Willi Hennig (1913 – 76), founder of phylogenetic systematics, revolutionised our understanding of the relationships among species and their natural classification. An expert on Diptera and fossil insects, Hennig’s ideas were applicable to all organisms. He wrote about the science of taxonomy or systematics, refining and promoting discussion of the precise meaning of the term ‘relationship’, the nature of systematic evidence, and how those matters impinge on a precise understanding of monophyly, paraphyly, and polyphyly. Hennig’s contributions are relevant today and are a platform for the future. This book focuses on the intellectual aspects of Hennig’s work and gives dimension to the future of the subject in relation to Hennig’s foundational contributions to the field of phylogenetic systematics. Suitable for graduate students and academic researchers, this book will also appeal to philosophers and historians interested in the legacy of Willi Hennig.
• Includes several chapters on the history of phylogenetic systems which will act as a platform for the study of this significant change in taxonomic and evolutionary practice • Covers a wide spectrum of topics including practical issues in biology, which invests renewed interest in the development of comparative biology • Includes chapters on areas of progress which identify the need for future developmental research and investigative study into these subjects
David Williams, Natural History Museum, London
David Williams is a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London, specialising in diatom systematics-taxonomy. He has published over two hundred journal papers and has written nine books. His research interests include the systematics and biogeography of diatoms and theoretical studies related to cladistics advances.
Michael Schmitt, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Germany
Michael Schmitt is a retired Adjunct Professor of Zoology at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Germany, and was recently appointed President of the German Society for History and Philosophy of Biology. He is the author of From Taxonomy to Phylogenetics: Life and Work of Willi Hennig (2013), the only biography of Willi Hennig.
Quentin Wheeler, State University of New York
Quentin Wheeler is President of the ESF State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse. He is the author or editor of six books and currently writes a ‘New to Nature’ feature in the Guardian. His research interests include the morphology, taxonomy and phylogeny of beetles, systematic biology theory, and the role of taxonomy in biodiversity exploration and conservation.