- Understanding the implications of the different species concepts
- Pros and cons of different types of data for species assessments
- Gain an overview of different methods for species delimitation using DNA sequence data, and their advantages and limitations.
- Hands-on experience with distance and tree based approaches.
What is a species? Are they real entities we can define and diagnose?
In this course you will learn about philosophical, conceptual,
theoretical and practical issues around species concepts and the
implication of their different definitions in ecological and
conservation studies. Species boundaries in many organism groups are
still in a state of flux, and for empirical species delimitation,
finding appropriate character sets and analytical tools are among the
greatest challenges. We will review the advantages and disadvantages of
different types of data for species assessment and you will be
introduced to the different methods for species delimitation based on
DNA sequence data and interpretation of results. Students will gain
hands-on-experience about distance and tree based methods for species
delimitation, including the use of software such as CROP, ABGD, UCLUST,
PTP, GMYC and BPP. We will generate stimulating discussion about the
interpretation of results and the advantages and limitations of these