Books  Evolutionary Biology  Cladistics, Phylogeny, Phenology & Taxonomy 

The Future of Phylogenetic Systematics: The Legacy of Willi Hennig

  • Includes several chapters on the history of phylogenetic systems which will act as a platform for the study of this significant change in taxonomic and evolutionary practice
  • Covers a wide spectrum of topics including practical issues in biology, which invests renewed interest in the development of comparative biology
  • Includes chapters on areas of progress which identify the need for future developmental research and investigative study into these subjects

Series: Systematics Association Special Volumes Series Volume: 86

By: David Williams(Editor), Michael Schmitt(Editor), Quentin D Wheeler(Editor), Norman I Platnick(Foreword By)

488 pages, 75 b/w illustrations, 1 table

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jul 2016 | #228110 | ISBN-13: 9781107117648
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £99.99 $131/€112 approx

About this book

Willi Hennig (1913-76), founder of phylogenetic systematics, revolutionised our understanding of the relationships among species and their natural classification. An expert on Diptera and fossil insects, Hennig's ideas were applicable to all organisms. He wrote about the science of taxonomy or systematics, refining and promoting discussion of the precise meaning of the term 'relationship', the nature of systematic evidence, and how those matters impinge on a precise understanding of monophyly, paraphyly, and polyphyly. Hennig's contributions are relevant today and are a platform for the future. The Future of Phylogenetic Systematics focuses on the intellectual aspects of Hennig's work and gives dimension to the future of the subject in relation to Hennig's foundational contributions to the field of phylogenetic systematics. Suitable for graduate students and academic researchers, The Future of Phylogenetic Systematics will also appeal to philosophers and historians interested in the legacy of Willi Hennig.


List of contributors
Foreword Norman I. Platnick
Introduction David Williams, Quentin Wheeler and Michael Schmitt

1. Mission impossible: the childhood and youth of Willi Hennig Willi E. R. Xylander
2. Willi Hennig: a shy man behind a scientific revolution Michael Schmitt
3. Willi Hennig's legacy in the Nordic countries Ole Seberg, Torbjorn Ekrem, Jaakko Hyvonen and Per Sundberg
4. Hennigian systematics in France, a historical approach with a glimpse of sociology Pascal Tassy
5. Are we all cladists? Andrew V. Z. Brower
6. How much of Hennig is in present-day cladistics? Michael Schmitt
7. The evolution of Willi Hennig's phylogenetic considerations Rainer Willmann
8. What we all learned from Hennig Gareth Nelson
9. Semaphoronts: 'the elements of biological systematics' Leandro C. S. Assis
10. Why should cladograms be dichotomous? Rene Zaragueta Bagils and Sophie Pecaud
11. Hennig's auxiliary principle and reciprocal illumination revisited Randy D. Mooi and Anthony C. Gill
12. Dispersalism and neodispersalism Malte C. Ebach and David M. Williams
13. Molecular data in systematics: a promise fulfilled, a future beckoning Ward C. Wheeler and Gonzalo Giribet
14. Hennig, Lovtrup, evolution and biology Robin Bruce
15. Willi Hennig as Philosopher Olivier Reippel
16. Hennig and hierarchies Charissa S. Varma
17. Chain, tree, and network: the development of phylogenetic systematics in the context of genealogical visualization and information graphics Nobuhiro Minaka
18. The relational view of phylogenetic hypotheses and what it tells us on the phylogeny/classification relation problem Stephane Prin
19. This struggle for survival: systematic biology and institutional leadership Quentin Wheeler


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David Williams is a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London, specialising in diatom systematics-taxonomy. He has published over two hundred journal papers and has written nine books. His research interests include the systematics and biogeography of diatoms and theoretical studies related to cladistics advances.

Michael Schmitt is a retired Adjunct Professor of Zoology at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universitat Greifswald, Germany, and was recently appointed President of the German Society for History and Philosophy of Biology. He is the author of From Taxonomy to Phylogenetics: Life and Work of Willi Hennig (2013), the only biography of Willi Hennig.

Quentin Wheeler is President of the ESF State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse. He is the author or editor of six books and currently writes a 'New to Nature' feature in the Guardian. His research interests include the morphology, taxonomy and phylogeny of beetles, systematic biology theory, and the role of taxonomy in biodiversity exploration and conservation.

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