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Speciation & Extinction Rate Estimation from Phylogenetic Trees

Hordijk, W (Lausanne)
Thursday 23 June 2011, 10:00-10:20

Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute


Recently there has been an increasing interest in trying to estimate rates of evolution (in particular speciation and extinction rates) from phylogenetic tree data. However, this is currently still a difficult problem. We use a method based on lineage survival probabilities and actual speciation times to infer speciation and exitinction rates from (simulated) phylogenetic trees. Our results show that large trees (several hundred species) are necessary to get statistically significant results. This work is still ongoing, and we are investigating how to get more accurate and reliable results on smaller trees, and whether this is possible at all given the statistical nature of the problem.


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