Symposium: Assembling The Tree of Life

Beach, James H beach at UKANS.EDU
Wed Apr 25 13:05:59 CDT 2001

Symposium Announcement (Please respond to the contact address at the bottom)

The American Museum of Natural History and Yale University

Proudly Announce a Major International Symposium

Assembling The Tree of Life

To be held at:

American Museum of Natural History
New York, New York
September 20-22, 2001

It has been over a decade since there has been a general synthesis of
knowledge about the history of life.  Recent years have seen remarkable
advances in our understanding of organismal relationships, thus the time is
ripe to take stock of the state of current knowledge.  Moreover,
accumulating knowledge about phylogenetic relationships is playing an ever
more important role in addressing societal problems, from diagnosing disease
agents, predicting outbreaks of infectious disease, to identifying and
tracking invasive species.  Knowledge of phylogenetic relationships is also
at the heart of all comparative biology, and numerous biologists outside
mainstream systematics are using hypotheses of relationships to interpret a
host of biological phenomena, including the history of behavioral,
ecological, and developmental change.

The Tree of Life Symposium will bring together dozens of the world's
authorities to produce a summary of our current knowledge of life's history
that will at once propel the science forward to new understanding and at the
same time be accessible to the broad general public.  A major objective of
the symposium is to bring the Tree of Life into society and the classroom.

The period 2001-2002 has been designated the International Biodiversity
Observation Year (IBOY) by the international biodiversity science programme,
DIVERSITAS.  As part of IBOY, a series of signature projects have been
identified that will be international in scope, advance knowledge in
biodiversity science, and communicate that new understanding to society.
One of the flagship IBOY initiatives is Assembling the Tree of Life (ATOL).


The Tree of Life Symposium will be held at the American Museum of Natural
History, New York, 20-22 September 2001.  It will include three full days of
scientific papers summarizing current understanding of phylogenetic
relationships of all major groups of organisms.  In addition, a series of
plenary lectures will address the importance of phylogenetic knowledge for
advances in human health, genomics, developmental and comparative biology,
as well as the implications of phylogenetic knowledge for understanding
humanities place in nature.


The Tree of Life Symposium is a product of the International Biodiversity
Observation Year of DIVERSITAS.  Its major sponsors are the American Museum
of Natural History and Yale University.  Other support comes from the
International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), one of the sponsors of
Diversitas and IBOY.


The following is a list of scientists who have agreed, at this time, to
participate in the symposium; others have been invited.  Papers will be
multi-authored, thus numerous other leaders in phylogenetics can be expected
to attend.

Participants in plenary talks or panels: Rita Colwell, Sean Carroll, Terry
Tates, Douglas Futuyma, David Hillis, David Wake

Invited speakers: Norman Pace, Sandra Baldauf, W. Ford Doolittle, John
Taylor, Michael Donoghue, Andre Adoutte, Ward Wheeler, Jacques Gauthier,
Hervé Philippe, Rytas Vilgalys, Charles Delwiche, Kathleen Pryor, Pamela
Soltis, Timothy Littlewood, Frederick Schram, Mark Siddall, David Lindberg,
Jonathan Coddington, Rainer Willmann, Michael Whiting, Andrew Smith, Melanie
Stiassny, David Cannatella, Michael S. Y. Lee, Joel Cracraft, Maureen
O'Leary, and Bernard Wood.

Contact for Information

To place your name on the mailing list for the conference and to receive
further details regarding the conference and registration, please send an
e-mail with your name and mailing address to  tolsymposium at .

Joel Cracraft
Department of Ornithology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, New York 10024

Phone: (212) 769-5633
Fax:   (212) 769-5759
e-mail: JLC at
        cracraft at

Adjunct Professor, Center for Environmental Research and Conservation,
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New
Adjunct Professor of Biology, City University of New York, 

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