My campaign statement

In June, 2013 I was asked to run for President of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. I am not a molecular biologist but agreed, out of vanity. However it seemed possible to be less than totally solemn in my campaign statement, which goes out to the membership of the SMBE. As it is not posted to any web site (as far as I know) I thought I would make it available here:

JOE FELSENSTEIN has had an nonstandard career in which his name is connected to two actual contributions to systematics -- as a student, he trapped the first Southern Bog Lemming (Clethrionomys gapperi) ever found on Mount Desert Island, Maine. He also has a small moth species found in Arizona named after him. His original training was in theoretical population genetics, and he is proud to have been the first person to publish the fact that if fitnesses multiply across loci, then if there is no linkage disequilibrium initially, none is expected to arise by natural selection. He is Professor in the Department of Genome Sciences and in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington, where has been a faculty member for the past 46 years. He has been working on statistical inference of phylogenies since about 1966, publishing his first papers on this 40 years ago. His work on maximum likelihood inference of phylogenies, on bootstrap methods for phylogenies, and on sampling methods for likelihood inference with coalescents is too well known to be cited accurately. He is loathed by hard-core members of the Willi Hennig Society. He has been distributing his phylogeny program package, PHYLIP, for 33 years, and for most of that time has been patiently responding to user questions by urging the users to read the documentation. His recent work is on evolutionary quantitative genetics on phylogenies. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the President's Award for Excellence in Systematics by the Society of Systematic Biologists, the Weldon Medal for Biometry of the University of Oxford, the Distinguished Scientist's Award by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the McCarty Award for the Advancement of Sciences by the National Academy of Sciences, the Darwin-Wallace Award by the Linnean Society, as well as an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Edinburgh. He has written the most cited paper in Evolution, the most-cited paper in Cladistics, the second-most-cited paper in The American Naturalist, and the second-most-cited paper in the Journal of Molecular Evolution. He has been President of the Society for the Study of Evolution, and imagines that he could be President of the SMBE, even though he has not yet learned the names of all 20 amino acids.

Errata: Oops, that was the "Carty Award" I won -- McCarty is the name of a dormitory at my university.