Ph.D. course in Phylogenetic Systematics and Historical Biogeography

Nikolaj Scharff nscharff at ZMUC.KU.DK
Mon Oct 21 05:09:41 CDT 2002

Phylogenetic Systematics and Historical Biogeography

Ph.D. course - Spring 2003 - at the University of Copenhagen

The aim of the course is to teach Ph.D. students the theory and methodology
of phylogenetic systematics and historical biogeography. The following
subjects will be covered:

• Phylogenetic theory
• Character coding
• Tree building techniques
• Trees statistics and tree support
• Ecological phylogenetics/Character tracing and character manipulation
• Handling of molecular data
  – A priori weighting
  – Alignment
• Alternative methods of data analysis
  – Maximum Likelihood
  – Bayesian inference

• Historical biogeography
  – Pattern-based biogeography
  – Event-based biogeography

Various tree building programmes (e.g., PeeWee, NONA, POY, PAUP*, and TNT),
programmes for manipulating data and trees (e.g., MacClade, Mesquite, and
Winclada), and biogeographical analysis (e.g., COMPONENT, DIVA) will be
demonstrated and used. Lectures will alternate with practical exercises.

The course is preferentially for Ph.D. students; hence, biological
knowledge corresponding to a M.Sc. is normally required.

Prior knowledge of phylogenetics corresponding to e.g., Schuh, T. 2000.
Biological Systematics. Principles and Applications (Cornell University
Press), is essential. Recommended reading: Kitching, I. J. et al. 1998.
Cladistics. The Theory and Practice of Parsimony Analysis. 2. Ed. (Oxford
Science Publications).

There is a tuition fee of 3,000 D.Kr. (400 €), for Ph.D.-students not
matriculated at a Danish University.

Duration: Two weeks

Date: 24 February - 7 March 2003

Deadline: 31 January 2003 (link to application form -

Location: Botanical Institute, Botanical Laboratory,
Gothersgade 140, DK-1123 Copenhagen K

Evaluation: On the basis of successful completion and presentation of
student projects. 10 ECTS.

Teachers: Conny B. Asmussen (Institute of Ecology, Royal Veterinary and
Agricultural University), Nils M. Andersen, Henrik Enghoff, and Nikolaj
Scharff (all from the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen), Gitte
Petersen, Finn N. Rasmussen, and Ole Seberg (all from the Botanical
Institute, University of Copenhagen).

Guest lecturer: Pablo Goloboff (Instituto Superior de Entomologia e
Instituto Miguel Lillo, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y

Accomodation: Must be arranged on an individual basis

Contact persons:
Ole Seberg, Botanical Institute,
Gothersgade 140, DK-1123 Copenhagen K
Fax: +45 35 32 21 54. E-mail: oles at
Nikolaj Scharff, Zoological Museum,
Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø
Fax: +45 35 32 10 10. E-mail: nscharff at
where further information may also be obtained.

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