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Phylogenetic Systematics (Bisc 210)

Instructor: Hormiga
Number of Credits: 4
Level of instruction: graduate


Introduction to systematics. History of Modern Systematics.

Cladistics. Grouping by synapomorphy. Wagner trees.

Descriptive statistics for cladograms.

Optimality criteria and optimization


Searching for most parsimonious trees

Character definition and analysis.


Character weighting.

Missing entries in data matrices.

Multiple equally parsimonious trees. Consensus techniques.

Taxa and taxon sampling

Monophyly and related concepts.

Molecular systematics. Distance methods in molecular systematics. Maximum likelihood methods in molecular systematics.

Statistical reliability of phylogeny estimates

Character congruence or total evidence.

Ontogeny and phylogeny.

Species concepts.

Classifications. Biological nomenclature. Documenting biodiversity.

Systematics and the fossil record.

Phylogenies and the comparative method.

Biogeography and coevolution.

Hybrids, homobionts, and reticulate evolution.

Phenetic methods.

Three-Taxon statements.

Computer Labs:

Lab 1. Character by taxon matrix editors: Winclada, MacClade, and Nexus Data Editor.

Lab 2. Phylogenetic Analysis Software: Nona, Hennig86, and PAUP.

Lab 3. Exploring and presenting the results of phylogenetic analysis.