ISEP Newsletter
No 10 September 2001

In this issue:

1. Editor's note
2. President's Message
3. ISEP XIII What a great meeting!
4. ISEP XIV Preparations in full swing for Vancouver 2002
5. ISEP XV ISEP down-under at last
6. Treasurer's report and subscription option
7. Proselytising for protistology
8. The next generation of web resources - Microscope and Tree of Life

1. Editor's note

Welcome to another ISEP newsletter! Your editor apologises for being delinquent in getting the newsletter out, but better late than never they say.

Geoff McFadden, Newsletter Editor

2. Message from the President

Greetings from beneath! It has taken almost a year to recover from ISEP XIII, particularly the excellent beer, symposia, beer, presentations, beer, science, beer and hospitality provided by Dr Julius Lukes and colleagues/students/friends/spouses at the University of South Bohemia. ISEP XIII was generally praised as the best ever ISEP meeting, and on behalf of the entire society, I thank Julius for his outstanding organization of this meeting. Off course, many will also want to thank him for the extraordinary large amount of travel funding he was able to secure, mainly from the EEC! Julius has certainly put pressure on the next two organizing committees on all fronts, but particularly in terms of raising travel funds. However, the Canadian organizers have done very well thus far for ISEP XIV, although I must admit that the Melbourne organizing committee for ISEP XV, which consists of your president, is unlikely to match either of these efforts. Australia does not possess many agencies that will fund such meetings. On the other hand, the Oz dollar is at record lows, and you will live like a king here on $US (sorry Julius, you may still feel poor), and it will be a warm respite from your northern winter. So, as is the case in an off year (no meeting), there is little to report except that ISEP XIV is already looking like a great meeting, and hopefully you are all planning to attend.

Rick Wetherbee, President


ISEP 13 was held in Ceske Buejovice in the Czech Republic last August. The meeting was organised by Dr Julius Lukes and his team from the University of South Bohemia. Julius and his team did a fantastic job and a great time was had by all enjoying excellent quality beer at bargain-basement prices. The meeting opened with a special address by Jiri Lom of the Institute of Parasitology "A brief account of Czech Protistology" reminding us of the tremendous contribution from Czech scientists to protistology. The scientific sessions were particularly high quality, even for ISEP where every protist is adored. We had a focus on kinetoplastids and the organisers had invited a number of key cell biology labs to present the latest developments in kinetoplastid biology. In conjunction with special sessions on the origins of mitochondria and plastids and the usual host of excellent protistology, both molecular and morphological, all in all a fantastic meeting was enjoyed by all comers. A report on the science by Peter Beech, Laura Landweber and Paul Gilson can be found in Protist. 2000 Dec;151(4):299-305. The conference finished with a banquet presented in the grounds of the ancient medieval castle at Cesky Krumlov.

ISEP is extremely grateful to Julius. Putting on a meeting is an extraordinary effort and Julius and his team excelled with cheerful dedication. ISEP thanks you Czech protistologists!

Proceedings from the conference have recently been published in IJSEM. Many of you will already have received the following message re IJSEM from Aidan Parte.

Dear ISEP XIII delegate

The May issue (51/3) of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology was published on 16 May and it went online on 17 May. The issue contains seven original papers from ISEP XIII in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. The abstracts and full text are available at:

Miklos Müller, our Associate Editor who handled the reviewing of all of the submitted ISEP papers, has now retired from the Editorial Board of the journal. He has been replaced by Mark Farmer (University of Georgia, USA), who will handle all papers on protists in the future.

Please also have a look at the IJSEM Online home page; there are links to a page of related resources for systematists and Guidelines for
Authors (revised 17 May):

We look forward to receiving more papers from the protist community in the future.


Aidan Parte
Dr Aidan C Parte
IJSEM Managing Editor, IJSEM Editorial Office, Society for General
Microbiology, Marlborough House, Basingstoke Road, Spencers Wood, Reading

Tel: +44 (0)118 988 1815 (direct line); Fax: +44 (0)118 988 1834/5656

IJSEM is online at

Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No. 1039582.
Registered Office as above. Registered Charity No. 264017

4. ISEP IV Preparations in full swing.

In 2002 we will meet in Vancouver, Canada on June 19 - 25, 2002. Patrick Keeling and Jim Berger are the local organisers and the planning is going particularly well. Your editor conducted a site visit recently and was most impressed with the venue and the organisation. Planned social activities at this point include a trip up Grouse Mountain by gondola and a salmon barbecue at the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology. Your editor also had the opportunity to road test the salmon and the Okanagan Chardonnay, and both can be highly recommended. The museum itself is also quite extraordinary with a stunning collection of artefacts from the North West Pacific,s First Peoples. Further information on the meeting is available at the web site. See you in BC!

5. ISEP Down-under

At the last meeting the membership voted to hold ISEP IV in the island continent. We are hoping to hold the meeting in late January or early February 2005 at a seaside resort called Lorne that is south of Melbourne. February is high summer for Australia and participants can expect sun and surf and beer, but not necessarily in that order. The meetings will also include a special symposium being organised by Australian phycologists celebrating the career of Jeremy Pickett-Heaps who is retiring about then. All in all we anticipate a fabulous set of meetings and I know many ISEPers will seize the opportunity to visit Australia.

6. ISEP Treasurer's Report

ISEP Executive:

In accordance with changes to ISEP policy following the updating of our bylaws, the Treasurer,s Report was prepared to cover our fiscal year (as set out in the bylaws and indicated above). Dr. B. Yoo has again been appointed to audit our accounts and all supporting documentation, including this statement, has been forwarded to him. He will report directly to ISEP,s President (Dr. Rick Wetherbee) who will forward the report to our Head Office Manager (Dr. Patrick Keeling). If you wish to see a copy of the audit report please contact Patrick directly. All values are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

Active Account
ISEP's overall financial state is strong. We have sufficient funds ($4594.05) in our Active Account for routine society business and to support initiatives (Newsletter, symposia, an additional student travel award, etc.) that the Executive may wish to fund. In addition, $1000 was loaned as seed money for the upcoming meeting in Vancouver and will be repaid to our account in the summer of 2002.

We only received membership payments from 28 individuals (income $1437.28 of which ca. $135.00 was in the form of donations to the Founders' Endowment). The Treasurer thanks R. Chapman, C. Delwiche, W. Martin and A. Roger for their generosity in this regard and strongly encourages other members to consider a donation in the next membership round. On the issue of only 28 members having paid their dues it is time for all delinquent members to pay up! I leave this matter in the hands of our new Membership Director (Dr. Andrew Roger). New this year was the acceptance of membership payment by Mastercard. I went to great personal lengths to establish this method of payment owing to the many requests by members to provide this service. In the end only TWO members paid their dues in this manner. This grossed the society $140.00 ($10.00 was returned to the bank in the form of service charges). Considering the low usage of our Mastercard account I anticipate that the bank will soon revoke ISEP's privileges to accept payment by credit card.

Our account generated $25.59 in interest payments and $1232 was transferred from the Endowment to subsidize two student travel awards for the 2000 meeting (cost $2032.00). The only remaining expense was as miscellaneous bank charges ($5.00 additional to the credit card expenses outlined above). In summary, ISEP's Active Account remains steady at ca. $5000, an amount that we have generally tried to maintain for contingency purposes. The executive may wish to spend some of this money, or transfer additional funds to the Endowment Fund where we realize better interest. Founders, Endowment Fund

The Founders Endowment Fund continues to grow. We went from $30,834.59 in 2000 to $31,209.86 in 2001 despite transferring $1232 to our Active Account to support student travel. The growth was largely due to interest earned, but the value of some of our investments has also increased over the past year. Prior to our next meeting in 2002 the account will grow by at least an additional $1532 thus insuring that we will have the funds to support student travel. I recommend that the executive use a similar approach to the last meeting whereby part of the student awards was supported by the Endowment Fund ($1232) and part was taken from our Active Account (ca. $800). This will insure the healthy growth of the Endowment Fund while allowing us to again support two or three deserving students.

I am pleased to present this positive report to the society. We are in a solid financial position and can look to a strong future.

Gary W. Saunders
ISEP Treasurer


Balance Forward: $30,834.59
ITEM Income Expenses
Interest $ 1,532.00
Transfer from
Active acct. $ NA
Transfer funds $ 1232
student awards
Fluctuation in
Bonds & mutual. $ 75.27

Totals $ 1,607.27 $ 1232
Balance $31,209.86
ACTIVE ACCOUNT ON FOLLOWING PAGESoTuesday, June 19, 2001 Page: 1
ISEP2000-2001 - Checking
Balance Sheet
As of 4/30/01
Accounts Balance
Cash and Bank Accounts
Checking 4,594.05
Total Cash and Bank Accounts 4,594.05
Total Assets 4,594.05
Liabilities & Equity
Liabilities 0.00
Equity 4,594.05
Total Liabilities & Equity 4,594.05oTuesday, June 19, 2001 Page: 1
ISEP2000-2001 - Checking
Income Statement
5/1/00 through 4/30/01
Category 4/30/01
Interest Earned 25.59
Membership 1,437.28
Transfer funds from Endowment 1,232.00
Total Income 2,694.87
Bank Charges 15.00
Endowment Award Payment 2,032.00
Miscellaneous 1,000.00
Total Expenses 3,047.00
Total Income/Expenses -352.13


ISEP Membership Form

[ 1 ] Make a hard copy of the form below. We need your contact
information so fill out the form completely with all requested details.

[ 2 ] Airmail it, with your dues, to the ISEP Treasurer:

Gary W. Saunders
Department of Biology
University of New Brunswick tel: 506 452 6216
Fredericton, N.B. fax: 506 453 3583
Canada, E3B 6E1 e-mail:

Name (as it appears on Mastercard or VISA if paying by credit card):

Postal address:





Telephone number (optional):

Fax number (optional):

E-mail (necessary to receive newsletter electronically):

Membership dues are US$ 25 (Can$35) for each two-year period. We can
accept payment for two, four, or more years, and we welcome additional
contributions. Payment may be made by personal check (within the USA &
Canada), bank money order or bank draft, international money order, or
postal money order; payable to "International Society for Evolutionary Protistology".
We can also accept payment by Mastercard and VISA (NEW!! But note
transaction fee for VISA below).


ISEP membership dues are included for the years 200_ through 20___ .

Total membership payment: ___________
Donation to the Founders' Fund ___________
VISA transaction fee [put $2.00 on line on right ] ___________
Total ___________


Credit Card option [note $2 transaction fee for VISA]

MasterCard or VISA (Circle one)
Credit card # _________________________________ Exp. Date ___/____

Signature: _________________________________ Date: ___________


7. Proselytising for protistology

Your editor recently attended two stimulating lectures that gave him pause to reflect on things protistological. The first lecture was by Tom Cech and recounted the major discoveries of RNA splicing and telomeres (the latter by Elizabeth Blackburn) using ciliates as model organisms. The numerous mini-chromosomes of ciliate macronuclei were the ideal study object for telomere research and ISEPers are familiar with the other extraordinary things ciliates are able to do. I ask readers to think of other paradigms to emerge from the study of protists and contact me. I,d like to compile some for the next newsletter.

The second lecture, by Leroy Hood, made me realise that we mustn't tire of promoting our discipline. Hood will be known to many of you as an inventor of automated DNA and protein sequencers. Hood continues to dream up extraordinary instruments and revealed his latest widget an inkjet printer converted to synthesise DNA arrays of genes on microscope slides. Basically, Hood swaps A, G, C, and T solutions for the cyan, magenta yellow and black inks in the printer and reconfigures it to squirt out tiny dollops of DNA sequence (base by base) onto slides. Great stuff, and just the ticket for your microarrays when you get your protist genome up and running. What was less encouraging was to hear Hood talk about things evolutionary. It is clear that the focus of molecular biology on a few model organisms (the superb six, as some describe them) has done little to increase peoples, awareness of eukaryotic diversity. For instance, Hood spoke of a cell biological principle that spanned the entire spectrum of eukaryotes all the way from yeast up to man,. Clearly we have much work ahead of us as protistologists to convince the scientific community that yeast and man are but two twigs at the tips of the great eukaryotic tree.

8. The next generation of web resources - Microscope and Tree of Life

Paddy Patterson has spent the last year or so on a well-earned sabbatical at Woods Hole in the Marine Biology Labs. During his time there Paddy has been busy implementing Microscope, an on-line resource partly funded by the NASA Xenobiology programme.

Paddy had this to say about the resource

The important feature of microscope is NOT that it is a database (although it holds a pile of data) but that it can aggressively use the underlying classification to find taxon-related data on the internet, identify it and even collate it. It is associated with Biose-IT software, which is being developed to help people to put data sets on the web, and TNS which is the system that holds all names.

Microscope also contains a draft comprehensive classification of all protists and all the info is downloadable. The database currently has 15000 microbe names and 1000 images

Paddy is also looking for collaborators, who wish to add to the site or want the site to look at other data sitting on the internet. The site will have a supervisory team, rather like a journal, and Paddy is also seeking expressions of interest from folks to get involved in this side. The site can accommodate multiple classifications so if people wish to assemble alternative classifications, they can also add them to the site. These classifications can be done in the software Platypus and Paddy will provide a template file and then all you have to do is a drag and drop exercise.

The Lucid guides will be the next major area of development with NASA funding another 20.


PS. Lucid and Platypus software are both Australian!

ISEPers will also be pleased to hear that the Tree of Life website is being reactivated. Numerous new pages are being added. For more information visit the site or contact Katja Schulz.

Katja Schulz
The Tree of Life Project
c/o Department of Entomology
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721

phone: 520-621-7033
fax: 520-621-1150

That,s it for this issue. Keep up the good work and hope to see you in Vancouver.