Molecular phylogenies in biodiversity


9-13 April 2018


This course will introduce ecologists interested in biodiversity to the use of molecular phylogenies to address questions that cannot be addressed by using only ecological data in their studies. After a short introduction on how to obtain reliable molecular phylogenies, the focus of the questions that could be addressed will be on taxonomy, community ecology, and comparative methods.





The course is aimed at early-career researchers in ecology interested in widening their analytical toolbox. The course is structured in a way that even an inexperienced and naïve attendee could take advantage of the possibilities offered by the inclusion of molecular phylogenies in its analyses. There will be a mix of lectures and hands-on practical exercises using freely available software and online resources.


Most of the steps will be performed in R, but no previous knowledge on this statistical platform is required. All scripts will be carefully explained to allow all attendees understanding the rationale and usage of the statistical approaches.




- Understand how to read, interpret and obtain molecular phylogenies, with a focus on the concepts and rationale behind phylogenetic methods



- Learn tools from DNA taxonomy



- Learn how to include phylogenies in the analyses of community ecology and in comparative analyses



- Hand-on experience on all the steps



- Being comfortable with using R when including molecular phylogenies in ecological analyses




Eisenacher Str. 1, 10777 Berlin


Monday – Classes from 09:00 to 17:00 - “Molecular phylogenies”


Session 1: Introduction (morning)



In this session I will kick off with an introduction lecture about the rationale of including molecular phylogenies in ecological studies. I will use this introduction to motivate the five-day course. Next, I will explain some theory on molecular phylogenies and which kind of data is needed to obtain phylogenetic reconstructions. Through the morning we will start obtaining our first phylogenies to be used in the following days.



Session 2: Molecular phylogenies (afternoon)



During the afternoon, we are going through some of the available and easy methods to obtain phylogenies with distance-based, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods. The aim is to understand the use, potentials, and limitations of molecular phylogenies, and to be comfortable with them.







Dr. Diego Fontaneto


Cost overview

Package 1:

Course material and refreshments



Package 2:

Course material, refreshments, lunch and accommodation

          430 € (VAT included)

      695 € (VAT included)

Please click HERE to get all the information about our packages.

Application deadline is: March 16th, 2018.


Cancellation Policy:


> 30  days before the start date = 30% cancellation fee

< 30 days before the start date= No Refund.


Physalia-courses cannot be held responsible for any travel fees, accommodation or other expenses incurred to you as a result of the cancellation.