A Short Course sponsored by The Paleontological Society
         Held at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America

    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
       Saturday, September 21st, 2019

    ‘Valley of the Sun’ Ballroom
       The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel
          Phoenix, Arizona


The 2019 Paleontological Society Short Course, Quantitative Methods in Phylogenetic Paleobiology, will be held in conjunction with the 2019 Geological Society of American Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. This short course is organized by Sandra Carlson, Peter Wagner, April Wright, Laura Soul, David Wright, David Bapst, and Rachel Warnock.

In the past decade, there has been considerable development and implementation of Bayesian methods for inferring phylogenetic relationships with probabilistic models of phenotypic character evolution, and new ‘tip-dating’ approaches for inferring dated phylogenies containing fossils as operational tip taxa. In particular, that accounts for the incomplete sampling of the fossil record, known as the Fossilized Birth-Death Model. The 2019 Paleontological Society Short Course will be a day-long workshop-style short course that will feature not just lectures about methodological advances, but also hands-on exercises for the audience members to perform on their laptop computers.

When and Where

As usual for Paleontological Short Courses, our workshop will be held on the preceding Saturday, September 21st, before oral and poster sessions begin at GSA. The short course will run from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (local Arizona time), and because this short course is being conducted as a workshop rather than a day-long symposium, we emphase that attendees will get the most out of the course by attending the entire session. The workshop we be held in the ‘Valley of the Sun’ ballroom at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. This hotel is located two blocks from the Phoenix Convention Center. Click here for a pinned location on Google Maps.

If You Want to Attend…

The Short Course is sponsored and supported by The Paleontological Society, and is open to all interested parties. Participation is entirely free-of-charge. Furthermore, it is not necessary to register for the GSA annual meeting, in order to attend and participate with the Short Course. In order to best prepare for the short course,

We do request that all of those who plan on attending to register via our Google Form, if they have not done so, even on the day of the workshop itself. We will be able to best aim our instruction if we have accurate information on the background and interests of our participants. Registering will also add you to our email list so that you can get future updates about the workshop later in the week.

In case the above link to the Google Survey doesn’t work, here’s the whole link:


Getting Prepared for the Workshop

As this will be a ‘hands-on’ workshop, participants are encouraged to bring their personal computer (and power cord!), with several pieces of free software downloaded and installed beforehand. Instructions for installing these programs on various operating systems can be found here.

A meetup to help troubleshoot software installation for those who run into issues will be held the Friday evening before (Sept 20th) - check back here later for the exact time and place!

What To Expect

Our workshop schedule is online at this page.

We will have an hour-and-half lunch break, and two short breaks in the morning and afternoon sessions. We will have free coffee for participants in the morning and afternoon, but please remember to bring a refillable water bottle to keep hydrated, some snacks to keep your energy up, and your laptop power cord to keep your computer’s energy up.

Please note that we will be expecting all who are attending the short course to behave as described in our Expectations of Conduct statement, available at our website.

Who We Are

Who are we? We are a bunch of people who are very excited about phylogenetics in paleontology - and make sure that everyone knows these tools and how to use them. You can learn more about our team - helpers, instructors, organizers - at our organizers page.

What’s Next

Many of the organizers and several helpers are involved in organizing a paleo-phylo topical session at GSA. This session will be on the morning after the workshop. You can see the list of oral talks in that session on the GSA technical program site: T100. Phylogenetic Paleobiology: Good Things Come in Trees. There are also a number of other phylogenetic-related sessions and talks through the whole of GSA 2019 - what a week!

As far as what’s coming after GSA, we are working on a series of written contributions that will be published in Elements of Paleontology; they are not completed yet, but should appear in the coming year, and we will inform all of you when they do.