ISCID News Editor
Member # 1417
posted 06. January 2005 20:20
Source: National Science Foundation Program Solicitation Document NSF 05-523
From the Introduction:
Darwin's vision of the "great Tree of Life ... with its everbranching and beautiful ramifications" has challenged scientists and others for generations. Darwin's use of tree imagery inspired efforts to classify all the major groups of organisms, and to reveal the pattern of historical relationships that would explain the similarities and differences among them.
Despite the enormity of the task, with 1.7 million described species and the likelihood of vastly more yet to be discovered, now is the time to reconstruct the tree of life: the conceptual, computational and technological tools are available to resolve most, if not all major branches of the tree of life. At the same time, progress in many disciplines from genomics to evolution and development is currently hampered by the lack of a rigorous phylogenetic framework to guide research.
From the program description:
Tree of Life projects that are taxon-oriented will focus on phylogenetic resolution of large lineages or clades; this taxon focus is not intended to deflect interest in and attention to theoretical or analytical issues, particularly when the clade under study raises critical questions about the suitability or power of current phylogenetic methods of analysis. Tree of Life projects may also be method or theory-oriented, in which case they will address major analytical or computational problems in phylogenetic research and phyloinformatics.
NSF 05-523 - Program solicitation - Assembling the tree of life