EGU Blogs

Evolution

Are the days of parsimony numbered? Probably.

April Wright recently published a cool paper looking at how to bring morphological analyses of evolutionary relationships into the Bayesian realm. This is her take on it – enjoy! 

Author Bio: My name is April Wright, and I’m a graduate student in David Hillis’ lab at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m largely interested in the estimation and use of phylogenetic trees to answer questions about evolution. Particularly, I’m investigating how we can make the best possible use of our fossils in an era increasingly dominated by genome-scale data. You might say I’m a little bit of a ‘small data’ scientist, though my questions often involve a multitude of small data sets.

Today I’d like to talk a little bit about a recent paper I published as part of my PhD thesis work.

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Citizen science in ecology and evolution? Sounds apps-olutely fantastic.. *tumbleweed*

There’s a lot of talk these days about science communication. Some people spend their lives debating the differences between outreach, public engagement, and science communication, and how they all mean different things. As a scientist, and I’m quite sure I can speak on behalf of the entire community, we don’t give a toss what you call the model – let us interact with people. And by interact, we mean get reciprocal. This is true science communication or whatever fancy name you want to call it, and it’s where people give something back and get physical with the science. Great platforms for this include discussion sessions, café scientifiques, science festivals, and of course, citizen science.

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The greatest story ever told, by fossils

A lot of recent(ish) posts featured on this blog have been about the evolution of flight and feathered dinosaurs. I promised to kick this habit, and write about something different, but this video by Carl Zimmer adds a really nice narrative to the story and is quite a nice little overview for anyone interested.

If you have any questions about bird-like fossils, feathers, their function, or dino-birds in general, pop them in the comments and I’ll see what I can do! Stay tuned for the latest in the #OpenPhD series, and more cool palaeo stuff. 🙂