We are developing new methods to compare phylogenies, improving existing methods, and helping other researchers to use them.
Phylogenetic comparative methods use phylogenies to ask interesting evolutionary questions.
They can be used to:
- study speciation and extinction
- determine how quickly or slowly evolutionary changes have occurred
- investigate whether evolutionary changes occur gradually or in large jumps
Many projects in the Museum's Vertebrates Division use phylogenetic comparative methods with data from the collections.
Cooper N, Thomas GH, FitzJohn RG (2016) Shedding light on the 'dark side' of phylogenetic comparative methods. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, In press.
Guillerme T, Cooper N (2016) Effects of missing data on topological inference using a Total Evidence approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94: 146–158.
Cooper N, Thomas GH, Venditti C, Meade A, Freckleton RP (2015) A cautionary note on the use of Ornstein Uhlenbeck models in macroevolutionary studies. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society.