As announced earlier on social media, our election for President-elect, Treasurer and two Councillors whose terms will begin on 1 January 2021 resulted in the following appointments:
PRESIDENT-ELECT: Dr. James McInerney
Dr. McInerney holds the Chair in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Nottingham, UK. He works on the non-treelike evolution that we see as a consequence of Horizontal (or Lateral) Gene Transfer, symbiosis, recombination, and the merging of genomes in events such as those that formed the eukaryotic cell. His lab develops tools and methods and makes them all available in the public domain and all papers from his lab are published as open access. Dr. McInerney is a passionate supporter of this society, and his association with SMBE goes back 18 years, to the 2002 annual meeting in Sorrento, Italy. Since then, he has been to all but three of the annual meetings, being a symposium organiser and/or speaker most years. He was the lead organiser of the SMBE annual meeting in Dublin, Ireland in 2012. Dr. McInerney also worked to support the organising committee for SMBE 2019 in Manchester, UK. Dr. McInerney strongly believes in society journals, and he has co-authored nine papers in MBE and 3 papers in GBE. He also spent 9 years serving as an associate editor of Molecular Biology and Evolution. Dr. McInerney served as the secretary of the society for four years from Jan 1, 2013, until Dec 31, 2016. In that time, the various councils he was involved with brought in the Carer’s support fund, a trailblazing move that has since been copied by several societies. They also massively expanded the supports for early career researchers, mostly through travel and conference support. Dr. McInerney also oversaw the move of the SMBE website, when it was taken over by Allen Press, so that membership registration, and communications with members could improve. He worked with former presidents on making a number of changes in the society’s bylaws, all of whom were ratified by the membership of the society. His plans for the direction of the society include: (1) the development of the society in parts of the world where we have only a small membership; (2) the development of more and better online conferencing facilities and support for online conference and symposium organizers; (3) the development of more science communication and outreach in the areas of Molecular and Genome Biology and Evolution; (4) the development of an SMBE magazine that would create more of a sense of community, which he sees as being particularly important in order to maintain a feeling of community in the face of the likely reduction of travel and the movement towards a more online way of working.
Chair in Evolutionary Biology
University of Nottingham
TREASURER: Dr. John McCutcheon
Dr. McCutcheon is the Associate Director of the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution at Arizona State University. He and his lab members study symbiosis, usually involving insect hosts and bacterial endosymbiotic partners. He is interested in how these endosymbioses form, how they are maintained, and how they sometimes break down. His lab combines techniques from evolutionary genomics, cell biology, biochemistry, and genetics to study these processes. His first SMBE meeting was in 2009, and he distinctly remembers the feeling that he had finally found his intellectual home. He served as an Associate Editor at Genome Biology and Evolution from 2013- 2018, and is now on the Editorial Board of Current Biology. He was Chair-Elect and then Chair for Division R of the American Society for Microbiology in 2014-2016, and was a co-organizer for the National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium Symbiosis Becoming Permanent in 2014. He was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2019. He would be honored to serve as Treasurer for SMBE, where he would use all of what he knows about spreadsheets to keep SMBE in a strong financial position.
Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution
Arizona State University
COUNCILOR: Dr. Josefa González
Dr. González is a tenured scientist at the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) in Barcelona, Spain. She got her PhD at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and continue her training at Stanford University, CA. Dr. González’ research aims at understanding how organisms adapt to the environment. Towards this end, her lab combines omic approaches with detailed molecular and phenotypic analyses to identify and characterize adaptive mutations, and in particular those induced by transposable element insertions. Dr. González is currently serving as an Associate Editor for GBE and has been an active participant at the SMBE meetings since 2004. She is an advocate for collaborative and inclusive science. She is one of the co-founders of the European Drosophila Population Genomics Consortium (droseu.net): a grass-root, collaborative, gender-balanced effort that brings together 61 labs from 27 European countries and beyond. She is also committed to increasing public awareness of science by co-leading a citizen science project (melanogaster.eu) and actively participating in outreach activities.
CSIC Tenured Scientist
Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF)
COUNCILOR: Dr. Katerina Guschanski
Dr. Guschanski is a group leader in the Department of Ecology and Genetic, Evolutionary Biology Centre at Uppsala University. She is an evolutionary biologist interested in the complexity of biological diversity in wild animals, ranging from individuals, to population and species, to the evolutionary significance of hostassociated microorganisms. To study the evolutionary processes, she travels back in time using museum and archaeological collections. Dr. Guschanski has been a member of SMBE since 2012 and has greatly enjoyed and benefitted from the annual meetings. She acts as reviewer for the society journals MBE and GBE. She feels strongly about creating a nourishing and supportive environment for young researchers within the society, providing mentoring, promoting equality on all levels and specifically addressing barriers faced by women in STEM.
Evolutionary Biology Centre
Department of Ecology and Genetics/Animal Ecology