[Taxacom] Geophylogeny

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Mon Nov 8 15:28:57 CST 2010

Hey, guys, give me a break. I'm not insisting that you read Kidd's paper, and there's no quiz coming up in which you'll be asked to compare and contrast the Kidd method, DiVa and historical phylogeographic approaches. If you're interested in this subject, the Kidd paper is worth reading, which is one reason I recommended it. If you're not interested, that's fine. I've been sending copies out in response to off-list requests, so I know there's some interest on the list.

The other reason I recommended it is the one suggested by John Grehan, namely that phylogeneticists continue to publish phylogenies with no spatial content whatsoever. Geologists are interested in the history of blocks of Earth and use biological information to assist with those reconstructions. Panbiogeographers are interested in the joint histories of those blocks and their biotas, and use biological distribution data to nut them out. A surprisingly large number of evolutionary biologists construct hypothetical, space-free evolutionary histories using sophisticated algorithms, then mention a few geological events in their Discussion sections as if to 'touch base' with the spatial framework for those histories. What Kidd and others are working towards are explicit methods for inferring real evolutionary history, i.e. trees in space as well as time.
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
Ph: (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Webpage: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/?articleID=570

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