Bayesian Methods to Estimate Species Divergence Times

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Life Sciences Building

University of Bristol

Tyndall Avenue

Bristol

BS8 1TQ

United Kingdom

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Summary

In this two-day workshop we will introduce the theory and practice of Bayesian statistical methods to analyze molecular, morphological and fossil data to estimate the times of divergence of species on a phylogeny. The workshop is aimed at scientists (graduate students, postdocs and established academics) interested in using the methods in their own research. Attendees will learn how to use R to write a basic Baysian phylogenetics program, and will learn how to use specialized packages such as Beast, MCMCTree and MrBayes for divergence time estimation. The workshop will introduce attendees to the newer methods for combined analysis of morphological and molecular data (so-called total evidence dating). In particular, there may be an opportunity for attendees to learn how to analyse continuous morphological data (such as landmarks) with the program MCMCTree. The workshop is made possible thanks to funding by the BBSRC, UK.

Prerequisites

Attendees are required to have basic knowledge of statistics and basic knowledge of the R computer package for statistics (for example, you know how to perform basic calculations with R, know how to define functions and how to write 'for loops'). Attendees should ideally have some basic experience in phylogenetics (for example, you may have used a phylogenetics program such as RAxML to build a phylogenetic tree). Basic knowledge of the command line or terminal (in Windows, Mac or Linux) is also necessary. Attendees must bring their own laptops to participate in the workshop. Detailed instructions about the software the attendees need to install in their laptops will be given close to the workshop date.

Draft Programme

Thursday 30th
09:00-10:00 Registration. Tea and coffee.
10:00-11:00 Lecture: Phil Donoghue on the fossil record.
11:00-12:00 Lecture: Ziheng Yang on Bayesian phylogenetics theory.
12:00-13:30 Lunch.
13:30-15:30 R workshop: How to write your own MCMC phylogenetics program.
15:30-16:00 Tea and coffe break.
16:00-18:00 R workshop: MCMC diagnostics.
18:00-19:00 Wine reception.

Friday 31st
09:00-10:00 Questions and Answers session. Tea and coffee.
10:00-12:00 Beast workshop: Dating a virus phylogeny.
12:00-13:30 Lunch.
13:30-15:30 MCMCTree workshop: Analysis of genome-scale (and morphological?) data.
15:30-16:00 Break.
16:00-18:00 MrBayes workshop: Combined analysis of morphological and molecular data.

For enquires contact: Mario dos Reis, mario.barros@ucl.ac.uk

Date and time

Location

Life Sciences Building

University of Bristol

Tyndall Avenue

Bristol

BS8 1TQ

United Kingdom

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Organiser Mario dos Reis, Ziheng Yang and Philip Donoghue

Organiser of Bayesian Methods to Estimate Species Divergence Times

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