DNA-sequence data and phylogenies in biodiversity


15-18 July 2019





University of Lodz, Poland



This course will introduce scientists interested in biodiversity to the use of DNA-sequence data to address questions that cannot be addressed by using only morphological and ecological data in their studies. After a short introduction on how to obtain DNA sequences and 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 (PhD students, early postdocs) 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 DNA sequences and 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



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


Session 1: Introduction (morning)