January 13 2014

10:00 158 Hershey Hall

Tracy Heath
Department of Integrative Biology University of California, Berkeley

Estimating Macroevolutionary Time Scales Using Molecular and Fossil Data


Division of Life Sciences Faculty Mentorship Colloquium

Accurate estimates of the timing of evolutionary events are critical for addressing a wide range of questions in evolutionary biology. I will present new approaches for addressing two of the most challenging aspects of dating phylogenetic trees. First, I have developed a method, using a Dirichlet process prior, to generalize relaxed-clock models. This approach flexibly encompasses a wide range of branch-wise models of rate variation, and it has been shown to be a robust and powerful estimation framework. Second, I will discuss a new model called the fossilized birth-death process. By acknowledging that extant species and fossils are observations from the same macroevolutionary process, this new approach eliminates many ad hoc procedures used in calibrating dated phylogenies. This approach makes better use of the fossil record and will open the door to much richer methods for incorporating the complexity of the fossil record in evolutionary analyses.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































this is idtest: