[MARMAM] Workshop 18th Biennia Conference: Phylogenetic Tools For Cetacean Studies

Laura May-Collado lmaycollado at gmail.com
Sun Aug 16 12:53:56 PDT 2009


This is an announcement for the workshop on Phylogenetic Tools For Cetacean
Studies that will take place a day before the conference initiates. The
workshop website for specific information and materials is:
http://sites.google.com/site/phylogeneticcetacean/

*Theme of the workshop*: Two simple phylogenetic tools for cetacean studies:
analyzes of independent contrasts and conservation priorities.  In 1985
Felsenstein work on "Phylogenetic Independence" changed the way biologists
nowadays test hypotheses in comparative studies of behavior, acoustics,
conservation, physiology, etc, emphasizing the need to account for
phylogenetic relationship among species.  Nevertheless, many mammalian
studies continue to use standard statistical methods, often ignoring the
problem of non-independence. Standard regression analyses fail to
acknowledge that similarity in the character in question may be due to
common ancestry. Failing to account for known dependencies among related
species can give misleading results, which is why methods such as
'independent contrasts' are becoming the standard for analyzing how
parameters relate to one another. Phylogenies also can inform on
conservation. Much information exists on extinction risk of species (e.g.
IUCN categories), but risk of extinction alone may not be a good guide to
how to allocate conservation effort. Species may differ dramatically in the
unique evolutionary history they preserve. For example the duck billed
platypus represent an ancient lineage represented very few extant species.
Extinction of such species would thus erase much unique evolutionary
history. In contrast, any single species of Hawaiian Drosophila represents
relatively little unique evolutionary history for much of its history is
preserved in numerous close relatives. We will discuss a newly developed
method that uses both extinction risk, as well as phylogenetic diversity, to
assess conservation priorities.  We will provide attendees with data
matrices that will be used in the workshop. We will demonstrate how the
evolutionary analysis packet Mesquite can be used to analyze
phylogenetically independent contrasts, and to assess conservation
priorities.  We hope that the workshop provides people with a better
understanding of the importance and use of phylogenetics to address
evolutionary questions in our field, and in particular familiarize attendees
with the use of two simple but important methods.

Organizers: Laura J. May-Collado & Ingi Agnarsson

Date: October 11, 2009

Time: 9am - 12 a.m. (Half Day)

Location:  RM 202

Cost: $25 CAN

Registration cost will include hot and cold drinks, snacks, and visual
equipment.

-- 
Laura J. May-Collado, Ph.D.
Associate Researcher & Instructor
Department of Biology
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Office CN326
Phone:1-787-7640000 Ext2584

Affiliate Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental Science & Policy; George Mason University
Email: lmaycollado at gmail.com
Personal Home Page: www.delphinids.com
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