What is systematics?

Systematics is the study of biological diversity and its origins. It focuses on understanding evolutionary relationships among organisms, species, higher taxa, or other biological entities, such as genes, and the evolution of the properties of taxa including intrinsic traits, ecological interactions, and geographic distributions. An important part of systematics is the development of methods for various aspects of phylogenetic inference and biological nomenclature/classification.

The objective of the Society of Systematic Biologists is the advancement of the science of systematic biology in all its aspects of theory, principles, methodology, and practice, for both living and fossil organisms, with emphasis on areas of common interest to all systematic biologists regardless of individual specialization.

Systematics books at Amazon.com (click for more...)

Books recently reviewed in Systematic Biology, or written by members of the Society.

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Curator, Professor, and Director of Comparative Biology Initiative AMNH

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York invites applications and nominations for an outstanding scholar at the Full Curator & Full Professor level with internationally-recognized research and leadership credentials, and demonstrated, ongoing high-impact research productivity and grantsmanship, to provide innovative leadership for a new museum-wide initiative in comparative biology. This initiative will incorporate the work of multiple investigators at the Museum and at collaborating institutions in genomics (including eukaryotic [including microbial] genomics, metagenomics, phylogenomics, transcriptomics, etc.), phenomics (large-scale phenotypic analysis) and bioinformatics/computational biology, aimed at understanding the evolution and relationships of organisms in ways that clarify and illuminate the architecture of life. The successful candidate for this position should show experience and interest in managing large–scale, interdisciplinary, collaborative, multi-institutional projects and is expected to qualify for and be appointed as a tenured full curator in either the Division of Invertebrate Zoology or Vertebrate Zoology, and as a full professor in the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the AMNH. We seek a creative, active, broad-based researcher and dynamic academic leader who interacts well with others and who will utilize the extensive resources the Museum has to offer in the way of collections, research instrumentation and laboratories, interactions with Museum colleagues and collaborations with area organizations (including the New York Genome Center, area universities, New York Botanical Garden, and others), teaching and mentoring, exhibition, and public education.

Systematics Association Biennial (2015)

This three-day meeting of the Systematics Association will be held 26-28 August 2015 at the University of Oxford and comprises four thematic sessions and contributed papers. The organisers are keen to have contributed 15 minute talks. More details at http://www.systass.org/biennial2015/.

MCEB - Mathematical and Computational Evolutionary Biology 21-25 June 2015 - Porquerolles Island, South of France

MCEB - Mathematical and Computational Evolutionary Biology 21-25 June 2015 - Porquerolles Island, South of France.

Webpage: http://www.lirmm.fr/mceb2015/

Pre-registration deadline: February 10th Notification to applicants: February 28th Final list of attendees: April 1st

Scope: Mathematical and computational tools and concepts form an essential basis for modern evolutionary studies. The goal of the MCEB conference (at its 7th edition) is to bring together scientists with diverse backgrounds to present recent advances and discuss open problems in the field of mathematical and computational evolutionary biology. The theme of this yearís edition will be new data, new questions, new methods. New generation sequencing techniques have multiplied not just the amount, but also the types of genetic data produced, giving rise to new questions, and new methodologies to answer them. These methodologies are often cross-disciplinary, with applications to diverse research topics. General concepts, models, methods and algorithms will also be presented and discussed, just as during the previous conference editions.

Tree Conservation Biologist at The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum invites nominations and applications for a full-time Conservation Biologist with a strong interest in tree conservation. Applicants with a strong plant conservation biology background are encouraged to apply. Research topics may include conservation genetics, niche/distribution modeling, experimental approaches to restoration ecology, population viability analysis, community assembly, trait-based or phylogenetic ecology, leading edge evolutionary dynamics, dispersal biology, or other topics in conservation biology. The successful applicant will demonstrate a commitment to integrating basic research on why woody plants succeed or decline with application to plant conservation.

NSF Program Director in the Systematics and Biodiversity Science

The National Science Foundation http://www.nsf.gov/about/ (NSF) is seeking candidates for Program Director in the Systematics and Biodiversity Science Cluster (SBS) within the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) in Arlington, VA. Additional information about the position and the application process can be found here: (https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/390306500).

The DEB supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Scientific emphases range across many evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Areas of research include biodiversity, phylogenetic systematics, molecular evolution, life history evolution, natural selection, ecology, biogeography, ecosystem services, conservation biology, global change, and biogeochemical cycles. Research on origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and evolutionary history may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative experiments; synthesis activities; as well as theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or simulation modeling.

Thinking of Building a Supertree? Why not come to the Supertree Toolkit Workshop?

15th December 2014
Department of Biology & Biochemistry, 4 South University of Bath, BA27AY, UK

A free, informal, one-day workshop on the Supertree Tookit (STK), led by its authors, Katie Davis and Jon Hill.

The STK is a bioinformatics tool designed to make it easier to process hundreds or thousands of input source trees for inclusion in MRP supertree analysis, whilst reducing potential errors and enabling the easy sharing of such datasets.

The software is available on Mac, Windows and Linux: http://supertreetoolkit.org/


  • 10:30: Start to arrive, coffee.
  • 11:00 - 11:15: Welcome to Bath: Matthew Wills
  • 11:15 - 12:00: Introduction to STK: Jon Hill
  • 12:00 - 12:30: Adding data: Katie Davis
  • 12:30 - 13:30: Lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:00: Processing data: Katie Davis
  • 15:00 - 15:30: Break
  • 15:30 - 16:30: Post-processing: Jon Hill
  • 16:30 - 17:00: Python interface (for those interested): Jon Hill

To reserve a place, please contact Matthew Wills

Director of the Center for Tree Science at The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum invites nominations and applications for a Center for Tree Science Director, to lead and manage the Center at The Morton Arboretum to produce world-class scientific research with important practical applications to advance tree science. The Center for Tree Science brings together experts from botanical gardens, universities, government, industry, and other organizations to participate in collaborations that generate new knowledge and provide training to address key challenges facing trees in urban areas and in the wild.See attached PDF for details.