[Taxacom] Abstract submission now open for the SystAss Biennial 2015 (August, Oxford, UK)

rcpm20 at bath.ac.uk rcpm20 at bath.ac.uk
Thu Jan 22 10:02:13 CST 2015

Want to give a talk or a poster at the Systematics Association  
Biennial meeting (Oxford, UK 26-28 August 2015)?

There is an exciting programme that includes both plenaries and  
thematic symposia, as well as contributed sessions.

Abstract submission now open: http://systass.org/biennial2015/#abstract
Registration for attendees is open too.

Members of this mailing list may be particularly interested in Symposium 3:
**Accelerating the pace of taxonomy**

A major threat of the biodiversity crisis is that we will never learn  
everything we would wish to know about the origins, evolution, and  
organization of the biosphere. Some knowledge is key to understanding  
the functions of complex ecosystems. Other knowledge is key to piecing  
together the multi-billion-year history of life on our planet and  
making wise conservation decisions. Historically, a great deal of what  
we know of biodiversity has been captured through revisionary taxonomy  
and monography. The broadly comparative aspect of monographs means  
that they remain the most time-efficient and effective way to reassess  
existing data and add new data for large numbers of species. That said  
it is impossible to revise all taxa or address all gaps in knowledge  
at the same time. We must not only decide how to prioritize which taxa  
to monograph first, but also the sequence and relative emphasis to  
place on various categories of knowledge. The answer may be a mosaic  
of meeting various high priority objectives but this still requires  
difficult decisions regard priorities and distribution of limited  
resources. All of this would be challenging under any circumstance,  
but with the new reality of the biodiversity crisis knowledge of some  
species and information about them is literally a now or never  
proposition. While recent commentary on the global inventory of all  
species on Earth has largely focused on the size and extent of the  
remaining task in terms of numbers of species awaiting discovery and  
technological tools that aid in that discovery, a very real need  
exists to carefully examine the process of monography and to assure  
that what we are proceeding as effectively as possible. This includes  
identifying those aspects of traditional monographic work that are  
valuable and should be preserved as well as new approaches that add  
speed or quality to the work. This symposium will address how we can  
accelerate the pace of producing taxonomic revisions and monographs  
for species-rich clades.

Confirmed Speakers

  - Donat Agosti, AMNH and ANTbase, USA
  - Michael Balke, Zoologische Staatssammlung M√ľnchen, Germany
  - Zoe Goodwin, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, UK
  - David Harris, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK
  - Sandy Knapp, Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum,  
London, UK
  - Andrew Polaszek, Division of Terrestrial Invertebrates, Department  
of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, UK
  - Lorenzo Prendini, American Museum of Natural History, USA
  - Robert Scotland, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, UK
  - Maria Vorontsova, Monocot Systematics, RBG Kew, UK
  - Quentin Wheeler, 4th President State University of New York  
College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA

For further contact / queries, email: sabiennial2015 at systass.org

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