08-Mar-2008 - 15-Mar-2008
University of California, Davis and Bodega Marine Laboratory (additional financial support provided by the University of Rochester, Yale University, and NESCent)

Introduction. Phylogenetic methods have revolutionized modern systematics and become indispensable tools in evolution, ecology and comparative biology, playing an increasingly important role in analyses of biological data at levels of organization ranging from molecules to ecological communities. The construction of phylogenetic trees is becoming a methodology that is well-defined, with broad agreement on the central issues and questions. A nearly standard set of topics is now taught as part of the curriculum at many colleges and universities. On the other hand, application of phylogenetic methods to interesting problems outside of systematics is an area of special excitement, innovation, and controversy, and perspectives vary widely.

In March, 2008, for the ninth year, we will teach a workshop for graduate students interested in applying phylogenetic methods to diverse topics in biology. The one-week course will be an intensive exploration of problems to which modern phylogenetic tools are being applied. We cover a range of topics in biogeography, ecology, conservation biology, phylogenomics, functional morphology, macroevolution, speciation, and character evolution. The course starts with recent advances in phylogenetic methodology, and then focuses on methods and tools that can be brought to bear on these "applied" issues in the context of a given phylogeny. [ more ]