Oct. 24-26, 2009, Yingjie Overseas Exchange Center, Peking University, Beijing, China中文版

Calibrating the molecular clock to date species divergences

Ziheng Yang

University College London

Abstract

In this talk I will give an overview of the Bayesian method for estimating species divergence times using molecular sequence data and fossil calibrations. I will then discuss difficulties we currently face. I will present results that demonstrate that representation of fossil calibration information in the analysis has a great impact on our estimates of species divergence times. Recent methodological developments allow uncertainties in the fossil calibrations to be incorporated in the molecular dating analysis, although much research remains to be done concerning appropriate summaries of the fossil record to provide calibrations for molecular dating analysis.

Ziheng Yang

University College London

Ziheng Yang is Professor of Statistical Genetics at Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment at UCL. He develops statistical methods and writes computer programs for phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of sequence data. He developed a number of models and methods that are widely used. His current research focuses on dating species divergences incorporating uncertainties in fossil calibrations, coalescent-based statistical methods for analysis of phylogeographic data from several closely related species, and models of protein evolution. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. His book Computational Molecular Evolution has been translated into Chinese and Japanese.