Please join us for the next SPG seminar, which will be given by Michael Landis. Michael is a Donnelly Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University with Michael Donoghue.
Title: Inference of phylogenetic biogeography using models of range evolution
Date: February 23, 2017
Place: KÖL Lunch Room (Frescativägen 54)
Abstract: The spatial distribution of modern biodiversity was generated by evolutionary processes acting over deep time. Because these historical processes cannot be observed directly, phylogenetic models of biogeographic evolution have been employed to reconstruct ancestral species ranges. This family of models, however, is young and the limits of their usefulness and scalability are still being explored. First, to their usefulness, I will discuss how biogeographic processes may be used to date speciation times when conditioning on dated empirical models of paleogeography. Second, to their scalability, I will describe how the unusual features of biogeographic character evolution complicate the use of standard phylogenetic marginalization techniques--such as the pruning algorithm--and demonstrate how Markov chain Monte Carlo may be configured to numerically marginalize over the space of complex evolutionary histories.