Dear galaxy developers--

I'd like to bring your attention to the call for participation included below 
this message.  A "Phylotastic" system is a distributed tree-of-life delivery 
system composed of web services.  Although it is not readily apparent from the 
presentation linked below, the project includes some work on using Galaxy as a 
framework for managing a phylotastic workflow.  See the demos page 
( and the "Making Galaxy Phylotastic!" 
screencast ( for more.  

I would be happy to respond to questions about the project.  Please consider 
applying if you are excited by the project and think that you can contribute.  

Phylogenies! Hacking! Tucson in January!

An implicit promise of the Tree of Life project is that, ultimately, expert 
knowledge of species phylogeny will be accessible and usable by everybody. In 
other words, we will all be able to get the species trees we need, in a useable 
form, when we need them. The Phylotastic project aims to make that vision a 
reality, by developing a loosely coupled system of components that, in response 
to a user’s query (a list of taxa plus conditions), will rectify names, find 
suitable source trees, prune and graft to get the right species, estimate 
branch lengths, and return the results with metadata on sources and methods.

In June 2012, the HIP (Hackathons, Interoperability, Phylogenies) working group 
of NESCent staged a hackathon ( to 
prototype components of a Phylotastic system, and implement demos to show their 
potential. Thanks to 25 participants who responded to an open call (just like 
this one), that hackathon was an extraordinary success (see

Now we are gearing up for a second hackathon, to take another step toward 
providing computable, convenient, credible access to the Tree of Life. We aim 
to recruit a diverse group of participants, including students, faculty, 
postdocs, and staff of both genders and from different backgrounds. Only some 
of the seats at the hackathon will be filled by expert hackers who spend their 
time coding. We also need folks who can:

* Provide knowledge of workflows and downstream uses of trees
* Design user interfaces
* Test software
* Make screencasts, develop tutorials, and document user experiences

Applications are now being accepted to Phylotastic 2, which will take place 
January 28th, 2013 to February 1st, 2013 at the BIO5 facility in warm and sunny 
Tucson, AZ ( Information on how to apply is 
provided below. Partial support (and, if funds allow, full support) for travel, 
food and lodging will be available to each successful applicant who indicates 
need. We particularly welcome applications from women and members of 
underrepresented groups.

To understand how you might be able to contribute, review the slideshow (ppt 
format,, or PDF format,, consult the 
web site ( or contact a member of the HIP leadership team 
(listed below). 


the  HIP (Hackathons, Interoperability and Phylogenies) Leadership Team

Before 16 November, 2012 at midnight, EST, fill out the online form here Note that:

* The application form asks you to describe how you can contribute to 
Phylotastic. Remember that we are not just looking for expert coders. There are 
many other ways to contribute.
* Support for travel, housing and meals will be available to each successful 
applicant who indicates need.
* Please understand that your application is not a guarantee of participation 
in the event.  Funds and space are limited: we may not be able to sponsor every 
individual who is qualified to participate.

Karen Cranston,
Brian Sidlauskas,
Arlin Stoltzfus,
Mike Rosenberg
Brian O’Meara,
Mark Westneat
Enrico Pontelli
Rutger Vos
Naim Matasci

Arlin Stoltzfus (
Fellow, IBBR; Adj. Assoc. Prof., UMCP; Research Biologist, NIST
IBBR, 9600 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD, 20850
tel: 240 314 6208; web:

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