate Editor at The&nbsp;American Naturalist since 2019. If elected, I look forward to working with the executive committee to ensure the society is working efficiently and effectively towards its goals. As a faculty member at a primarily undergraduate institution, I am especially excited about society initiatives to support and mentor undergraduates from underrepresented groups. <p>The ASN 2024 Election will open on March 18th for the offices of President, Vice President, and Secretary. The election will run until the end of March. <!-- Email was sent to ASN member to access the election website. Please <a href="mailto:asn@press.uchicago.edu">let us know</a> if you think you are a member and you did not receive the email.--> The election website randomizes the order for each person voting. The names below are in alphabetical order.</p><p>The PRESIDENT leads the ASN Executive Council and selects the membership of the award and officer nomination committees. The President selects the President&rsquo;s Award for the &ldquo;best&rdquo; paper in The American Naturalist in the past year, gives the ASN Presidential Address and presents the Society&rsquo;s awards at the annual meeting, and represents the ASN in multiple other ways through the year. The President serves on the Executive Council for five years, including one year as President-Elect and three years as a Past-President.</p> <h4 style="text-align: center;">Rebecca (Becky) Fuller, University of Illinois</h4> <p>I am an evolutionary biologist who studies fishes with an emphasis on non-model systems. Much of my work has focused on the evolution of color patterns and color vision across diverse aquatic lighting environments from a sensory drive framework. My lab also studies speciation and seeks to determine the roles of adaption versus genomic rearrangements on reproductive isolation, as well as the cascading effects of reinforcement between species in behavioral isolation among populations within species.</p> <p>I obtained a BS at the University of Nebraska, an MS from Michigan State University, where I studied at Kellogg Biological Station, and a PhD at Florida State University. I joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2005 in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, where I am now a Professor and Department Head. I have received various awards from the University of Illinois for Teaching, Mentorship, and Leadership During the COVID-19 crisis, as well as awards for Scholarship and Research. I am a fellow of AAAS, and many years ago, I was an ASN Young Investigator (now called the &lsquo;ASN Early Career Investigator Award&rsquo;) and a Fulbright Fellow.</p> <p>Beyond my involvement with ASN, I have served on the council for the Society for the Study of Evolution (2016&ndash;1018), the SSE Rosemary Grant Award Committee (2016, 2018), the SSE Hamilton Award Committee (2012&ndash;2015), and the SSE Education Committee (2017&ndash;2020). I have served as an associate editor at <i>Evolution</i> (2011&ndash;2014, 2019&ndash;2022) and <i>Current Zoology</i> (2015&ndash;22). I have also led multiple teacher workshops to promote the teaching of evolution, developed K-12 curricula in relation to evolution and phenotypic plasticity, and created online resources and hands-on displays regarding the underappreciated fish diversity in central Illinois.</p> <p>I have been actively involved with ASN in various capacities. My roles have included serving as an Associate Editor at <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist </em> (2014&ndash;present), participating as a member of the Student Research Awards Committee (2012&ndash;2014, chair 2014), contributing to the Asilomar Stand Alone Meeting Committee (2014), representing ASN on the Joint Meeting Committee for the Tri-Society Meeting (2014&ndash;2017), holding the position of ASN Treasurer (2020&ndash;2022), and currently serving as ASN Past Treasurer (2023&ndash;present). Additionally, I have organized two ASN sessions at the Tri-Society Meeting: the ASN Education Symposium: Natural History in the Classroom (Portland, 2017) and ASN Spotlight Session: 25 Years of Sensory Drive (Portland, 2017).</p> <p>The primary goals of science are to create new knowledge, to communicate that knowledge to our fellow scientists and the public, and to cultivate the next generation of scientists to carry forward this mission. The American Society of Naturalists supports these endeavors through our journal, our meetings, our support of early career scientists, and our recognition of excellence at all career stages. As president, I would work to ensure that ASN maintains its identity as the home for broad, conceptually driven biology. While evolution informs much of what we do, ASN spans a wider domain, including ecology, behavior, sensory ecology, biomechanics, conservation, and an appreciation of natural history; these relationships need constant nurturing. I am also keen to increase our support of regional (and perhaps virtual) meetings, which are less expensive to attend, have a smaller carbon footprint, and can provide good opportunities for early career scientists to network. I am committed to fostering inclusivity, ensuring equitable access for individuals from all backgrounds, particularly those historically marginalized, and amplifying the visibility of diverse voices within our scientific community. Central to this vision is the cultivation of a vibrant, diverse community where there is free discussion of issues involving science and life in general. Finally, I am committed to maintaining the good governance of the ASN and to maximizing the benefits derived from our resources.</p> <h4 style="text-align: center;">Mark Urban, University of Connecticut</h4> <p>It would be my highest honor to serve as the President of the American Society of Naturalists. I was a naturalist from my earliest days&mdash;watching birds, collecting insects for my home natural history collection, stalking deer to record their behavior, and of course, knowing where every salamander lived. Over the subsequent years, I found the American Society of Naturalists to be my natural academic home&mdash;a gathering of top-notch scientists where theory, experimentation, and natural history are equally valued.</p> <p>In my research, I strive to fulfill the goals of the American Society of Naturalists through the conceptual unification of ecology and evolution, integrating across their many subfields, and throwing some applied global change ecology into the pot. I study eco-evo in space, where I seek to explain ecological patterns across landscapes through the joint dynamics of ecology and evolution. I am equally at home developing theory, collecting observations in the wild, and performing careful experiments, and often my hope is to integrate all of them into a (longish) <em>American Naturalist</em> paper.</p> <p>I received my B.S. in Environmental Science from Muhlenberg College, a small liberal arts school near my hometown in Pennsylvania in the shadow of the Appalachians. I received my M.E.Sc. and my Ph.D. from the Yale School of the Environment and then became a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, where I honed my skills at unification. I received a tenure-track position in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut where I currently hold the Arden Chair and Professorship. I am also the founder and director of the Center of Biological Risk, director of an NSF NRT graduate training program called Team TERRA, co-leader of the GEO BON modeling working group named Eco Code, and co-leader of a newly funded Biology Integration Institute. I have been one of the longest serving editors at <em>Ecology</em> and <em> Ecological Monographs</em>. I have helped organize several working groups and workshops on eco-evolution and predictive modeling. At UConn, I helped develop faculty search procedures that were blind to gender and race to limit implicit bias.</p> <p>I was twice honored by the American Society of Naturalists, first with a Young Investigator&rsquo;s Award and second with a Presidential Award. I have also been an ISI Most Cited Researcher and was recently elected a fellow of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. My paper on extinction risks from climate change was named one of 2015&rsquo;s most important discoveries by Discover Magazine as well as serving as a basis for IPCC and IPBES reports on the subject.</p> <p>I chaired and was a member of the committee that chooses the recipient of the ASN Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Conceptual Unification of the Biological Sciences. I have also organized ASN conference symposia and reviewed many articles for <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist</em> over the years. My long-term goal has always been to become even more involved in the Society, and this nomination would jump-start that extended service.</p> <p>As President, I would defend and expand the progress that ASN has made in facilitating both innovative and inclusive science. I also want to share the great things about ASN with the rest of the world and provide the opportunity to learn from underrepresented geographic groups. Therefore, I would work to broaden the participation in ASN meetings of early career and diverse scientists from outside the U.S. and Canada. I would do this through fundraising, creating a special international symposium, and working with partners to identify and invite participants from these countries. I also want to make biology integration and theory more accessible to students through early career skills workshops and events that share the often circuitous paths that scientists take in developing mathematical, statistical, and modeling skills.</p><p>The VICE-PRESIDENT organizes the Vice-President&rsquo;s Symposium for the annual meeting and edits the special supplement to <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist</em> that contains the papers derived from the VP Symposium. The Vice-President is also the Society&rsquo;s liaison for the organizers of the annual meeting. The Vice-President serves as a member of the Executive Council for three years, including one year as Vice-President Elect and one year as a Past Vice President.</p> <h4 style="text-align: center;"> Erol Akçay, University of Pennsylvania </h4> <p> I am a theoretical biologist, and work on questions at the intersection of ecology, evolution, and social dynamics. Over the years, these questions ranged from evolutionary ecology of symbioses to social network dynamics of animals and cultural evolution in humans. </p> <p> My undergraduate training was in Physics and Biology at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, graduating in 2004. I received my PhD in 2008 at Stanford, followed by postdoctoral stints at National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee and Princeton University. Since 2014, I have been at the University of Pennsylvania where I am currently an Associate Professor, and am affiliated with various interdisciplinary centers here including MindCORE, Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences, and the Center for Mathematical Biology. I received the Samual Karlin Award in Mathematical Biology from Stanford University in 2008 and the Junior Faculty award from the Turkish American Scholars and Scientists Association in 2016. </p> <p> I have previously served at ASN in various capacities, including the Student Awards committee for ASN (2014&ndash;2017), and have been on the editorial board of <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist</em>, first as Associate Editor (2017&ndash;2020). Since 2020, I have been one of the Editors of the journal. I also serve on the editorial board of Biology and Philosophy. I have also served in various capacities in the Turkish Society for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology since 2016. </p> <p> Reading <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist</em> in the library as an undergraduate (torn between theoretical astrophysics and field ecology) was a life-changing experience and turned me on to the intellectual path I have followed ever since. Although my career often takes me to different fields, the ASN and <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist</em> have always been the intellectual home I came back to. ASN to my mind has always been a model for how a scientific society can combine intellectual rigor with inclusivity and supportive environment. </p> <p> This is why I am extremely honored and excited to be nominated for the VP position at ASN! My goal would be to continuing the mission of the ASN in driving towards conceptual unification. I think the next frontier in this conceptual unification is the accelerating recognition that natural systems and human societies are both evolutionary systems that share basic processes. I would therefore prioritize supporting new generation of researchers that can operate at the interface of unified biological and social sciences. I think such conceptual integration is crucial to realizing our scientific discipline’s potential to contribute to the welfare of human societies and nature. </p> <p> To that end, I’d propose a VP symposium focused on the integration of ecology, evolution, and behavior with social sciences, specifically how insights from ecology and evolution apply to social and socio-ecological systems. </p> <h4 style="text-align: center;"> Renée Duckworth, University of Arizona </h4> <p> I am truly honored to be nominated for the office of Vice President of the ASN. As an integrative evolutionary biologist, this society has always occupied a special place for me with its emphasis in conceptual unification of the biological sciences, particularly evolution, ecology and behavior. My research integrates all three by using ecological and evolutionary concepts to understand the historical origin and current maintenance of adaptation, focusing on complex behaviors. Central to my approach is the view that organisms and environments are complex systems in which feedbacks, nonlinear dynamics, and networks of interactions across scales drive ecological and evolutionary change. To investigate these dynamics, I use field experiments, empirical measures of lifetime fitness, laboratory studies of neuroendocrine response to stressors, molecular multi-generational pedigree reconstruction, and, most recently, genomic approaches. Much of my work has focused on the dynamics of trait evolution in the context of successional cycles and species coexistence in passerine birds. </p> <p> After receiving my Ph.D. in the Biology Department at Duke University in 2006, I went on to complete two back-to-back postdocs, first at Edinburgh University’s Institute of Evolutionary Biology and then at Harvard University’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. I started a faculty position at the University of Arizona Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2010 and have been there ever since. Just prior to starting my faculty position, I received the American Society of Naturalists’ Young Investigator Prize and the American Ornithologist Union’s Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award. In 2014, I received an NSF CAREER Award and I am currently a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society. </p> <p> I have received many benefits from ASN over the years and I am happy to serve and give back to the society whenever possible. I have been an Associate Editor for <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist</em> since 2018, have served on several important society committees (e.g. Young Investigator Prize committee and the Regional Society Liaison committee). I have also served in leadership roles in other societies and scientific organizations, e.g. as a past Associate Editor for both <em>Evolutionary Ecology</em> and <em>Ornithological Applications</em>, on the board of directors and council for the American Ornithological Societies (before and after a large merger), and as a co-organizer of annual society conferences. In these roles, I have championed initiatives to broaden participation, and to increase society benefits for students and early career professionals. These past editorial and organizational roles have prepared me well for the duties of the ASN Vice President’s office. </p> <p> I participated in my first Vice Presidential Symposium in 2007, at the annual meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand. I was a postdoc at the time and it was a highly impactful experience. It showed me the power of bringing together a diverse group of scientists to focus on a single topic. I would use my own opportunity to organize a symposium to bring together a similarly diverse group of scientists from all career stages, including many early career researchers. </p> <p> If elected for this position, I would be excited to organize a symposium on the topic of dynamic stability in evolutionary systems. The goal of this symposium will be to integrate our understanding of how ecological systems maintain stability over time and ask whether these same mechanisms might help us to understand patterns of stasis and change on evolutionary timescales. I envision a symposium that brings together scientists from diverse fields that investigate dynamics of biological systems across scales (from developmental biology and physiology to eco- and macroevolutionary change) with the ultimate goal of searching for unifying principles that regulate phenotypic change and stability. </p><p>The SECRETARY records and publishes the minutes of the annual meeting of the Executive Committee and ensures that elections for Society offices are conducted in a timely manner. In addition, the Secretary works closely with the President with respect to the normal running of the Society, documents the Executive Committee&rsquo;s actions, sees that the ASN Officer&rsquo;s handbook and website are up to date, and coordinates communication between the Executive Committee, other societies&rsquo; Executive Committees, the University of Chicago Press and ASN membership. The Secretary serves for a three-year term, and then three years as Past Secretary. For both terms, the Secretary is a member of the ASN Executive Committee.</p> <h4 style="text-align: center;">Katie Lotterhos, Northeastern University</h4> <p>I am thrilled to be nominated as Secretary of the Executive Committee for ASN. I am an Associate Professor at Northeastern University who seeks to understand how the past has shaped current patterns of biodiversity and how a now rapidly changing climate will affect biodiversity in the future. My lab&#39;s research uses theory and experiment to inform each other and develops novel statistical methodology to integrate data across biological, spatial, and temporal scales. To address pressing issues in biological science, we use a combination of field surveys, experiments, mathematical modeling, genomics, and bioinformatics. Current study systems in the lab include oysters, eelgrass, and marine fish.</p> <p>I received a BA in Physics with a Biology Minor from Binghamton University and a PhD in Biology from Florida State University, where my dissertation focused on population genetics of a long-lived marine fish. I am the Principal Investigator for the Research Coordination Network for Evolution in Changing Seas, a Fulbright Scholar, and a recipient of the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.</p> <p>Diversity and inclusion are central in my lab&rsquo;s work. We reach high schoolers from environmental justice communities via a few different outreach programs in the Boston area. For undergraduate and graduate students, I spearheaded a Virtual Lab Meeting Program that matched students from diverse backgrounds with labs in another geographic area that matched their interests. This program helped to expand the student&#39;s professional networks and open them to new opportunities. Elsewhere, I have organized and taught in several workshops that covered topics in statistical genomics, coding, and building apps for data collection. As PI of a Research Coordination Network, I have experience coordinating many teams of people that will serve me well in the position of Secretary.</p> <p>I am a lifetime member of ASN. I have served as an Associate Editor to <em> The&nbsp;American Naturalist</em> for a few years now and I am currently leading a Special Feature for the journal on Genomic Forecasting. As an interdisciplinary scientist who integrates evolution, genomics, ecology, biostatistics, and data science, I often look toward the &quot;conceptual unification&quot; mission of <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist </em> as a guiding compass for my research.</p> <p>As Secretary of the ASN, I will serve as a point person for committees, DEI efforts, graduate students, and affiliated societies. I aim to be approachable, to ensure that the records are well organized, and to run fair and equitable elections. I would be interested in organizing cross-society workshops on interdisciplinary science and data interoperability. These workshops would cover how to formulate interdisciplinary scientific questions, manage collaborations, and collect data from multiple levels of biological organization (e.g. genotypes to phenotypes) in a way that allows efficient data synthesis and analysis.</p> <h4 style="text-align: center;">Matthew Schrader, University of the South</h4> <p>I am excited and honored to be nominated as a candidate for Secretary for the American Society of Naturalists. I am an evolutionary ecologist and my research seeks to understand how interactions among family members influence the evolution of parental care. In particular, I study how cooperation and conflict among family members generate natural selection and how populations adapt and diversify in response to this selection. My current research focuses on <em>Nicrophorus</em>beetles, but I have also worked on poeciliid fish and (long ago) birds.</p> <p>I received my BS from the University of Florida and attended graduate school at Florida State University where I worked with Fran James (MS) and Joe Travis (PhD). I completed post-docs at the University of Illinois with Becky Fuller and Carla C&aacute;ceres, and at the University of Cambridge with Rebecca Kilner. I have been a faculty member (currently Associate Professor) at the University of the South (Sewanee) since 2015.</p> <p>I have been a member of ASN and SSE for nearly 20 years and have served as an Associate Editor at <em>The&nbsp;American Naturalist</em> since 2019. If elected, I look forward to working with the executive committee to ensure the society is working efficiently and effectively towards its goals. As a faculty member at a primarily undergraduate institution, I am especially excited about society initiatives to support and mentor undergraduates from underrepresented groups.</p> Wed, 13 Mar 2024 05:00:00 GMT 2023 IDEA Award Winner https://amnat.org/announcements/Idea-Award-2023.html Congratulations to the recipient of the 2023 IDEA Award, Dr. Corey Welch! Dr. Welch was selected for his wide range of work to broaden participation of students and professionals from diverse backgrounds in all areas of STEM. Using the latest research on student success and his training in vertebrate ecology and evolution, he established and now directs an award-winning undergraduate training program, the STEM Scholars Program at Iowa State University. During his work with the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), where he served on the board of directors for six years, Dr. Welch launched an ongoing mentoring program at the society’s annual meeting and has served as a facilitator for the Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institutes. In addition to this work, Dr. Welch has led more than 40 seminars and presentations, mainly at biology and EEB departments, on how to improve DEI in STEM. Most recently, Dr. Welch founded the Sharon Farr Welch Northern Cheyenne Tribal Scholarship program for students from his own Northern Cheyenne community to pursue higher education. Dr. Corey Welch will present his work during the IDEA Award Plenary at the in-person portion of the Evolution 2024 meeting in Montreal this July. This event will also be live-streamed for all meeting registrants. The ASN/SSE/SSB Inclusiveness, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Award was created in 2019 by the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), and the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB). The IDEA Award is given to a person at any career stage who has strengthened the ecology and evolutionary biology community by promoting inclusiveness and diversity in our fields. The award can also be presented to a group. The recipient receives a plaque at the annual meeting of ASN/SSB/SSE and a $1000 honorarium. <p>Congratulations to the recipient of the 2023 IDEA Award, Dr. <b>Corey Welch</b>! Dr. Welch was selected for his wide range of work to broaden participation of students and professionals from diverse backgrounds in all areas of STEM. Using the latest research on student success and his training in vertebrate ecology and evolution, he established and now directs an award-winning undergraduate training program, the <a href="https://stem.las.iastate.edu/">STEM Scholars Program</a> at Iowa State University. During his work with the <a href="https://www.sacnas.org/">Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science</a> (SACNAS), where he served on the board of directors for six years, Dr. Welch launched an ongoing mentoring program at the society&rsquo;s annual meeting and has served as a facilitator for the <a href="https://www.sacnas.org/leadership-programs/linton-poodry-sacnas-leadership-institute">Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institutes</a>. In addition to this work, Dr. Welch has led more than 40 seminars and presentations, mainly at biology and EEB departments, on how to improve DEI in STEM. Most recently, Dr. Welch founded the <a href="https://stemscholars.wordpress.com/">Sharon Farr Welch Northern Cheyenne Tribal Scholarship</a> program for students from his own Northern Cheyenne community to pursue higher education.</p> <p><i>Dr. Corey Welch will present his work during the IDEA Award Plenary at the in-person portion of the <a href="https://www.evolutionmeetings.org/">Evolution 2024 meeting</a> in Montreal this July. This event will also be live-streamed for all meeting registrants.</i></p> <hr /> <p>The ASN/SSE/SSB Inclusiveness, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Award was created in 2019 by the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), and the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB). The IDEA Award is given to a person at any career stage who has strengthened the ecology and evolutionary biology community by promoting inclusiveness and diversity in our fields. The award can also be presented to a group. The recipient receives a plaque at the annual meeting of ASN/SSB/SSE and a $1000 honorarium.</p> Wed, 28 Feb 2024 06:00:00 GMT