Professor Matthew Hahn from Indiana University Bloomington is to kick off the Auckland Evolution 2019 Seminar Series next week with his talk, The Procrustean bed of the species tree, on Thursday 7th February, 2019. The talk will be held at The University of Auckland Clock Tower (105-018), from 4:30pm – 5:30pm.
Prof. Matthew Hahn: “The Procrustean bed of the species tree”
Indiana University Bloomington
Abstract: Convergent evolution provides key evidence for the action of natural selection. The process of convergence is often inferred because the same trait appears in multiple species that are not closely related. However, different parts of the genome can reveal different relationships among species, with some genes or regions uniting lineages that appear unrelated in the species tree. If changes in traits occur in these discordant regions, a false pattern of convergence can be produced when all traits are analysed using the species relationships. In this talk I explain how forcing all traits to be analysed on a species tree will often result in incorrect inferences about the direction of evolution and the number of times a trait has evolved. I will also cover multiple approaches for moving beyond species trees that promise to provide a more accurate view of organismal and trait evolution.