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

Richard Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Thu Nov 8 09:42:31 CST 2012


Ashley,

There is no need for an apology.  Those of us who teach systematics, 
especially to a cross section of educational levels, understood exactly 
what you meant.   I use Simpson's text for my jr/sr undergrads and they 
do fine with it. They might also do well with Soltis et al., but I 
believe at their level they need the breadth offered by Simpson before 
tackling the intricacies of molecular phylogenetics.

Cheers,

Dick J

On 11/8/2012 10:11 AM, Ashley Nicholas wrote:
> 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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-- 
Richard J. Jensen, Professor
Department of Biology
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Tel: 574-284-4674






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