Category Archives: phylogenetics

Just in time for spring break- the phylogenetic and medicinal history of Aloe vera

It’s spring break season across the United States, which means many undergraduates are shedding their winter layers and flocking to warm, tropical destinations. After a week of fun in the sun, I’m sure many of them will rely on  Aloe vera to soothe their sunburns. … Continue reading

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Posted in medicine, phylogenetics, plants, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Phylogenetic dispersion aversion

How biological communities form and are maintained is a complex and fascinating area of molecular ecology. Gerhold et al. offer up an interesting take on community phylogenetics in a recent Functional Ecology paper that argues against the use of phylogenetic dispersion as … Continue reading

Posted in community ecology, phylogenetics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Interspecific gene flow enhances vectorial capacity

There are charismatic cases of gene flow between species, such as Neanderthals (see also Arun’s posts here and here), but the role of introgression in evolution remains poorly documented. Recently diverged species have incomplete reproductive isolation and can hybridize. Rapid … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, bioinformatics, evolution, genomics, phylogenetics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Phonemes and Genomes

Human phonemes and genomes are thought to have evolved hand-in-glove out of Africa. Several recent studies have attempted to capture a picture of this global variation in languages and peoples, often supporting (and rejecting) a serial founder model (eg. see … Continue reading

Posted in bioinformatics, evolution, genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Night at the museum

Many population genetic and genomic studies document snapshots of a given population’s genetic diversity. Yet, there are many reasons to document changes over time in population parameters in response to perturbations, such as biological invasions (both in terms of the invader … Continue reading

Posted in DNA barcoding, evolution, genomics, natural history, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, population genetics, speciation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Species and sensibility

Pante et al. (2014) performed a literature review of marine population connectivity in order to illustrate the biased estimates of connectivity which can result from the failure to recognize an evolutionary-relevant unit, such as a species. When exploring the connectivity … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, community ecology, conservation, DNA barcoding, natural history, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, population genetics, speciation, theory | 2 Comments

Geophylogeny plots in R for Dummies

Amid basting my tofurky, here’s a follow-up to my previous post on quick-fix overlays of admixture plots on geographical maps in R. I recently discovered a wonderful R package called “phytools” from Liam Revell, which makes really neat phylogenetic trees (with … Continue reading

Posted in howto, phylogenetics, population genetics, R, software, STRUCTURE | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Consuming raw or undercooked frogs may increase your risk of getting a rare tapeworm in your brain

A 50-year-old UK resident had been living with an unwelcome visitor for the past 4 years and it was such a headache. Surgeons from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge removed the tapeworm during a biopsy after noticing a small circular lesion … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, medicine, phylogenetics | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

#EntSoc14, a quick review

I have had a wonderful time at my first big bug conference – the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Amid secretive (or not so secretive) break-out sessions to Voodoo Doughnuts, … Continue reading

Posted in conferences, genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Growing the evolutionary relationship between green algae and salamanders

The presence of  green algae within the developing egg masses of amphibians has been recognized since the early 1900s, but only recently have researchers discovered that the these algae (termed “Oophila”) persist in animal tissues far after leaving the egg. The … Continue reading

Posted in Coevolution, phylogenetics, speciation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment