Parasitology has a rich tradition of studies linking taxonomy, ecology, and life cycles and development. This tradition has produced an enormous amount of empirical evidence demonstrating that parasites form highly integrated reproductive–developmental–ecological systems that are highly persistent through space and time. As well, phylogenetic studies of parasites, especially of parasitic platyhelminths, represent 1 of the most progressive areas of systematic biology. Consequently, parasitologists should be at the forefront of research in evolutionary developmental biology (evo–devo) and integrative biology, and parasite systems should be model systems of choice for those research programs. Species of the digenean, Alloglossidium, provide a superb exemplar for such studies because we know so much about their phylogeny, population biology, ecology, and life cycles. Equally important is the recognition that Alloglossidium spp. is such an outstanding model system because of more than 30 yr of effort by a number of people working with little funding at small institutions, beginning with a short unassuming species description by Gerald D. Schmidt. For dedicated and creative scientists, the size of the institution and the research budget need not be an impediment to producing high-quality research. These are the people who produce the quiet classics, and they need to be recognized for their invaluable contributions.

You do not currently have access to this content.