Vol. 60, No. 3 | August 2015


ABS Executive Committee Meeting Notes
June 10, 2015 - SpringHill Suites Anchorage University Lake

Present: Regina Macedo, Emília Martins, Bill Searcy, Dan Rubenstein, Molly Cummings, Sue Bertram, Mike Beecher, Eileen Hebets, Michelle Scott, John Swaddle, Allison Bell, Beth Jakob, and Zuleyma Tang-Martinez (ex-officio). Regrets: Mark Hauber

PART I. New Business

  1. The 2014 minutes from the Executive Committee meeting were approved
  2. The Historian keeps the history of the society, facilitates the transfer of archival material, and provides perspective for the EC. Motion: Include the Historian as a permanent ex officio invitee to the EC meeting (moved: Regina, seconded: Mike, unanimous support).
  3. Graduate Student Travel Grants: Several societies have conference travel grants for graduate students. ABS does not have any financial support to aid graduate student travel, aside from our diversity travel award. Motion to provide graduate student travel support (moved: John, Seconded: Mike, Supported: unanimous).
  4. Conference Caregiver Travel Grants: Several academic societies have conference grants to aid members who are caregivers to offset their elevated travel costs and facilitate their attending and presenting at the annual meeting. Motion to provide support to members who require dependent care (Moved: Bill, Seconded: Mike, Supported: unanimous.
  5. Retired Active Members Support: Some retired members are unable to attend the annual meetings because of the costs. Motion to reduce the registration fees for our retired but active members (Moved: Alison, Seconded: Mike, Supported: unanimous).
  6. Voting for Fellows: Currently only EC members and Fellows can nominate candidates for fellowship. There was a question about whether we should include committee chairs when asking/voting for fellow nominations? It was decided that the President and Secretary should (1) develop a database to know who has already received award who might be eligible, and (2) simplify our nominating process to get nominations from the current fellows and the EC.
  7. Latin American Budget: We have historically paid partial travel costs for up to two invited ABS speakers to attend meetings in Latin America. Proposed a motion to provide international transportation costs for up to two active ABS members to travel to a Latin American country to give an invited behavior plenary/keynote talk. (Motion was approved at the business 2015 meeting)
  8. Future of Animal Behavior: NSF has been leading workshops on the future of our field. Do we want to play a more active role in this sort of discussion? Motion: Form an ad hoc committee charged with facilitating the development of a strategic plan (Moved: Emilia, Seconded: Molly, Supported: unanimous). The ad hoc committee will (1) send out surveys to its members, (2) hold a strategic town hall at 2016 meeting to discuss the strategic plan development, (3) discuss the ABS logo, (4) write a charge to the Advancement and Investment Committee that aligns with the strategic grant informing them about what we want them to do over the next two years.
  9. Meetings and Program issues: The next meeting will be in Missouri in 2016 and Toronto in 2017. We need to line up the 2018 meeting.

PART II. Officers Reports

President: (Regina Macedo): Provided historical perspective explaining transition from Central Office to SPLtrak. Finalized legal negotiations involving closing the Central Office, contracting SPLtrak (11/2014–10/2019), transferred databases and information to SPLtrak. The EC is thrilled with what SPLtrak offers the society.

First President-elect: (Emília Martins): Coordinated the Founders’ Memorial Poster Paper Award, and changed its name to honor the recently deceased Founder John (Jack) A. King.

Second President-elect: (Bill Searcy): We received an excellent set of papers and are looking forward to a strong Allee symposium. Encourages submissions to be entered in a timely fashion. Updated policy to require online submissions of written papers for Allee Award.

Past President: (Dan Rubenstein): Oversaw the transition of the Central Office to SPLtrak, oversaw the election of career award winners, created a slate of candidates for vacant EC positions.

Treasurer: (Molly Cummings): Handled severance and lawyer fees resulting from the transition to SPLtrak. The Society is in excellent financial shape. The proposed budget was approved in a subsequent e-vote.

Secretary: (Sue Bertram): Published four newsletters with SPLtrak’s new online newsletter format. Noted that the number of members voting is down and encourages members to vote.

Program Officer & Program Officer-elect: (Mike Beecher & Mark Hauber): Motion to increase support of all symposia (except the Presidential symposium and the Allee symposium) to be funded a minimum of $3,000 for travel or accommodation (Moved Mike, Seconded Molly, Supported: unanimous). Motion to support all four symposia submitted for 2016 meeting in Missouri (Moved Mike, Seconded Molly, Supported: unanimous).

Parliamentarian: (Eileen Hebets): The various Policy changes (14) and Bylaw changes (3) to the Animal Behavior Society Constitution were reviewed and completed.

Executive Editor: (Michelle Scott): The Journal continues to do well. Accepted 34% of the 375 new submissions it received. The Impact Factor remains at 3.1 and the 5-year Impact Factor is 3.4.

Members-at-Large: (John Swaddle, Alison Bell, & Beth Jakob): Smoothly transitioned to a new online grant submission and review system. Coordinated submissions, reviews, and funding of 7 Developing Nations Awards, 39 Student Research Grants, and 5 Latin American Travel Awards.

Historian: (Zuleyma Tang-Martinez): Consulted with Don Dewsbury and Lee Drickamer, met with two historians of science, and has plans to meet with a historian of scientific societies. Keeping a record of all EC correspondence.

PART III. Committee Reports

  1. ABS 2016 Meeting in Missouri (Johannes Schul): Dorms and food will be inexpensive. Plan is to hold the registration fees constant with previous years.
  2. Film (Barbara Clucas): Received and reviewed 38 films. The top 3 films in the commercial and non-commercial categories were selected to be showcased at the ABS Film Festival. Food and beverage will be available for purchase at the film festival.
  3. Conservation (Misty McPhee): The Conservation Behaviour Workshop generated huge interest. They want to work with SPLtrak to update their web page, get the Conservation Behavior journal issues reposted, provide information about the committee and its’ members, and the resources they provide.
  4. Diversity (Dan Howard): There are 8 Turner students attending, but anticipate increasing this back to 10 for 2016. Expecting around 100 students at the Undergraduate Luncheon and Orientation. Motion to add language to the ABS policy about the Turner Award (moved Molly, Seconded Alison, Supported: unanimous), resulting language addition to ABS policy: Charles Henry Turner Award (added at EC meeting 2015) a. The Charles Henry Turner Award was named for one of the very first African American scientists to publish in animal behavior. It is an undergraduate travel and professional development award instituted by the ABS Diversity Committee in 2002 to promote its goal of increasing the diversity of the ABS membership by encouraging researchers of all ages, levels, and ethnic groups to participate in the annual meetings.b. The Turner Award is made annually to a number of undergraduate students following a competitive review of applications by a sub-committee of the Diversity Committee. The number of awards will be determined in consultation with the Treasurer. c. The Turner Award covers all meeting expenses (travel, housing, registration, meals, one-year membership in ABS, a meeting t-shirt) for each of the awardees, as well as a day-long pre-meeting workshop for orientation and professional development (organized, presented and managed by the Diversity Committee), and connection with at least one mentor from the ABS membership during the opening reception of the meeting.d. Applicants for the award may be at any stage of their undergraduate career (not secondary school) or recently graduated, but may not have finished their undergraduate degree earlier than the end of the fall semester prior to the annual meeting covered by the award.e. Turner Awardees who have completed research projects of the quality to produce a poster are entered in the Genesis Award competition, but the poster presentation is not required for selection for the Turner Award, and awardees are allowed to give an oral presentation if recommended by their undergraduate research advisor.
  5. Latin American Affairs (Lilian Tonelli Manica): Organized a Latin American party (Pachanga Party) in the hopes of raising money for Latin American Affairs.
  6. Education Committee (Susan Foster): The committee works hard reviewing books for the book award, gathering material and reviewing applications for the teaching award, running teaching workshops and symposia, organizing teaching resources, running the Genesis poster award competition, and coordinating the Education Outreach program.
  7. Public Affairs Committee (Patricia Brennan): This committee was reformed in 2015. They will contact media and plan to be active in social media.
  8. Applied Animal Behavior Committee (Robin Foster): Plans to run a Public Day session on Comparative Canine Behavior in Missouri.
  9. Board of Professional Certification (Robin Foster presented for Crista Coppola): 1 new certified animal behaviourist and 5 renewals. There are plans to automate a number of different elements, and send reminders of renewal eligibility.
  10. AAAS Liaison Committee (Dan Rubenstein): Encouraged members to propose symposia for AAAS to keep behavior in the forefront. Forward ideas to Dan.
  11. SPLtrak (Adam Kohm): Focussed efforts on getting access to the server, getting grant submission system developed, developing our online meeting submission system, working on the budgets, helping organize the meeting, and getting historical material scanned. Next step is to help committees with their needs.


Animal Behavior Society Annual Business Meeting Notes
June 13, 2015, University of Alaska Anchorage
10AM-11AM - Anchorage, AK

President Regina H. Macedo called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM. She announced the working transition of the Society to SPLtrak, which included the closing of the Bloomington, IN Central Office and negotiations of Lori and Shan’s severance package, as well as a new website and new online membership system.

Regina announced this year´s new Fellows: Gregory E. Demas, Steven L. Lima, Daniel R. Papaj, Michael S. Webster

Regina announced the appointment of new chairs for the following committees:

  • Public Affairs Committee: Patricia Brennan
  • Applied Animal Behavior: Robin Foster
  • Latin American Affairs Committee: Lilian Manica
  • Advancement and Investment Committee: Jeff Galef & Bob Seyfarth
  • New Historian: Zuleyma Tang- Martinez.

Regina announced the Executive Committee Candidates. Those elected will start their terms after the 2016 ABS meeting.

  • Second President Elect: John Swaddle and Mike Webster
  • Treasurer: Gil Rosenthal and Matthew Wund
  • Members -At- Large: Tood Freeberg and Melissa Hughes
  • Parlimentarian: Peter Bendekoff and Tamra Mendelson

Sue Bertram, Secretary, announced the Secretary’s Report.  Sue recalled the exact number of attendants as 586 and announced the 2017 Toronto Meeting. This year the Newsletter had the four regular issues published in the new electronic format. The ABS election generated 25% member vote compared from 39% in 2013. Sue’s aim is to get 50% voting rate for 2015. The number of emails handled is 2362: 704=Newsletter related, 553=Anchorage Meeting, 285=Spltrak handover, 214=ABS News (125 Postings), 180=Votes, 148=Career Awards, 143=Committee Chairs.

Sue presented the Parliamentarian Report in place of Eileen Hebets. Sue announced the policy changes which will be available via the website. The changes proposed included:

6. Executive Committee Meetings (added at EC meeting 2015)
Meetings of the Executive Committee are closed to those who are not members of the Executive Committee, except for the Historian who will act as an ex officio member and any other persons invited at the discretion of the President.Invited participants have a voice but not voting privileges (Revised at 2015 EC meeting).

7. Annual ABS Meetings (added at EC meeting 2015)

    • All symposia except the President’s and Allee symposia will be funded a minimum of $3000 for travel or accommodation and registration fees will be waived for symposium speakers (revised at 2015 EC meeting).
    • Retired but active members of the society are entitled to reduced registration fees to attend the annual ABS meeting.

Plus the addition of a Gradate Student Travel Grant and a Caregiver Travel Grant:

14. Graduate Student Travel Grant (added at EC meeting 2015)
a.    The objective of this grant is to provide financial support for graduate students to attend and present at the annual Animal Behavior Society meeting.
b.   Grants will be available annually and will be open to any active graduate student member of ABS.
c.    Receiving this award does not preclude students from applying for additional funding from ABS.
d.    The number of awards and dollar amount will be based on a recommendation from the Treasurer.
e.    The Members-at-Large, in conjunction with the Treasurer will organize, run, and administer these awards.

15. Caregiver Travel Grant (added at EC meeting 2015)
a.   The objective of this grant is to provide financial caregiving support for active ABS members to attend and present at the annual ABS meeting.
b.  Funds may be used to aid in caregiving costs that will enable ABS members to attend the annual meeting (e.g., airfare for caregiver, childcare or dependent care costs).
c.   Grants will be available annually and will be open to any active ABS member.
d.  The Members-at-Large, in conjunction with the Treasurer, will organize, run, and administer these awards.

A proposal to the Bylaws was announced:

Section 15. Latin American Affairs Committee:
Shall provide international transportation costs for up to two active ABS members to travel to a Latin American country to give an invited behavior plenary/keynote talk. (proposed at 2015 EC meeting) Motion. Seconded. Open to discussion: Zuleyma added that ABS has been informally already providing travel funding for speakers. Audience asked for more info: Zuleyma added: that it’s difficult to get funding to bring in anyone from the US. This change will support the studies and activities in Latin American. There was a question about the definition of an “active”member: Active member- pay dues and presently involved in the society. Question: Are the Latin American countries made aware of each effort? Regina: Yes, they already aware and actively seek more funding. These actions are already processed in this manner; this request would just make it official in the society’s bylaws. Motion to edit the by-laws: ACCEPTED. Call for vote: unanimous vote on new wording- unanimously passed. In Favor: unanimous. Opposed: none

Johnathan Pruitt, Emcee for the 2015 Raffle Chose the winning tickets for #1 and #2.

1st Member-at-Large: John Swaddle gave the MAL Report. John first introduced the committee as Allison Bell, Elizabeth Jakob and himself. John thanked all of the reviewers for their hard work and efforts. Reviewers were assigned at least 3 grants to review. New grant review system worked very well to make review process speedier. 39 of 127 applicants were granted awards and 5 of 22 travel grants were awarded. Starting next year there will be two new initiatives: Graduate Student Awards and Caregiver Awards. There were many requests for an award which recognizes graduate students. So this grant would help spread the funds past the undergrads. Also in order to attract speakers a caregiver award would allow diversity with speakers by covering the funds of a caregiver to join the meeting and provide childcare during the conference.

Treasurer Molly Cummings gave an overview of our expenses and income: Expenses - $344,419.02. Income $369,803.65 from journal. $614,894 est. total for year. Molly pointed out that the primary income is membership & profit share of the AB journal. Investments have grown steadily over last 10 years. YTD: 6.7% compared to last year made 7.7% return. We now have 3yrs of reserve operating costs. Molly emphasized that the transition to SPLtrak substantially streamlined our operating costs, resulting in a net of $65,000 minimum. As a result this allows ABS to give money. For example, the Turner Program is now fully funded by ABS (no longer NSF). We have increased the number and amounts of SRG’s and DNG’s. Starting in 2016 we will provide $46K for student travel grants. There will also be funds for caregiver grants. Ability to get better symposia support with increased funds (from 3k to 5k approved for 2016).

The 2016 Meeting was summarized and announced by Johannes Schul. The next ABS meeting will be held JULY 30 - AUG 3 - COLUMBIA, MO with hosts:  Zuleyma Tang-Martinez and Johannes Schul. Note that campus is adjacent to downtown. Expect the costs to be reasonable (Residence Halls - including breakfast approximately $60 / night for a single and $37 / night for double occupancy; Meal plan – approximately $50 for 4 lunches and 2 dinners). They are looking at possible solutions for childcare and hope to announce these in Fall 2015.


  • John Swaddle
  • Michelle Scott
  • Dan Rubenstien
  • Mike Beecher

2016 FREE REGISTRANT – RAFFLE WINNER: The winner of a free registration to ABS 2016 Annual Meeting is Ann Jane from Colgate University.


  • Where is the increase from journal coming from & what are we doing to make it more accessible to those in need? Elsevier raises rate sold to library; More on-line income has increased
  • What can we do to support POST-DOCS/ grants/ travel? We will discuss this idea further at the next EC meeting.


ABS Newsletter

Send general correspondence concerning the Society to Sue Bertram, the Secretary of The Animal Behavior Society, E-mail: secretary@animalbehaviorsociety.org. Deadlines for materials to be included in the Newsletter are the 15th of the month preceding each issue. The next deadline is 15 October, 2015. Articles submitted by members of the Society and judged by the Secretary to be appropriate are occasionally published in the ABS newsletter. The publication of such material does not imply ABS endorsement of the opinions expressed by contributors.

Animal Behavior Society Website: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org

Animal Behavior

Animal Behavior, manuscripts and editorial matters: Authors should submit manuscripts online to Elsevier’s Editorial System (http://ees.elsevier.com/anbeh/). For enquiries relating to submissions prior to acceptance, contact the Journal Manager (yanbe@elsevier.com). For enquiries relating to submissions after acceptance, visit Elsevier at http://www.elsevier.com/journals. For other general correspondence, contact Kris Bruner, Managing Editor, Animal Behaviour, Indiana University, 407 N. Park Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA. E-mail: krbruner@indiana.edu. Phone: 812-935-7188.

Change of address, missing or defective issues: ABS Central Office, 2111 Chestnut Avenue, Suite 145, Glenview, IL 60025, US. Phone: 312-893-6585. Fax: 312-896-5614. E-mail: info@animalbehaviorsociety.org.