Paleonet: REMINDER: Phylogenetic methods and the fossil record GSA Vancouver 2014 topical session

James Lamsdell james_lamsdell at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jul 1 15:12:34 GMT 2014



Greetings all,

This is just a reminder about the special technical session for the 2014 annual
 meeting of the Geological Society of America in Vancouver, British 
Columbia, entitled "Unearthing the History of Life: The 
Application of Phylogenetic Methods to the Fossil Record". This session 
will be chaired by myself (Yale University) and Curtis R.
 Congreve (Pennsylvania State University). 

You now have the rest of this month to submit abstracts for the session, and we hope that you will consider submitting your talks to us. This 
symposium focuses on the many different ways both phylogenetic methods 
and phylogenetic theory can be applied to fossil data to help better 
understand big questions in the history of life. Researchers involved in
 all aspects of applying phylogenetic methodologies to fossil data are 
welcome to submit a proposal. All aspects of phylogenetic methodology 
with be treated with equal interest, as will all taxonomic groups and 
stratigraphic intervals that might comprise components of these studies. Our keynote speakers are Peter Wagner (Smithsonian) and Matt Wills (University of Bath).

The deadline for submitting a proposal is July 29, 2014. 

Further details of the session follow:

T214. Unearthing the History of Life: The Application of Phylogenetic Methods to the Fossil Record

The
 advent of phylogenetic analysis has revolutionized biology, changing 
the science of taxonomy from a highly subjective field to one where 
relationships can be rigorously tested using molecular and morphological
 character data in an objective and repeatable manner. Phylogenetic 
frameworks are also an integral component of broader studies into 
ecological and
 evolutionary phenomena. Paleontological data has a bearing on a great 
number of these issues, adding a temporal component to biogeographic 
analyses, time calibration for molecular clock studies, and providing 
evidence of past evolutionary radiations and mass extinctions. 
Paleontological data can also break up long branches, providing evidence
 of evolutionary transitions and a potential solution to the ‘long 
branch attraction’ phenomenon. Despite the unique position of 
paleontology to elucidate on fundamental evolutionary questions when 
paired with phylogenetic methods, only relatively few researchers have 
taken up the task. This symposium would focus on the many different ways
 both phylogenetic methods and phylogenetic theory can be applied to 
fossil data to help better understand big questions in the history of 
life. The symposium will cover a broad range of topics, from 
macroecological and macroevolutionary phenomena (including radiations, 
mass
 extinctions, and the origin of life) to phylogenetic biogeography and 
smaller scale studies of individual population dynamics. Attendees would
 be free to speak on such diverse topics as the philosophical 
underpinnings of phylogenetics and the various phylogenetic models, the 
application of phylogenetics to macroevolutionary questions, and the 
influence that taphonomic bias can have on phylogenetic analysis of 
fossil taxa. The symposium would bring together leading scientists in 
the application of phylogenetic methods to fossil data, generating a 
forum for discussion and synthesis of disparate research paradigms in 
order to further the application of phylogenetic methods within the 
paleontological sphere and explore new avenues for interdisciplinary 
research into both phylogenetic methodology and its application to 
paleontological data. Papers presented at the symposium may be collected
 together for subsequent publication. 


We look forward to
 receiving your abstracts!

Regards,
James C. Lamsdell and Curtis R. Congreve
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