Milestones in Systematics

David M. Williams, Peter L. Forey

May 12, 2004 by CRC Press
Reference - 312 Pages - 60 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780415280327 - CAT# TF1475
Series: Systematics Association Special Volumes


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  • Covers a pivotal era in systematics from both the scientist's and the historian's points of view
  • Contains commentary on the revolution in biological systematics
  • Outlines the challenges that will shape the future of systematics
  • Includes coverage ofcomparative biology, paleontology, biogeography, development, numerical systematics, and homology
  • Provides historical details pertinent to the practical techniques that have made molecular systematics routine
  • Summary

    Presenting a historical analysis of the evolution of systematics during the last one hundred years, Milestones in Systematics reviews many of the major issues in systematic theory and practice that have driven the working methods of systematics during the 20th century and looks at the issues most likely to preoccupy systematists in the immediate future.

    The book highlights:
    § The development of evolutionary, phenetic and cladistic methods of phylogenetic analysis and the associated computer algorithms
    § The changing influence of paleontological techniques
    § The impact of new molecular data and the relationships between systematics, development, and evolution

    The authors stress the importance of understanding the past to make sense of the future. They present a general assessment of comparative biology's recent past and how it has matured and blossomed. Exploring the full impact of the cladistics revolution, a phenomenon that has yet to be fully appreciated, the book provides a platform for further debate and discussion.