Teaching

I teach Diversity of Amphibians and Reptiles (EEB384H1) and co-teach Macroevolution (EEB362H1) at the University of Toronto. Interested U of T students can learn more about these courses on the online course catalog.

In April of 2017, I led a 2-day intensive workshop introducing phylogenetic comparative methods at the University of Bergen, Norway following the ForBio Annual Biosystematics Meeting. Co-instructor Stephen De Lisle and I lectured and led R tutorials covering the history and premise of comparative methods, continuous trait evolution, discrete trait evolution, the phylogenetic correction, lineage diversification, as well as PCM assumptions, caveats, and best practices. If you’re interested, feel free to check out our lecture slides and tutorial scripts. Note that Mahler Lab grad students James Boyko and Michael Foisy each developed tutorial exercises for this workshop. Thanks to Endre Willassen and Aino Hosia for graciously hosting and organizing this workshop!

From 2012-2014, I taught at the annual Workshop in Applied Phylogenetics, hosted by UC Davis at the Bodega Marine Lab. This workshop is a week-long graduate course in statistical phylogenetics and comparative methods that draws students from around the world. I taught continuous character evolution – feel free to check out my lecture notes and R tutorial.

In April of 2013, I gave a 3-part workshop at UC Davis entitled “Phylogenetically Correct Analysis of Species Data in Ecology and Evolution.” This workshop was designed as a practical guide for ecologists and evolutionary biologists who are familiar with phylogenetic trees but don’t necessarily have specialized knowledge about how to work with trees when analyzing ecological or other comparative data. In an April 2 lecture, I (1) reviewed why it’s important to account for phylogeny during data analysis, (2) briefly introduced a suite of current methods for doing so, and (3) critically discussed the inherent assumptions and limitations of phylogenetic comparative methods. On April 3 and 4, I led participants through a series of computer exercises (using the statistical software program R) designed to provide hands-on experience implementing common phylogenetic statistical analyses. Both my lecture notes and tutorials (1 and 2) are freely available.