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.

Issues Online

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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/

Programme

  • 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
m.a.wills@bath.ac.uk
http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/contacts/academics/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.

New DEST training programme and website

The Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST), an initiative under the CETAF umbrella and managed by RBINS, has launched its NEW website and training programme for 2014-2015!

Check out the Modern Taxonomy programme offering intensive theoretical courses in various subjects. Also, have a look at the Expert-in-training programme enabling trainees to develop and strengthen their taxonomic research skills through on-the-job-training.

Curator of Invertebrates and Assistant Professor in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

The University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO), University of Colorado Boulder, invite applications for a joint, tenure-track appointment as Curator of Invertebrates and Assistant Professor.

Primary responsibilities will be to develop an active research program on any group of non-insect invertebrates using molecular systematic approaches preferably including bioinformatics tools, to curate and develop the Museum's invertebrate collections, and to teach in the Museum and Field Studies and EBIO programs. The successful candidate will be expected to take a leadership position in advancing the role of the collections, particularly in digital and molecular assets. The Invertebrate collection houses approximately 870,000 specimens of molluscs, other non-entomological marine, freshwater, and terrestrial invertebrates. Most holdings are from Colorado and the southern Rocky Mountain region, and enhanced by wider US and international collections. The successful candidate will contribute to research, curation, mentoring, and teaching at graduate and undergraduate levels and will be expected to develop an externally funded research program. We offer a collaborative, intellectually stimulating, and supportive environment in which a new professor can thrive.

Two curatorial positions at the Florida Museum of Natural History

The University of Florida is launching a cross-disciplinary Biodiversity Initiative that will improve our understanding of biological diversity and its impacts on human society. As part of this initiative, two curatorial positions will be filled at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the level of Associate or Full Curator (equivalent to Associate or Full Professor). The anticipated start date is August 2015. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

Successful applicants will be expected to conduct dynamic, externally funded research programs incorporating biodiversity collections-based data or other ‘Big Data’ and models to improve our understanding of conservation biology or other environmental issues such as climate change, invasive species, habitat modification, and ecosystem services; or improve our understanding of the history of life and our ability to address questions in comparative biology such as those related to the origin, persistence and extinction of lineages and biogeographic patterns; or improve our ability to provide data on species identifications and distributions, habitat preferences, and other information to resource managers, agricultural scientists, and industry.

Contemporary and future studies in plant speciation, morphological/floral evolution and polyploidy

The Royal Society has published a special issue celebrates the distinguished scientific career of Leslie Gottlieb, who investigated the evolutionary processes that generate the Earth’s life-sustaining plant diversity.
The articles in this issue discuss results, obtained largely from contemporary genetic-genomic approaches, within the context of Gottlieb’s views on several areas of plant evolution. Collectively, the articles document the importance of Leslie Gottlieb’s contributions to plant evolutionary biology because the same questions, and in some cases the same plants, that interested him are commanding the attention of contemporary workers employing cutting edge techniques today.
The issue is online at bit.ly/PTB1648, you can also buy a print copy at the same link. Quote code TB 1648 for a discount (£35.00 versus usual price of £59.50).

Frontiers in Phylogenetics 4th Annual Symposium videos online

The Frontiers in Phylogenetics 4th Annual Symposium entitled "Genome-Scale Phylogenetics: Analyzing the Data” will remain available to watch on Ustream-SI in unedited form in three parts.

Part 1) Opening (Mike Braun, John Kress, Guillermo Orti), Lacey Knowles, Kevin Kocot, Ingo Ebersberger...
Part 2) Ingo Ebersberger continued, Derick Zwickl, Dave Swofford...
Part 3) Dave Swofford continued, Luay Nakleh, Bastien Boussau, round table discussion.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/Smithsonian-On-UStream-TV

Part 1 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/52713111
Part 2 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/52716590
Part 3 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/52720049

An edited version of the event will be available as a podcast on iTunes at a later date, to be announced.