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Plant Biology Colloquium | What gene trees do (and do not) tell us about species evolution and biodiversity, March 24

The Environmental and Plant Biology Colloquium Series features Dr. Laura Kubatko discussing “What gene trees do (and do not) tell us about species evolution and biodiversity” on Friday, March 24, at 11:50 am in Porter Hall, Room 104.


Kubatko is Professor of Statistics and Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology in the Department of Statistics at Ohio State University, Columbus.


Abstract: Species-level phylogenetic trees represent the sequence of evolutionary events that have given rise to the species observed at the present time. Species trees may differ from gene trees — trees that represent the evolutionary history for individual genes throughout the genome — due to evolutionary processes such as hybridization, horizontal gene transfer, and ancestral polymorphism. In this talk, I will first describe models for the relationship between gene trees and species trees, focusing specifically on the case of ancestral polymorphism. I’ll then consider phylogenetically-based methods for studying biodiversity, and demonstrate the important distinction between genes trees and species trees.  The impact of using gene trees vs. species trees will be examined with empirical data from several taxonomic groups, ranging from yeast to mammals.


Host: Dr. John Schenk





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