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  6. Svenska Systematikföreningen and GfBS: Deep Metazoan Phylogeny and reducing sources of error in phylogeny inference


Abstracts as pdf


All slots for this symposium have been filled and abstract submission for oral presentations for this symposium is now closed



First session (13.30 – 15.00):

Svenska Systematikföreningen: Reconstructing Deep Metazoan Phylogeny.


Convener: Ulf Jondelius (


Phylogenomic studies have brought new and controversial ideas regarding early animal evolution. How do we test hypotheses on deep animal phylogeny: more sequence data, increasingly complex evolutionary models, or both? Is there a place for morphology?


Invited talks:


Torsten Struck1:

Should it stay or should it go? - Of the importance of thorough sensitivity analyses in the phylogenomic era.

1University of Oslo.



15.00 – 15.30



Second Session (15.30 – 17.00):
Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik (GfBS): Identification and avoidance of sources of error in phylogeny inference.

Conveners: Torsten Struck (, Patrick Kück (


Phylogenetic tree reconstruction is a central task of modern biology, in which the assessment of phylogenetic relationships provides the foundation for the interpretation of comparative biological data. Molecular data for phylogenetic tree inference has increased from single gene analyses of few taxa to phylogenomic analyses comprising hundreds of genes and taxa. Due to the exponential growth of molecular data along with reduced stochastic sampling errors, the goal of approximating the “Tree of Life” seems to be more attainable today than ever. However, although substantial progress has already been achieved in respect of certain relationships within the “Tree of Life”, several phylogenetic questions still remain unresolved. Therefore, the phylogenomic era appears also to be the beginning of an era of strong incongruence due to the further accumulation of data affected by systematic biases. These biases might arise from rate or compositional heterogeneity, missing data or model misspecifications. In such cases, phylogenetic methods may be inconsistent due to their inability to sufficiently account for the evolutionary complexity of genomic data. The consequence is strongly supported, but incorrectly resolved phylogenetic trees.


In this symposium we want to discuss various reasons of systematic bias and introduce new algorithms, which enable more reliable reconstructions of large-scale phylogenetic trees or, equally important, will indicate when reliable inferences are not possible given the currently available data (e.g. the effect of incomplete lineage sorting and recombination to phylogenetic reconstruction). Topics are discussed. Thereby, we put a special emphasis on the potential and possible pitfalls of recent supertree, coalescence, and supermatrix approaches. The two invited keynote speakers, John Gatesy and Mark Wilkinson, address their points of view concerning these methodologies. Conference participants are welcome to contribute to this debate about biases and different methodologies, either by giving own presentations or as following discussion partners. Presentations from a purely theoretical perspective, which can initiate new research in known or yet unrecognized biases, are also welcome.


Invited talks:


15.30 – 16.00

Mark Wilkinson1, Peter G. Foster:

Supertrees, supermatrices and pluralism in phylogenenetics.

1Natural History Museum London, London, United Kingdom.



16.00 – 16.30

John Gatesy:

A single outlier gene tree can overturn hundreds of perfectly congruent gene trees in phylogenetic coalescence analyses.



16..30 – 16.45

S Kalyaanamoorthy1,2,#, BQ Minh3,#, TKF Wong1,4,#, A von Haeseler3,5, LS Jermiin1,4.

Improving the Accuracy of Phylogenetic Estimates from Genomic Data.

1Land & Water, CSIRO, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia; 2Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; 3Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna & Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; 4Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia; 5Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Faculty of Computational Science, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; # Joint first authors (these authors contributed equally to this work).



16.45 – 17.00

Patrick Kück1:

PhyQuart: a new quartet mapping method to evaluate phylogenetic signal and the robustness of given hypotheses a priori or a posteriori tree reconstruction.

1Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Bonn, Germany.




Poster presentations:


Zeynep Toprak*1 2 3, Bernard E. Pfeil*2 & Bengt Oxelman2,1:

Evidence for ancient hybridization in the Silene aegyptiaca group (Caryophyllaceae):

1 University of Geneva, Faculty of Sciences Department of Botany and Plant Biology & Jardin Botanic-Conservatorie, Geneva, Switzerland; 2Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden; 3Department of  Biology,  Faculty  of Sciences,  University  of  Dicle, 21280  Diyarbakir, Turkey.


Thomas Bartolomaeus1 & Ekin Tilic1:

Segment-wise coding in annelids enhances resolution of morphology based phylogenies – a case study from Arenicolidae and Maldanidae (Annelida).

¹Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Bonn, An der Immenburg 1, 53121 Bonn


Conference Centre Wallenberg, Medicinaregatan 20a, Göteborg