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Systematics: A Course of Lectures


By: Ward C Wheeler (Author)

426 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables

John Wiley & Sons

Paperback | May 2012 | #198097 | ISBN-13: 9780470671696
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £65.50 $80/€74 approx
Hardback | May 2012 | #198098 | ISBN-13: 9780470671702
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £95.00 $116/€107 approx

About this book

Systematics: A Course of Lectures is designed for use in an advanced undergraduate or introductory graduate level course in systematics and is meant to present core systematic concepts and literature. Systematics: A Course of Lectures covers topics such as the history of systematic thinking and fundamental concepts in the field including species concepts, homology, and hypothesis testing. Analytical methods are covered in detail with chapters devoted to sequence alignment, optimality criteria, and methods such as distance, parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. Trees and tree searching, consensus and super-tree methods, support measures, and other relevant topics are each covered in their own sections.

The work is not a bleeding-edge statement or in-depth review of the entirety of systematics, but covers the basics as broadly as could be handled in a one semester course. Most chapters are designed to be a single 1.5 hour class, with those on parsimony, likelihood, posterior probability, and tree searching two classes (2 × 1.5 hours).

"Viewed as a series of lectures, this is clearly aimed at graduate level courses in systematics, although some elements would prove useful at undergraduate level."
- British Ecological Society Bulletin, 1 August 2013

"If you want to teach yourself systematics, this book is for you. It's just a series of lectures and exercises compiled by Wheeler, one of the top systematic biologists."
- Teaching Biology, 20 December 2012

"All things considered, I strongly recommend this work as a textbook for those teaching in systematics, biologists and palaeontologists alike [...] I would advise this book to graduate students – MSc and above."
- Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 1 February 2013



Preface xv
Using these notes xv
Acknowledgments xvi
List of algorithms xix

I Fundamentals 1
1 History 2
2 Fundamental Concepts 20
3 Species Concepts, Definitions, and Issues 53
4 Hypothesis Testing and the Philosophy of Science 67
5 Computational Concepts 77
6 Statistical and Mathematical Basics 89

II Homology 109
7 Homology 110
8 Sequence Alignment 121

III Optimality Criteria 147
9 Optimality Criteria-Distance 148
10 Optimality Criteria-Parsimony 173
11 Optimality Criteria-Likelihood 213
12 Optimality Criteria-Posterior Probability 240
13 Comparison of Optimality Criteria 269
14 Tree Searching 290
15 Support 324
16 Consensus, Congruence, and Supertrees 341

V Applications 363
17 Clocks and Rates 364

Bibliography 376
Index 415

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Ward Wheeler is Professor and Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of several books, software packages, and over 100 technical papers in empirical and theoretical systematics.

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