SFI Seminar: Inferring the Past for Traits that Alter Speciation and Extinction

SFI News:

Sarah “Sally” Otto, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, will present a seminar at the Santa Fe Institute, Inferring the Past for Traits that Alter Speciation and Extinction” Tuesday, April 30 • 3:30 p.m. • Noyce Conference Room at 1399 Hyde Park Road in Santa Fe.

Abstract: I will describe BiSSE, a likelihood-based approach to infer how speciation and extinction rates depend on the state of a particular character. The phylogenetic tree of a group of species contains information about character transitions and about diversification: higher speciation rates, for example, give rise to shorter branch lengths.

The likelihood method that we have developed uses the information contained in a phylogeny and integrates over all possible evolutionary histories to infer the speciation and extinction rates for species with different character states.

Our method can be used to provide more detailed information than previous methods, allowing us to disentangle whether a particular character state is rare because species in that state are prone to extinction, are unlikely to speciate, or tend to move out of that state faster than they move in.

Alternatively, I could talk about on-going work on the evolution of recombination on sex chromosomes if preferred, but I think that the above talk has lots of connections to different modeling approaches and research questions.

SFI Host: Evandro Ferrada

Click here to view the online event listing.

The Santa Fe Institute is a nonprofit research center located in Santa Fe, N.M. Its scientists collaborate across disciplines to understand the complex systems that underlie critical questions for science and humanity. The Institute is supported by philanthropic individuals and foundations, forward-thinking partner companies, and government science agencies.


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