How can SSB better serve the systematics community?

Hello SSB members,
At the 2013 SSB council meeting, we had a lengthy discussion about how well the society and the journal are serving our members. This included topics such as increasing open access publication, better supporting empirical studies and initiating more activities beyond publishing a journal.

We would like to hear your opinions on these issues. Please take 10-15 minutes to complete the following survey about the role of the Systematic Biology journal and the Society of Systematic Biologists:

Paleovirology: Insights from the genomic fossil record

Royal Society Publishing has just published Paleovirology: Insights from the genomic fossil record, compiled and edited by Aris Katzourakis.
This content can be accessed at A print version is also available at the special price of £35.00. You can order online via the above web page (enter special code TB 1626 when prompted) or, alternatively, you can contact

A Framework for Post-Phylogenetic Systematics

A Framework for Post-Phylogenetic Systematics, by R. H. Zander, is now available on Amazon. From the back cover:

The Framework reframes biological systematics to reconcile classical and cladistic schools. It combines scientific intuition and statistical inference in a new form of total evidence analysis developing a joint macroevolutionary process-based causal theory. Discrepancies between classical results and morphological and molecular cladograms are explained through heterophyletic inference of deep ancestral taxa, coarse priors leading to Bayesian Solution of total evidence, self-nesting ladders that can reverse branching order, and a superoptimization protocol that aids in distinguishing pseudoextinction from budding evolution. It determines direction of transformative evolution through Dollo evaluation at the taxon level. The genus as a basic, practical unit of evolution is postulated for taxa with dissilient evolution.

SUNY PostDoc in phenomics-based phylogenetics

Campus Description: Stony Brook University has established itself as one of America's most dynamic public universities, a center of academic excellence and a leader in health education, patient care and research. Listed among the top 1 percent of all universities in the world by Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Stony Brook is home to more than 24,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and more than 13,500 faculty and staff, including those employed at Stony Brook Medicine, Long Island's premier academic medical center and teaching hospital. With 597 beds, Stony Brook Hospital is the region's only tertiary care center and Regional Trauma Center. The University is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and co-manager of nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Descriptive Title: Postdoctoral AssociateREF#: HS-R-8145-13-09-S
Budget Title: same as aboveResearch Foundation Professional Position
Department: Anatomical SciencesRF Line#: R0718000
Grade: E.89Campus: Stony Brook West Campus/HSC
Salary: $US38,000 - $US42,000

SSB sponsors phyloseminar

The Society of Systematic Biologists is proud to support phyloseminar. Run by Frederick "Erick" Matsen (@ematsen), phyloseminar (which you can also follow on Twitter as@phyloseminar) is a series of online seminars covering just about every topic in phylogenetics. Broadcasting first started in 2009, and recent seminars have covered topics as diverse as Carl Woese's legacy, phylogenetics and cultural evolution, protein thermodynamics, and phylogenetics tools for R.

SSB annual meetings minutes and reports 2013

Reports from the Annual Meeting at Snowbird, Utah, 2013

Distributed European School of Taxonomy two-week course

The Distributed European School of Taxonomy is offering a two-week training course on BASICS OF TAXONOMY: DESCRIBING, ILLUSTRATING AND COMMUNICATING BIODIVERSITY. The course is ideal for early career and future taxonomists who want to learn more about DELTA, digital drawing, scientific illustration, writing and communication, and Scratchpads.

  • Registration deadline is approaching: 24 June 2013
  • Course dates: 14-25 October 2013
  • Course venue: Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, Kristineberg, Sweden
  • Target audience: MSc students, PhD students, early career researchers; from any nationality
  • Registration fee: 1200 Euro (includes course attendance, course material, accommodation and meals)

For detailed information and registration, please visit:

DEST is offering four grants of €500 to attend this course. For eligibility criteria and application procedure, see the above webpage.

Minutes of mid-year meeting 2013

The minutes of the Society of Systematic Biologists Mid-Year Executive Council Meeting (held via Skype) are now available.

Council Meeting minutes
Awards Report
Editor in Chief report (Ron DeBry)
Editor-Elect report (Andy Anderson)
Minutes (PDF)

Frontiers in Phylogenetics at NMNH - Genome-scale Phylogenetics

We are pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Spring Symposium hosted by Frontiers in Phylogenetics at NMNH: "Genome-scale Phylogenetics"

Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History
Washington, DC, Monday May 20, 2013

9:30-9:35Opening Remarks and Logistics
Michael Braun, Frontiers in Phylogenetics Program, NMNH
9:35-9:45Introduction and Welcome to the Smithsonian
Eva Pell, Undersecretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution
9:45-10:30My Students Could Do My Thesis in Five Minutes; How to Cope with the Next Generation
Rob DeSalle, Sackler Institute of Comparative Genomics, AMNH
10:30-11:00Seminar title TBA
Erich Jarvis, Duke University Medical Center
11:30-12:00Molecular Phylogenies, Genomics and the Bacterial Species Concept
Margaret Riley, University of Massachusetts Amherst
12:00-12:30Phylotranscriptomics to Bring the Understudied Ostracoda into the Fold
Todd Oakley, University of California Santa Barbara
12:30-14:00Lunch Break
14:00-14:30Seminar title TBA
Jun Wen, Department of Botany, NMNH
14:30-15:00Genome-scale Phylogenetics of Rapid Adaptive Radiation: RAD Sequence Data Illuminates the History of Lake Victoria Cichlids
Catherine Wagner, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology
15:30-16:00Shotgun in the Dark or a Rifle in the Daylight? The Case for Using Single Copy Orthologous Gene Capture in Phylogenetics
Gavin Naylor, Hollings Marine Lab, College of Charleston and Medical University of South Carolina
16:00-16:30Achieving phylogenomic nirvana: ultraconserved elements (UCEs) capture history at the species, population, and individual levels
Brant Faircloth, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
16:30-17:00Unsolved Challenges- Panel Discussion on Future Directions

Curator, Professor, and Director of Comparative Biology Initiative American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York invites applications and nominations for an outstanding scholar at the Full Curator & Full Professor level with internationally-recognized research and leadership credentials, and demonstrated, ongoing high-impact research productivity and grantsmanship, to provide innovative leadership for a new museum-wide initiative in comparative biology. This initiative will incorporate the work of multiple investigators at the Museum and at collaborating institutions in genomics and phenomics (large-scale phenotypic analysis), aimed at understanding the evolution and relationships of organisms in ways that clarify and illuminate the architecture of life. The successful candidate for this position should show experience and interest in managing large–scale, interdisciplinary, collaborative, multi-institutional projects and is expected to qualify for and be appointed as a tenured full curator in either the Division of Invertebrate Zoology or Vertebrate Zoology, and as a full professor in the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the AMNH. We seek a creative, active, broad-based researcher and dynamic academic leader who interacts well with others and who will utilize the extensive resources the Museum has to offer in the way of collections, research instrumentation and laboratories, teaching and mentoring, exhibition, and public education.