Computational macroevolution and phylogenetic comparative methods

CBA will be offering an intensive three day short course on Computational macroevolution and phylogenetic comparative methods, led by Dan Rabosky.

The workshop will be a mix of application and theory, but will focus heavily on the analysis of macroevolutionary rates on phylogenetic trees. Most applications will focus on time-calibrated phylogenetic trees of extant species.

Specific topics will include

  • A general introduction to scientific computing in the R programming language.
  • Working with phylogenetic data in R (tree manipulation and visualization).
  • Overview of maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches.
  • Statistical models for studying the evolution of discrete and continuous characters on trees.
  • Statistical models for the analysis of speciation and extinction rates on phylogenetic trees.
  • Bayesian methods for the analysis and visualization of complex macroevolutionary dynamics, using the BAMM software developed by the Rabosky lab.

The workshop will assume familiarity with the R environment and some prior usage of command line programs.

Participants will need to work on their own laptops and bring at least one suitable data set (time calibrated phylogenies, possibly with trait data) for use during the workshop.


How to attend

The number of places available for the workshop is limited. To be considered for the workshop, please send a short application letter to Applications are due immediately and will be reviewed from 11 August. Sucessful applicants will notified as soon as possible.

Please indicate:

  • Your career stage (e.g., 3rd year PhD student).
  • Why are you interested in attending the workshop and how it relates to your research (one paragraph max!).
  • Your previous experience in R and command line program environments.
  • What data you will bring to the workshop.

CBA is also be offering up to three travel grants of $500 AUD each to assist applicants from outside of Canberra to attend. Please note in your application if you would like to be considered for one of these.

Detailed instructions about the workshop will be emailed to those selected to attend.



ANU: Sciences Teaching Building (southern entrance, Level 3 (top floor), Seminar Room 2). ANU visitor parking.

The workshop will start at 9.30am on monday morning, but please try to be a bit early to set up your computer, etc. so the workshop can start on time (the room will be open from 9am).


$40 AUD.

Tea and coffee will be available at the workshop each day, but you will need to provide your own lunch - either bring it with you (there's a fridge), or purchase it at one of the various nearby cafes, food outlets, etc. on the ANU campus.


After you have received confirmation of your place in the workshop, please register here.

Date & time

9.30am 15 September – 4.30pm 17 September 2014


Sciences Teaching Building (Bldg 136), Australian National University, Canberra.


Dan Rabosky, University of Michigan

Event series


 Claire Stephens

Updated:  29 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Coordinator