Phylogenetic trees have changed the way we study and understand life on Earth. Taking phylogenetic information into account in our analyses is critical to account for the non-independence of biological data. Also, phylogenies allow us to get a deep-time perspective of the processes that have shaped the evolutionary history of groups, including diversification and trait evolution.
This course will introduce participants to the use, modification and representation of phylogenetic trees. Also, we will focus on the use of phylogenetic information to reconstruct ancestral characters and biogeographic histories, using different phylogenetic comparative methods.
This course will also tackle trait evolution modelling and the assessment of phylogenetic signal. Finally, we will learn about the shape of phylogenetic trees and its evolutionary causes, and how to estimate the rates of diversification throughout the history of groups. Participants are encouraged to bring their data sets to use in the practical classes.
The course includes an optional first introductory day to basic R.
Important note: Please bear in mind that this course is not about reconstructing (building) phylogenetic trees.
Software: Mesquite, FigTree, R (ape, TreeSim, TreePar, Geiger, OUwie, BioGeoBEARS).
Graduate or postgraduate degree in Biology (including palaeontologists no matter the degree).
Participants must have a personal computer (Windows, Mac, Linux) with this software installed:
- Mesquite: http://mesquiteproject.org/mesquite/mesquite.html.
- R: www.r-project.org.
- FigTree: http://tree.bio.ed.ac.uk/software/figtree/.
The use of Webcam and headphones are strongly recommended, and a good internet connection.