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. In addition, we are preparing to open the project to contributions from a more general audience. For more information, please see the Learning about the ToL pages.
The basic goals of the Tree of Life project are:
  • To provide a uniform and linked framework in which to publish electronically information about the evolutionary history and characteristics of all groups of organisms.
  • 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.
  • To provide (eventually) a life-wide database and searching system about characteristics of organisms.
  • To provide a means to find taxon-specific information on the Internet, both taxonomic and otherwise.