13-17 December 2021
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this course will be held online
Phylogenetic comparative methods have now become both standard and necessary of many studies in fields as disparate as systematics, paleontology, ecology, behavior, anatomy and physiology. As
many of these methods rely on the availability of ultrametric (time-calibrated) phylogenies, this course will introduce students, researchers and professionals to the theoretical and practical
aspects of generating ultrametric trees, reconstructing trait evolution and investigating rates of lineage diversification. It will consist of both lectures to cover theory, as well as practical
The course is aimed at advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers and professionals interested in learning how to generate or interpret correctly ultrametric phylogenies
("chronograms or timetrees"), and how to use these trees with phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate both trait and lineage evolution.
This is not an introductory course on molecular evolution and phylogenetics, and will not cover aspects such as sequence generation, alignments, and inference other than Bayesian time-calibration. Students will thus be expected to have a basic knowledge of molecular evolution (a reading list of refresher literature can be made available to students before the course). Many of the hands-on practical exercises will require the use of packages running in R; for this reason some familiarity with R will be advantageous, even though the instructors will show how to set up R scripts to run the necessary programs.
The course is structured in modules over five days. Each day will include an introductory lecture with class discussion of key concepts. The remainder of each day will consist of practical
hands-on sessions. These sessions will involve a combination of both mirroring exercises with the instructor to demonstrate a skill as well as applying these skills on your own to complete
individual exercises. After and during each exercise, interpretation of results will be discussed as a group. Students will be provided with previously published datasets that have been selected
to highlight some of the complexities of various types of methods and analyses, as well as to reproduce the type of dataset that they migh use in their own research. Students are also encouraged
to bring their own dataset in case they want to seek input from the instructors on how to set up analyses of their own data
Classes from 2 to 8 pm Berlin time
✔ Introduction to the use of phylogeny in comparative methods (lecture)
✔ Likelihood and bayesian inference methods (lecture)
✔ Molecular clocks (lecture)
✔ Node dating relaxed clocks using Beast (tutorial)
> 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.