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NIMBioS Accelerator Tutorial

RevBayes: Bayesian Inference of Phylogeny


Topic: RevBayes: A program for Bayesian inference of phylogeny using probabilistic graphical models and an interpreted language

Dates: August 7-11, 2017

Location: NIMBioS



This course features RevBayes, an exciting new program for Bayesian inference of phylogeny. RevBayes is the successor to the popular program MrBayes, but represents both a complete rewrite of the computer code and a fundamental re-conception of phylogenetic models. Specifically, RevBayes adopts a 'graphical-model' framework that views all statistical models as comprised of components that can be assembled in myriad configurations to explore a corresponding array of questions. This graphical-model approach to phylogenetic inference provides effectively infinite flexibility. Moreover, the graphical models are specified using an R-like language, Rev, that empowers users to construct arbitrarily complex phylogenetic models from simple component parts (i.e. random variables, parameter transformations and constants of different sorts).

This course is focused on phylogenetic trees and comparative-phylogenetic methods, including divergence-time estimation, morphological evolution, lineage diversification, and historical biogeography. Instruction is based on a combination of carefully tailored lectures introducing the theoretical and conceptual basis of each inference problem and hands-on computer tutorials demonstrating how to explore these questions using RevBayes (see

Participants are not assumed to have expertise in phylogenetic theory; rather, we provide an accessible introduction to Bayesian statistical inference and stochastic models. We assume only that participants are familiar with phylogenetic trees and their applications to evolutionary biology. We therefore anticipate that this course will be most suitable for senior PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty who want to learn these techniques.

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Applications process: Applications are still being accepted for this tutorial.
To apply, you must complete an application on our online registration system:

  1. Click here to access the system
  2. Login or register
  3. Complete your user profile (if you haven't already)
  4. Find this tutorial event under Current Events Open for Application and click on Apply

Registration Fee: $500 for faculty and postdocs and $350 for students, payable upon acceptance of application.

Participation in NIMBioS tutorials is by application only. Individuals with a strong interest in the topic are encouraged to apply, and successful applicants will be notified within three weeks after the application deadline.

NIMBioS will provide breakfast and lunch each day of the tutorial for all participants. Participants are expected to arrange and cover their own travel and lodging. NIMBioS will hold a block of 35 rooms at $86/night + tax at The Four Points Sheraton (1109 White Ave., Knoxville 865-971-4663). Applicants interested in sharing a hotel room to reduce lodging costs should indicate this on the application.

If you are interested in partnering with NIMBioS to drive a new workshop or tutorial, please visit our partner page for more information.

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NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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