ForBio course: Species Concepts and Species Delimitation

Learning outcomes

  • 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.

Course content

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 methods.

Kevin de Queiroz, Smithsonian Institution, Washington; Joan Pons, Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA), Balearic Islands, Paschalia Kapli, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies

Coordinator: Maria Capa – ForBio.

Credits: 3 ECTS
Level: PhD students, postdocs and researchers - with experience in phylogenetic analyses.
Participants: Maximum number of participants is 18.
Fee: No fee for ForBio members or associates.

Click here for more information about the course.

Click here to apply now.

Application deadline: October 1st, 2016.

Published May 16, 2016 10:35 AM