Systematics Seminar Fall 2011

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This is the home page of the UConn EEB department's Systematics Seminar (EEB 6486). This is a graduate seminar devoted to issues of interest to graduate students and faculty who make up the systematics program at the University of Connecticut.

Click here for information about joining and using the Systematics email list

Meeting time and place

We are meeting this semester in the Bamford Room (TLS 171B) Tuesdays 4-5pm (except Sept. 6, when we will meet in TLS 154; see below)

Schedule for Fall Semester 2011

Several themes were identified for this semester's Systematics Seminar. We will spend 2-3 weeks on each one.

  • Ancestral state reconstruction
  • Use of niche modeling in delimiting species
  • Informativeness of genes
  • Cryptic species

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We will attend the special seminar by Chris Bird, an EEB BS alum and presently a postdoctoral associate at the University of Hawaii. The talk will be at 4 pm in TLS 154, and is entitled “Sympatric Speciation on the Seashore.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eric Schultz will lead a discussion of the following paper:

Pdficon small.gifWhitehead, A. 2010. The evolutionary radiation of diverse osmotolerant physiologies in killifish (Fundulus sp.). Evolution 64(7): 2070-2085. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.00957.x.

Note: you will need a user name and password to access the PDF above. These were sent out via the Systematics listserv on Sept. 6, 2011, but feel free to write to Paul Lewis if you missed it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Karolina Fučíková will lead a discussion of the following paper:

Pdficon small.gifNagy et al. 2010. The evolution of autodigestion in the mushroom family Psathyrellaceae (Agaricales) inferred from Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian methods. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57:1037-1048.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chris Owen will lead a discussion of the following paper:

Pdficon small.gifTsang et al. 2011.pdf. Hermit to King, or Hermit to All: Multiple Transitions to Crab-like Forms from Hermit Crab Ancestors. Systematic Biology 60:616–629.

I have also included the classic Cunningham et al. 1992 paper, which originally proposed the "Hermit to King" hypothesis (short and worth the read) and another paper from the Cunningham group that uses DNA and mtDNA gene rearrangements to explore the phylogeny of decapods and the evolution of the crab-like form.

Pdficon small.gifCunningham et al. 1992.pdf. Evolution of king crabs from hermit crab ancestors. Nature 355:539-542.
Pdficon small.gifMorrison et al. 2002.pdf. Mitochondrial gene rearrangements confirm the parallel evolution of crab-like form. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 269:345-350.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Beth Timpe will lead a discussion of the following paper:

Pdficon small.gif Pagel et al. 2004

Bayesian estimation of ancestral character states on phylogenies. Syst. Biol. 53(5):673–684, 2004.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Don Les will lead a discussion of the following paper:

Pdficon small.gifParis1989.pdf

Cryptic Species, Species Delimitation, and Taxonomic Practice in the Homosporous Ferns. American Fern Journal, Vol. 79, No. 2.

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Hamid Razifard will lead a discussion of the following paper:

Pdficon small.gifHay et al. 2010. Tuatara.pdf

"Genetic diversity and taxonomy: a reassessment of species designation in tuatara (Sphenodon: Reptilia)". Conserv Genet (2010) 11:1063–1081.

The authors provide a good review of the previous studies (using allozymes, mtDNA) with conflicting results. They also provide a thorough analysis of all sampled tuatara populations using different techniques (microsats, mtDNA, and PCA on allozyme data obtained by others). The paper is good example of getting different results using different techniques, since the markers probably have different evolutionary history. Therefore, using various techniques (and not focusing on a few evidence from morphology, or molecular data) seems necessary for future taxonomic studies.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Ursula King will present some Les Lab research and will lead a discussion on cryptic speciation. The following paper gives some background information:

Viinikka, Y. (1976) Najas marina L. (Najadaceae). Karyotypes, cultivation and morphological variation.Ann. Bo. Fennici 13, 119-131:

Pdficon small.gifmarina.pdf

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Russ Meister will lead a discussion on the following paper:

Pdficon small.gifCo-Cladogenesis spanning three phyla (Moran 2006).pdf

And possibly talk about his proposed doctorate work.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Chris Owen will lead a discussion of the following paper:
Pdficon small.gifTownsend. 2007. Profiling phylogenetic informativeness. Syst. Biol. 56(2):222-231

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Karolina Fučíková will lead a discussion about the ITS2 species concept, particularly the emphasis on compensatory base changes. There are a number of relevant papers, but here is a short one to look at by Wolf et al. 2005 Pdficon small.gif

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dan Rosauer will be visiting. Here are his suggestions for reading: "I’ve attached 2 papers, and suggest that people could choose one of them to read. The Rosauer et al paper describes the phylogenetic endemism concept – which is one of the measures implemented in Biodiverse, while the Laffan et al paper focuses on the Biodiverse software and what it can do."

Pdficon small.gif Rosauer et al. 2009
Pdficon small.gifLaffan et al. 2010

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

For our last meeting of the semester we have two readings. Both are on diversification rates and, if true, call into question major macroevolutionary patterns that you may have been taught in evolution or my entomology course.

Our primary reading will be Stadler (2007). Don’t get bogged down in the math unless you are so inclined. It is our last class meeting: be happy. I am only sorry that Paul is not going to be with us (to interrogate). Note that Olin Silander, John’s son, was a reader (who works on viral evolution).

The core text of the second paper on beetle radiations (Hunt et al. 2007) is less than two pages (length mostly figures), and you can skip the paragraphs that delve into the details of beetle classification on page 1914.

Thought these would be interesting, not too long, and address two big patterns that are discussed in evolutionary texts, classes, etc.

Pdficon small.gifPNAS-2011-Stadler
Pdficon small.gifScience-2007-Hunt

Past Systematics Seminars