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Cypriniformes Tree of Life Group Meeting 10 Sept. 2004, Tallinn, Estonia usa nsf grant General Information

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Cypriniformes Tree of Life Group Meeting 10 Sept. 2004, Tallinn, Estonia


General Information

  1. Multiple USA researchers received NSF funding; lead principle investigator is Mayden; see policy document or website for list of USA PIs and collaborators of project.

  1. When all budget REQUESTS were totaled we NEEDED about $6.5 million USD. The funding limit in the AToL program is $3 M. Institutional overhead claims ~$1M (investigators DO NOT get this money). It is vital to the success of this effort that we use the NSF grant to leverage additional funding from any agencies or governments.

  1. Initial funding for all collaborators outside of USA and part of initial project is only through Mayden

  1. USA PIs heard of strongly likelihood of funding in August and met in New Orleans for initial meeting to begin initial planning for data basing, needed methods for morphology, DNA, inventories, taxa to be examined, etc. Product is PowerPoint presentations and Policy and Procedures document you have been given for discussion.

  1. August – Mayden attends International Zoological Congress in Beijing for presentations and Institute of Hydrobiology in Wuhan to discuss project and Cypriniformes systematics with collaborators in China.

  1. September 2004 USA NSF notified USA PIs of funding.

  1. Exact amount of funding that will eventually be received by Mayden is currently not clear. However, ~60 % of Mayden’s funding request was for needs of project collaborators outside of the USA.

  1. In October 2004 Mayden will review budget and non-USA collaborator’s needs and announce distribution of funding to all collaborators; everything will be fully disclosed to all participants.

  1. Reports of progress, generation and placement of data in the online database, and acquisitions of specimens are required of ALL investigators (USA or non-USA) for continued funding and participation by NSF. Every investigator is required to provide quarterly reports (dates to be established) for Mayden to provide reports to USA NSF for continued funding. Acquisition of specimens and tissues (for some investigators) dependent upon funding. The grant received from USA NSF is awarded incrementally based on successful progress reports. All reports with progress reports from ALL investigators will be placed on the confidential web site for all to review everyone’s contribution.

  1. Report from this symposium by CToL participants is required for project and NSF. Please send your PowerPoint presentations from symposium to; these presentations are necessary for report to USA NSF and for public education.

  1. We must look to additional areas for increasing funding for NON-USA participants to enhance the project. Please help to develop ideas about funding possibilities and let us know if there are any ways that the USA or other participants can be helpful.

Why Are You Interested In Cypriniformes and Collaborating On This Project??

  1. All interested in Cypriniformes or subgroups

  2. All bring different talents to the group

  3. All want to work towards achieving better understanding of diversity, evolution, and systematics of Cypriniformes

  4. All want to develop collaborations and share ideas (like attending meetings)

  5. All are confident that we can work in collaboration towards successful development of major phylogeny of Cypriniformes fishes

Why A Collaboration?

  1. Cypriniformes extremely diverse and widespread; no one investigator can accomplish big science today alone.

  2. Resolution of Cypriniformes phylogeny, documentation of diversity, species descriptions, etc. requires cooperation and collaboration today across the globe.

  3. Diverse species representing different clades are needed for the successful study of Cypriniformes systematics and evolution.

  4. We all live in different parts of World where different diversity occurs

  5. Different investigators and laboratories have special expertise that can advance goal of Cypriniformes systematics and evolution. Not everyone or every laboratory can do morphology, molecular studies, and paleontology.

  6. Only through all of us working together can the goal be achieved.

  7. Collaboration requires exchange of ideas, sharing information, and joint publications and grants to achieve goals.


This is a joint project that involves many people and institutions. We all must work together and share information. It is important that everyone understands that the data, specimens, and tissues shared are secure with the people involved in the project. No one should fear that the data that they generate will be used without their permission or authorship, no species will be described without permission or authorship, etc.

This project must have open communication between participants, all participants. If we do not communicate with one another in a frank manner or if there are misunderstandings of communication this large project will not work. There are many different collaborators and there will naturally be cultural differences or styles in communication. However, Mayden is the lead PI, has been raised in American culture and expects straight forward, direct, prompt and candid input, and responses and questions from all participants. I will not be offended by questions, comments, candid responses, etc. I may not be able to solve a problem or provide money or any money, but it is important that everyone be very candid and open in communications with Mayden and other investigators so that everyone understands the project progress, needs, failures, goals, etc.
Observations on Communications

  1. USA collaborators have a history of collaboration and it may appear that they will talk more frequently with one another than with other investigators – may or may not be true.

  2. Non-USA collaborators may or may not have a history of collaboration and communication

  3. There is money for modest travel to USA each year for ASIH meeting for ONLY primary collaborators; no money exists for students or other collaborators added.

  4. Do we need to have meetings each year in Euro-Asia to enhance communication? If so, we will all have to find individual funding to attend such meetings.

  5. Some collaborators have not or are not currently contributing information with regard to their needs, specimens available, data contribution, etc.

Individual and Shared Projects and Publications

All investigators have independent research studies that they are pursuing. The CToL is a unique study involving 1,000 species (must be determined very soon). It would be a very good idea for everyone to realistically disclose all what projects that they are currently working on individually. This is a first step towards good communication. In this way other collaborators will know your early work and is expected to respect your individual projects (this is not to say that collaborations between investigators will not result). However, we are all working together on the core mission of this project and the 1,000 species to be examined.

If agreed upon, please send to Mayden ( the information at the end of this document so that we can post this on the website and dissemination to all participants for clear and open communication.
Database.—The database for this collaborative project is a secure database. Everyone involved in the study will have access to this secure database and it is expected that all investigators will upload data (published or unpublished data) related to the core objectives of the project. This is a requirement of being involved in the project and receiving any funding – true for USA and non-USA participants. Everyone will be uploading and using data in a collaborative fashion and we must trust one another in the use of data, review of manuscripts, etc.
Specimens Needed for Project.---The success of this project is contingent upon the acquisition and sharing of specimens essential to the core objectives of the project. Each of you have been asked for a list of described taxa that you have preserved in EtOH or frozen and that you can make available for the core objectives of the project. This request is so that we (entire group) can determine the appropriate taxa that we must examine for the core phylogeny of the study. For example, we cannot begin many aspects of the study, including the mitogenomics, sequencing, developmental, and morphological, until we know what taxa that we have currently available to us. The ultimate goal is to have a comparative character matrix of 1,000 taxa in a total data matrix; we must have data for the same species! For example, here is a chart of how this process should work.

Strategic Decision Chart for Determining

Project Taxa and Characters

Determine necessary inventories, involve-ment of collaborators?

Add needed taxa for all data collection

Data synthesis, analysis, project completion, project continuation

Input from all participants availability

Taxonomic Filter – Need representation of genera, tribes, subfamilies

What Taxa do we have ethanol or frozen materials available? DNA

What Taxa do we have museum materials available? Osteology

What Taxa do we have in culture that we can obtain growth samples? Development

Begin data collection on taxa for which all are available

What morphological characters are most important for comparisons with fossil taxa to enhance efforts in paleontology?

Feedback to morphology and development group to start with these character complexes to aid rapid advancement of paleontology group.

Other items?

I. Travel Reimbursement for CToL Symposium at ECI in Tallinn

If you need financial support for travel please complete the following information and mail or email to me. The grant will only pay for registration fee, hotel expenses comparable to costs at Hotels Hermes or Peoleo, and basic travel expenses (e.g., coach airfare, basic train fare). Receipts are REQUIRED.




Cost of Registration:

Cost of Hotel:

Cost of Transportation:


  1. You must include official receipts (can be scanned or .pdfs) for Registration, Hotel, and Transportation.

  1. Your reimbursement will be wired to your institution; please provide banking information necessary for wiring funds from USA. The reimbursement will not be wired any sooner than 1 November.

  1. Before the money is wired I will also need a copy (can be modified to remove unpublished data if you choose) of your PowerPoint presentation for placement on and report to National Science Foundation USA.

II. Current Project That Participants are involved in with Cypriniformes

Please send to Mayden the following information for posting on Web (protected or not???) for group to allow for open communication of project that each investigator is currently working on. For each project please send the following information.

  1. Contributors

  2. Tentative Title of Study

  3. General objectives of study and questions to be examined

  4. Types of data to be used

  5. Taxa to be examined

Also, we must help and protect student projects. It is critical to notify group (through Mayden) of graduate student theses and dissertations that are ongoing to avoid problems with these students and their degrees.

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