Richard H. Zander
Research Scientist, Bryology Group
office phone: + 1 (314) 577-0276
fax: + 1 (314) 577-9595
Missouri Botanical Garden
P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
Ph.D. & M.A., Duke University, 1969, 1967
B.A., Hiram College, 1964
Research Emphases 1. Continue efforts in evolutionary taxonomy in the face of a major new emphasis in the field on phylogenetic classification: (A) Taxonomic treatments of Pottiaceae, description of new taxa. (B) Manage and promote completion of the three bryophyte volumes for the FNA while encouraging recognition of taxa based on unique (phylogenetically uninformative) but evolutionarily distinguishing traits. 2. Encourage an instauration of Evolutionary Taxonomy:
(a) The nonmonophyletic differences between morphological and molecular analyses may be informative. Morphological taxa are associations of expressed traits, being punctuational in evolution (first a stage of gradualistic change then stasis) involving both selection and drift, but molecular traits are largely gradualistic (except for some heterogeneity in rates), and (if independent) are probabilistically changed.
(b) Alpha taxonomy infers that which evolves as a present instance in time.
(c) Molecular analysis infers continuity of lineages, as trajectories of evolving taxa in time.
(d) Multiple instances of the same taxon (species, genus, family) on a molecular tree imply a shared ancestor of that taxon, whether the taxa are phylogenetically monophyletic or not.
(e) Taxa may be mapped on a molecular tree just as traits are mapped.
(f) Morphological cladistic analysis is a nonultrametric clustering technique that associates similar taxa using the logic of like begets like. It is based on a simple model of evolution (akin to physics’ "least action") that is phenetic if all traits are weighted alike, and evolutionary if weighted according to perceived importance or estimated evolutionary conservativeness.
(g) A reconstruction of evolutionary taxonomy combining characterization of taxa as they are constituted in the present with their evolutionary trajectories in time is a best modern implementation of Darwin’s natural system, combining both genealogy and differences.
(h) The pragmatist John Dewey (Reconstruction in Philosophy, 1950: 12) pointed out that pointing out that "process" as a universal, best embodied in modern natural science, is the "most revolutionary discovery yet made." It replaces in philosophy such fixed and eternal absolutes as Being, Nature or the Universe, the Cosmos at large, Reality, or Truth.
(i) Sister group relationships (Darwin’s genealogy) on a molecular tree resulting in patterns of continuity of lineages and isolation (but not necessarily speciation) events are only one view of information about evolution, the other being ancestor-descendant relationships (Darwin’s descent with modification). I consider the present pattern cladism involving molecular analysis of DNA sequences a rejection of evolution as a process involving expressed traits to the extent it rejects descent with modification. Present-day phylogenetics involving holophyletic classification is a return to philosophical fixation on absolutes rather than process.
Selected Publications Zander, R. H. 2008. Evolutionary inferences from non-monophyly on molecular trees. 2008. Taxon 57: 1182-1188. Reprint. Zander, R. H. 2008. Statistical evaluation of the clade "Rhabdoweisiaceae." Bryologist 111: 292-301. Reprint. Zander, R. H. 2007. Nine easy steps for constructing reliable trees from published phylogenetic analyses. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 94: 691-709. 2007. Reprint. When biodiversity study and systematics diverge. Biodiversity 8: 43-48. 2007. Reprint. Zander, R. H. 2007. Results of search for fossil traits in the genome. Bryological Times 121: 7. 2007 (December 2006). Reprint. Zander, R. H. 2006. Initiation of search for fossil traits in the genome. Bryological Times 119: 5-6. 2006 (May 2006). Reprint. The Pottiaceae s.str. as an evolutionary Lazarus taxon. J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 100: 581--602. 2006. Reprint. Reliable phylogenetic resolution of morphological data can be better than that of molecular data. Taxon 52: 109-112. 2003. Reprint. On the Present Revolution. Buffalo Museum of Science Website, June 3, 2002. View. A conditional probability of reconstruction measure for internal cladogram branches. Syst. Biol. 50: 425-437. 2001. Reprint.