Learning systematics: new review article

Henrik Nilsson vid Göteborgs universitet tipsar om en ny reviewartikel!

Learning systematics: new review article
Systematics is a large, dynamic research discipline with a substantial methodological component. Learning the field is certainly not done in a flash. A group of international researchers – several of whom Swedish – have just published an open access introductory article aiming at lowering the learning threshold for Ph.D. students and others seeking to expand their knowledge in systematics. The article was written to cover all aspects of a molecular systematics study, from taxon sampling to the publication process. Particular care was taken to include recent trends in the field as well as aspects not regularly treated in other outlets. Although focusing on fungi, much of the paper is fairly general in nature.

Hyde et al. 2013. Incorporating molecular data in fungal systematics: a guide for aspiring researchers. Current Research in Environmental and Applined Mycology 3: 1.32.

URL: http://www.creamjournal.org/vol-3-issue1.php#article1

The last twenty years have witnessed molecular data emerge as a primary research instrument in most branches of mycology. Fungal systematics, taxonomy, and ecology have all seen tremendous progress and have undergone rapid, far-reaching changes as disciplines in the wake of continual improvement in DNA sequencing technology. A taxonomic study that draws from molecular data involves a long series of steps, ranging from taxon sampling through the various laboratory procedures and data analysis to the publication process. All steps are important and influence the results and the way they are perceived by the scientific community. The present paper provides a reflective overview of all major steps in such a project with the purpose to assist research students about to begin their first study using DNA-based methods. We also take the opportunity to discuss the role of taxonomy in biology and the life sciences in general in the light of molecular data. While the best way to learn molecular methods is to work side by side with someone experienced, we hope that the present paper will serve to lower the learning threshold for the reader.

One of the co-authors of the study, Henrik Nilsson of the University of Gothenburg, with some recent mycological treasures.



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