Goals of the Tree of Life
The Tree of Life Web Project is an online database that compiles information about biodiversity and the evolutionary relationships of all organisms. Content for the project is compiled collaboratively by hundreds of biologists and amateur contributors from all over the world. The project is non-profit, funded by the U. S. National Science Foundation and the University of Arizona. All of our services are free and open to the public.
We envisage the Tree of Life being used by people interested in locating information about a particular group of organisms, by biologists seeking identification keys, figures, phylogenetic trees, and other systematic information for a group of organisms, and by educators teaching about organismal diversity. The ToL project was originally designed for biologists. However, given the response of other people to the project, including middle and high school students, we are encouraging authors to include information of interest to non-biologists, and we now also accept contributions from students and other amateur scientists and nature lovers. For more information, please see Contributing Images and Other Media to the Tree of Life and Learning with the Tree of Life.
The basic goals of the Tree of Life project are:
- To present information about every species and significant group of organisms on Earth, living and extinct, authored by experts in each group.
- To present a modern scientific view of the evolutionary tree that unites all organisms on Earth.
- To aid learning about and appreciation of biological diversity and the evolutionary Tree of Life.
- To share information with other databases and analytical tools, and to phylogenetically link information from other databases.