In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in the NIMBioS Lecture Hall on the 4th floor of 1534 White Ave., Suite 400 Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served starting at 3 p.m.
Time/Date/Location: 3:30 p.m., Nov. 3, NIMBioS Lecture Hall, 1534 White Ave., Suite 400
Speaker: Dr. Brian O'Meara, UT Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Topic:Joint species inference and species delimitation
Abstract: Species delimitation and species tree inference are difficult problems in cases of recent divergence, especially when different loci have different histories. Here I quantify the difficulty of jointly ﬁnding the division of samples to species and estimating a species tree without constraining the possible assignments a priori. I introduce a parametric and a nonparametric method, including new heuristic search strategies, to do this delimitation and tree inference using individual gene trees as input. The new methods were evaluated using thousands of simulations and 4 empirical data sets. These analyses suggest that the new methods, especially the nonparametric one, may provide useful insights for systematists working at the species level with molecular data. However, they still often return incorrect results.