[Taxacom] Systematic Biology textbook -- I feel a challenge coming on here (can I risk a smily face??)

Alan Forrest ad_forrest at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Nov 8 09:28:55 CST 2012


Ashley,
This is no challenge - what you are saying is simply common sense. 

In some of the countries I have been involved with, often with a biodiversity and conservation capacity building element, systematics at most levels is irrelevant early on. In fact, basic healthcare, clean water and education are often far more important that systematics - can you beleive it?
Even endangered systematists actually live in a comfortable world, on a relative scale globally. Most days I tell myself I am lucky - because I am.
Alan



________________________________
 From: Ashley Nicholas <Nicholasa at ukzn.ac.za>
To: John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>; taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Thursday, 8 November 2012, 15:11
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Systematic Biology textbook -- I feel a challenge coming on here (can I risk a smily face??)
 
I feel a challenge here (can I risk a smily face??)



My comment had nothing to do with the scientific value or morphology versus molecules and everything to do with teaching paradigms in a developing country.



You try giving the Soltis et al. to a first year student who has just come into varsity from a rural setting in which there was no electricity to learn at night, no proper desks or even test tubes. Students who have had the shade of a tree as their school room and who live in a world dominated by a scientific language they don't fully understand. These students understand morphology they live with it on a daily basis and the organisms supplies many of their needs (needs many of us city dwellers don't even comprehend). I would say that giving them Soltis et al. at this point would be pretty superfluous -- however by third year, now equiped with the content and skills needed, I think I would give Solitis et al. to these more mature students. Perhaps in your country the situation is different and you would give Soltis et al. to a first year student. But don't judge the rest of the world by your standards.



Regards

Ashley



-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of John Grehan
Sent: 08 November 2012 16:42
To: taxacom
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Systematic Biology textbook



"Focused on the molecular -- for the more mature student"



As if we morphologists are a little less 'mature'.



John Grehan



On Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 3:20 AM, Ashley Nicholas <Nicholasa at ukzn.ac.za<mailto:Nicholasa at ukzn.ac.za>>wrote:



>  Hi Alan,

>

> I have used the following books for my Plant Systematic modules:

>

> WOODLAND, D.W. 2009. Contemporary Plat Systematics 4th edn. Andrew

> University Press, Berrien Springs. ISBN 978-1-883925-64-2. [This is a

> nice mix of practical and field botany and molecular systematics

> Introduces students to the broad picture -- good level 2 & 3 textbook]

>

> SIMPSON, M.G. 2010. Plant Systematics. 2nd edn. Elsevier Academic Press:

> Burlington. ISBN 978-0-12-374380-0. [This is a popular text book in

> South Africa for years 2 to honours].

>

> JUDD, W.S., CAMPBELL, C.S., KELLOGG, E.A., STEVENS, P. & DONOGHUE, M.J.

> 2007. Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach. Sinauer Associates :

> Sunderland. ISBN-13: 9780878934072. [Excellent for Honours and

> Postgrad teaching]

>

> SOLTIS, D.E., SOLTIS, P.E., ENDRESS, P.K. & CHASE, M.C. 2005.

> Phylogeny and Evolution of Angiosperms. Sinauer Associates :

> Sunderland. ISBN 0 87893

> 817 6 [Focused on the molecular -- for the more mature student]

>

> I would be interested to see what other lecturers around the world are

> using.

>

> Regards

> Ashley

>

> ---------------------------------------------------

> Ashley Nicholas (PhD)

> Associate Professor & Curator Ward Herbarium School of Life Science,

> Westville Campus University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X54001,

> Durban, 4000, South Africa

> Tel.:+27-31-260 7719 Fax.: +27-31-260 2029 nicholasa at ukzn.ac.za<mailto:nicholasa at ukzn.ac.za>

> ----------------------------------------------------

> Empirical scientists do not deal with the truth, we deal with hypotheses.

> At their best these hypotheses are insightful and predictive, however,

> nonetheless experience has shown that they are often only a poor

> approximation of reality and therefor the truth. - Ashley Nicholas

> --------------------------------------------------------------------

>

> -----Original Message-----

> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> [mailto:

> taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>] On Behalf Of Alan Harvey

> Sent: 07 November 2012 20:31

> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>

> Subject: [Taxacom] Systematic Biology textbook

>

> Greetings,

>

> After a ten-year hiatus, I'm going to be teaching Systematic Biology

> this spring to a mix of graduate and upper division undergraduate

> students. The class itself is a mix of lecture and lab, and I've been

> looking over a few recently published books as potential texts. Wiley

> and Lieberman (2011) looks like a solid candidate for lecture topics;

> Barry Hall's book seemed promising as a hands-on guide, except for its

> exclusive focus on molecular data (not sure how I missed that).

>

> Anyone have any experiences with these, or others, as course textbooks?

> Any suggestions or recommendations would be most appreciated.

>

> Cheers,

>

> Alan

>

> --

> Alan Harvey

> Professor of Biology

> Georgia Southern University

> Statesboro, GA 30460-8042

> (912) 478-5784

> fax (912) 478-0845

> http://www.bio.georgiasouthern.edu/bio-home/harvey/index.html

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