David A. Baum


“Phylogenetics has had a revolutionary impact on biology in the last few decades, but few books convey the power and beauty of the field at an introductory level like this one does. It will help fill a long empty niche in undergraduate curricula and serve as a good prerequisite to more technical treatments at the graduate level.” —Michael Sanderson, University of Arizona

“This book is perfect for the kind of phylogeny course that we should be teaching everywhere.”  —Michael J. Donoghue, Sterling Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

“We can’t expect students and the general public to understand the big idea of evolution—common ancestry—if we neglect to teach them the basic skills necessary to understand and interpret evolutionary trees. Tree Thinking is an exceptional resource for scientists, graduate students, and science educators.” —Louise Mead, Education Director at BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University

“Baum and Smith’s Tree Thinking is an admirably clear introduction to building and interpreting trees.” —Mark Pagel, FRS, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, University of Reading

“Phylogenetic analysis has become a fundamental element of 21st century biology, impacting all disciplines from molecular biology to ecosystem structure, from population genetics to the Tree of Life. Tree Thinking will help educators and students develop the skills crucial to understanding the evolutionary concepts underlying modern biology.” —Richard Olmstead, Professor of Biology and Herbarium Curator, University of Washington

“Tree thinking is not intuitive; it doesn’t come easily to most people. Yet it’s an essential tool for understanding how organisms—and their traits—evolve. Baum and Smith have provided a helpful guide to learning how to think like an evolutionary biologist. Their treatment is accessible, balanced, and well informed.” —James Hanken, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Curator in Herpetology, and Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

“Baum and Smith have produced a book that hits its target squarely. Tree thinking will be a critical tool in the arsenal of those of us who train the next generation of evolutionary biologists.” —Jack Sullivan, President of the Society of Systematic Biologists, and Professor of Biology, University of Idaho

“A timely and well-written primer. Highly recommended for anyone interested in taking a phylogenetic approach to study evolution.” —Jonathan B. Losos, Curator in Herpetology, and Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America, Harvard University

“Kudos to Baum and Smith, two highly accomplished phylogeneticists, for this clear and concise book, which is truly a much needed text for the field of phylogenetic biology. Both plant and animal examples are used throughout to show how an evolutionary tree depicts the relationships among organisms through time. Tree Thinking will be a required text for when I next teach Phylogenetic Plant Systematics.” —Kathleen Pryer, Professor of Biology, Duke University

"Where was this book when I taught my first phylogentics course 10 years ago?! But better late than never. Baum and Smith have provided the first general text for teaching a difficult to grasp subject, what is a phylogenetic tree and how best to infer one, in a non-technical framework." —Sydney Cameron, Professor of Biology, University of Illinois


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