Symposium: Relationships of Major Arthropod Groups

R.Thomas at R.Thomas at
Fri Aug 11 19:09:36 EST 1995

International Symposium on the Relationships of Major Arthropod Groups

      Organisers:  Richard A. Fortey and Richard H. Thomas
                   (The Natural History Museum, London)
           Dates:  April 17 - 19, 1996.
        Location:  Talks at The Natural History Museum
                   Accommodation at Imperial College, London
 Estimated costs:  Registration will be about 100 Pounds Sterling
                   Accommodation (3 nights) about 75 Pounds Sterling,
                   breakfasts included.

Arthropods are a dominant component of living biodiversity, yet how they
relate to one another is still uncertain.  These are questions for
molecular and evolutionary biologists, palaeontologists and geneticists. 
The last decade has seen extraordinary developments in these disparate
fields:  the growth of molecular systematics, the increase in awareness of
how genes actually express themselves in  design, and, not least, a wealth
of new fossils having "exceptional preservation" of soft tissues.  But
these discoveries have often been made in isolation.  The time is ripe for
a new synthesis of information from these different fields, and this
symposium will bring together the leading researchers in London, to
provide a forum to define the problems - we hope solutions, also  for the
next decade.  The meeting will review the problems by inviting leading
palaeontologists, zoologists, embryologists and molecular biologists to
exchange views.  Many of the leading authorities have already agreed to
speak.  The aim is to illuminate the controls on morphogenesis, and to
discover whether new fossils known from the Cambrian are consistent with 
phylogenetic hypotheses derived from the study of developmental genes, or
classical morphology.  At the time of the meeting it will have been 17
years since the last book-length review of the evidence on arthropod
relationships and much has happened in the intervening years.  The format
for the meeting will be presentations by each of the 'key' speakers with
ample time set aside for discussion by all the participants.  Evening
discussion sessions will also be held to facilitate the synthesis of
results from different fields and to identify areas in particular need of
further attention.  With additional support from the Systematics
Association we will produce a book containing contributions from selected
participants with a view to summarising the  state of our knowledge about
the relationships in this phenomenally diverse and successful group.

Invited speakers:  Prof LG Abele, Dr M Akam, Dr G Boxshall, Prof DEG
Briggs, Dr G Budd, Dr RA Dewel, Dr M Dick, Prof Dr W Dohle, Dr P Selden,
Dr GE Edgecombe, Dr DJ Eernisse, Dr G Fryer, Prof Dr O Kraus, Dr NP
Kristensen, Dr J Kukalova-Peck, Dr C Nielsen, Prof Dr HF Paulus, Dr L
Ramskold, Prof AP Rasnitsyn, Prof FR Schram, Dr WA Shear, Prof JW
Valentine, Dr D Walossek, Prof Dr P Weygoldt, Dr PM Whitington, Prof Dr R
Willmann, Dr J Zrzavy

To place your name on the mailing list for future circulars (next
one in October) please contact (preferably by email):

   Dr Richard H. Thomas
   Department of Zoology
   The Natural History Museum
   Cromwell Road
   London SW7 5BD
   Fax: +44 (0)171 938 8754
   Email: R.Thomas at

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