SICB regional meeting at Clemson showcases flashes of brilliance

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Melina Hale of the University of Chicago was the keynote speaker at the Southeast regional meeting of the SICB on the campus of Clemson University.Image Credit: College of Science
CLEMSON – “Lightning” struck about 40 times Saturday inside Jordan Hall at Clemson University, firing up eager minds with flashes of organismal biology, ecology and evolution.
The Southeast regional meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) began with a bang as keynote speaker Melina Hale of the University of Chicago spent about 45 minutes discussing “How fish swim … and walk and fly: Using biodiversity to understand the neural control of movement.” Hale’s appearance was then followed by a fast-paced series of “lightning” talks by about 40 speakers from Clemson and 10 other institutions throughout the Southeast. Each speaker was given five minutes on stage. Topics ranged from “Bubble mechanics in underwater sniffing by the star-nosed mole” to “Power lifting elephants.”
“The society is home to a wide range of science, from ecology and evolutionary biology to physiology, neuroscience and biomechanics. Many scientists at SICB work on a range of diverse organisms, aiming to understand those species or, by studying them, understand basic mechanisms or biological principles that are foundational across many species,” said Hale, who is currently president-elect of the national society. “And I love regional meetings like this one. The smaller size encourages in-depth conversation and builds community. I particularly enjoy interacting with students and postdocs.”
The meeting at Clemson, which had 75 registrants overall, was hosted by the College of Science’s department of biological sciences and co-sponsored by the TIGERS ADVANCE program’s Distinguished Speaker Series. It concluded with a reception at the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, followed by dinner at the Blue Heron Restaurant and Sushi Bar.
“It was wonderful to have such great participation and diversity of topics,” said Rick Blob, an expert in animal biomechanics at  …

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