Paleonet: 2019 Paleontological Society Short Course: Quantitative Methods in Phylogenetic Paleobiology

Wagner peterjwagner3 at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 18 16:21:02 GMT 2019


We are pleased to announce the 2019 Paleontological SocietyShort Course, “Quantitative Methods in Phylogenetic Paleobiology,” organized byDavid Bapst, Sandy Carlson, Laura Soul, Peter Wagner, Rachel Warnock, AprilWright & Davey Wright.  Following theexample set in the 2018 “Pedagogy and Technology in the Modern PaleontologyClassroom” short course, the 2019 session will be a workshop in which presentationsabout phylogenetic methods will be interspersed with hands-on exercises for theattendees to perform.  

 

The short course will encompass three broad (albeitconnected) topics:

1) tactics for recognizing andcoding anatomical characters and character states; 

2) models of morphological evolution;and, 

3) estimation of divergence timesamong fossil taxa given morphology, and rates of change, diversification, andsampling.  

Our intent is to make connections between the importantparameters for phylogenetic analysis and macroevolutionary theory of the sortthat paleontologists study, as these commonalities often are overlooked.  Another intent is to communicate how we dealwith uncertainties in relevant rate parameters and even phylogenetic topologiesthemselves when making tree-based macroevolutionary inferences.  Our goal is to  work to embrace these uncertainties ratherthan to either ignore them or dismiss important questions as unanswerablebecause of uncertainties.  

 

For much of the short course, we will use a single datasetfor our examples, with that dataset and appropriate computer programsdistributed prior to the short course. This will allow each participant to work through steps from loadingfiles to conducting basic analyses. (A short workshop to help people download appropriate files will be held on Friday before the short course.)

 

We are aiming the short course at a wide audience.  We will introduce current methods and tools toyoung researchers interested in pursuing phylogenetic analyses.  However, this will also be a “refresher” coursefor more veteran workers who have done phylogenetics in the past, but who mightnot have kept up with recent developments. The course contents will also be be useful for individuals whothemselves do little or no phylogenetic work, but who might mentor interns orstudents interested in phylogenetics and/or who might collaborate withphylogeneticists.  

 

In order to estimate the audience size and pre-existinglevels of expertise, we ask the interested attendees fill out ashort-registration form at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1AsPgZNraGV6htmveMK5Yebx3q1_Eew_BaML6MLYdHQU/viewform?ts=5c989fd5.(Note that this is an informal registration; registrants are not committed to attendingand non-registrants are free to attend.)

Sincerely,
Pete
David W. Bapst (Texas A&M)Sandra J. Carlson (UC Davis)
Laura C. Soul (NMNH)Peter J. Wagner (U. Nebraska, Lincoln)
Rachel C. M. Warnock (ETH Zurich)April M. Wright (Southeastern Louisiana)
David F. Wright (AMNH)

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