Phylogenies (evolutionary trees) are basic to thinking about and analyzing differences between species. Statistical, computational, and algorithmic work on them has been ongoing for four decades, with great advances in understanding. Yet no book has summarized this work until now. Inferring Phylogenies explains clearly the assumptions and logic of making inferences about phylogenies, and using them to make inferences about evolutionary processes. It is an essential text and reference for anyone who wants to understand how phylogenies are reconstructed and how they are used.
As phylogenies are inferred with various kinds of data, this book concentrates on some of the central ones: discretely coded characters, molecular sequences, gene frequencies, and quantitative traits. Also covered are restriction sites, RAPDs, and microsatellites.
Inferring Phylogenies is intended for graduate-level courses, assuming some knowledge of statistics, mathematics (calculus and fundamental matrix algebra), molecular sequences, and quantitative genetics.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
This is not only a technical book, but it also have a bit of history and philosophy. As with other Felsenstein works, it is a pleasure to read. One may agree or not with Felsesntein's opinions, but one can hardly deny that he is one of the best story-tellers in the phylogenetics field. The first few chapters are a must read for any person with interest in evolution.
I am an evolutionary biologist working mostly in the field of molecular phylogenetics and this book has taught me (almost) everything I know. Felsenstein is a wonderful writer and I believe the math he describes is not only minimal, but unnecessary as the text provides wonderful descriptions of the methods. For anyone working in this field this book is an essential tool for eliminating the "black box" in phylogenetic analysis.