Course information

Course title
Mapping Trait Evolution
University / Organization
Transmitting Science
Els Hostalets de Pierola, Barcelona
Academic level
Both Msc and PhD
Course director
Course lecturer(s)
Dr Jeroen B. Smaers (Stony Brook University, United States of America)
Course aim
Phylogenetic comparative methods consider the genetic relatedness between species to infer scaling trends between traits, co-evolutionary patterns among traits and/or detailed evolutionary patterns of change across individual lineages. During this course, participants will learn about phylogenetic comparative approaches that allow inferring ancestral states, variable rates of change across individual lineages, trait co-evolution, and mechanisms of change across evolutionary time.
Course contents / programme
Program Monday, June 4th, 2018. (R packages: ape, Geiger). Morning: Phylogenetic data. What is the basic structure of phylogenetic data? How to visualize and manipulate phylogenetic data? Afternoon: Models of evolution. What are models of evolution? What are the assumptions of the different models of evolution? How are models of evolution utilized? Tuesday, June 5th, 2018. (R packages: ape, nlme, caper, evomap). Morning: Phylogenetic regression. Assumptions, properties, and applications of the phylogenetic regression. Afternoon: Phylogenetic ancova. Testing for grade shifts using the phylogenetic regression. Wednesday, June 6th, 2018. (R packages: phytools, motmot, geiger, ape, evomap, BayesTraits). Morning: Ancestral estimation. Using models of evolution to estimate values of ancestral nodes. Afternoon: Analysis of rates of evolution. Estimation of rates of evolution. Testing hypothesis about rates of evolution. Thursday, June 7th, 2018. (R packages: bayou, phylolm, surface, OUwie, mvMORPH). Morning: Inferring the structure of a macroevolutionary landscape. Using Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models to map macroevolutionary patterns. Afternoon: Testing the structure of a macroevolutionary landscape. Applications and assumptions of OU models. Using OU models to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. Friday, June 8th, 2018. (R packages: geomorph). Morning: Modularity and integration. What is ‘phylogenetic’ modularity and integration? Applications and assumptions. Afternoon: Case study.
Required Knowledge and preparation
Teaching methods
Course type
Consecutive days
Online course
Duration (net days)
June 4th-8th, 2018
Course fee
Direct e-mail to register
Paper submission required?
Logo of institution
front approval