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Molecular-Clock Dating Using MrBayes - Seminar and Workshop

posted Apr 1, 2015, 2:16 AM by Johan Nylander   [ updated Apr 10, 2015, 1:02 AM ]
Molecular-Clock Dating Using MrBayes - Seminar and Workshop

22 April - Stockholm: 09:30-11:30, Rum 540, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och botanik (Lilla Frescati), Stockholms universitet
23 April - Uppsala: 13:15-15:15, Lärosal 4, Evolutionsbiologiskt Centrum, Uppsala universitet

Chi Zhang*, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm
Johan Nylander, BILS/Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm

MrBayes - the most often used software for Bayesian phylogenetic analysis - has 
included many new features since version 3.2. In this seminar, we will 
highlight some newly implemented functionality, with focus on the 
molecular-clock dating capacities of the current version (v.3.2.4).
The seminar will consist of two parts, where following a presentation* giving 
the necessary backrground information, there will be a hands-on tutorial where 
participants are encouraged to bring their own data (and computers).

There are two approaches on dating using molecular data: node dating and 
total-evidence dating. Node dating calibrates the internal nodes of the tree by 
assigning distributions using information from external sources, such as the 
fossil record. Total-evidence dating uses the morphological data from fossil 
record and morphological and sequence data from recent organisms together to 
infer the dates. Several steps involve in Bayesian dating analysis, including 
data partitioning, node or fossil age calibration, and setting priors for the 
tree and the molecular clock model. I will describe the available calibration 
probability distributions, clock tree priors - especially the fossilized 
birth-death prior for total-evidence dating, and relaxed clock models, through 
a step-by-step tutorial of MrBayes.

The program (MrBayes v.3.2.5) is available from (alternatively

Participants in the practical part are encouraged to bring their own computers 
with the software installed from the above mentioned URL's.