Unrootedtreeman – paraphyletic

This is the last of the Unrootedtreeman cartoons that I found. Who knows, I may be able to find others (or convince Cor that we could do more…). Have a Happy New Year!

Unrootedtreeman – short branches

SYSTANZ newsletters came out about twice a year back in the 90s and we would try to include a Sandwalk or Unrootedtreeman in each issue. Unfortunately, the association ceased as an entity in the early 2000s as systematics became an integral part of all ecological research.

Unrootedtreeman – Xmas

Unrootedtreeman even had a Christmas message….

Unrootedtreeman – ravaging homoplasy!

For a while we had Unrootedtreeman merchandise (well a teeshirt)! I wore one at an evolution conference, maybe at Chico, California, and was surprised at the number of Americans who knew about the cartoon. The SYSTANZ newsletter only went to our members (mostly in NZ).

Unrootedtreeman – Looks like a job

Unrootedtreeman was fun to create. Back in the 1990s, phylogenetics felt like doing research on the frontier. I suppose it still is, but back then almost everyone new the same methods and so on. So you could put a joke in about Hennig86 and most people would get it ….


In addition to our Sandwalk cartoons, Cor Vink and I also ran a series of cartoons on a phylogenetic superhero Unrootedtreeman in our SYSTANZ newsletters of the late 1990s. I recently found a bunch of those as well. This was back in the day when PAUP was king, parsimony and…

Shadow chasing – When monitoring tui requires the mindset of a Ghostbuster

Vanessa Mander is a post-graduate student studying for an MSc in conservation and ecology at Lincoln University. Here she tells us about radio-tracking tui. Ever since I was a young girl I have always wanted to be a scientist, long before Lego could influence my choice of career with their ‘female’…

Darwin and the Sandwalk – Upgrades

Here’s an issue that certainly causes problems today!

Darwin and the Sandwalk – Cousin

Another Sandwalk. I always thought it ironic that Darwin married his cousin and then spent a lot of his later life worrying about the wisdom of this from a ‘fitness’ point of view. I guess he was the first to have this worry! For the other Sandwalk cartoons, click on…

Darwin and the Sandwalk – Sponsors

Another Darwin cartoon from the old SYSTANZ newsletters. The cartoons were put together by Cor Vink and I. At the time Cor was an invertebrate technician and later my PhD student. Cor now is a curator at Canterbury Museum in Christchurch. Cor would do the drawing and I would usually…