Status of plant systematics

Kent E. Holsinger kent at DARWIN.EEB.UCONN.EDU
Thu Aug 28 07:48:43 CDT 1997

>>>>> "Curtis" == Curtis Clark <jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU> writes:

    Curtis> What I noticed at the meeting, and elsewhere recently, was
    Curtis> an increasing perception of the limitations of molecular
    Curtis> studies, and carefully constructed ways to get around
    Curtis> them. DNA systematics is maturing, and those grad students
    Curtis> who knew much of sticks and little of either plants or
    Curtis> nucleic acids won't have a place at this new table. I
    Curtis> agree that we need to nurture diversity, but I think in
    Curtis> this case it's "rare" but not "endangered".

I'd like to second Curtis' more optimistic view. The best young
systematists (plant or animal) recognize that sequencing and
restriction site mapping are tools. Like any tool, they can be used
well or poorly. The danger, of course, is that when all you have is a
hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Fortunately, the best young
systematists have more than than a hammer in their tool chest.

-- Kent

Kent E. Holsinger                Kent at Darwin.EEB.UConn.Edu
-- Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
-- University of Connecticut, U-43
-- Storrs, CT   06269-3043

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