Saturday, February 25, 2012


This blog is about the use of networks in phylogenetic analysis, as a replacement for (or an adjunct to) the usual use of trees. This topic has received considerable attention in the biological literature, not least in microbiology (where horizontal gene transfer is often considered to be rampant) and botany (where hybridization has always been considered to be common). It has also received increasing attention in the computational sciences, although the dialog between the biologists and the mathematicians is not always as clear as it should be.

Networks are acknowledged to have two main uses within phylogenetics: (i) exploratory data analysis, in which conflicting data patterns are visualized and their nature and quantity assessed; and (ii) evolutionary analysis, in which the historical patterns involve not only vertical descent (parent to offspring) but also reticulations due to horizontal processes (such as HGT, hybridization, recombination, and genome fusion).

We are hoping that this blog will help the various groups involved in phyloinformatics focus on a common agenda: the widespread use of networks in phylogenetics. Blog posts might involve news, announcements, new results, commentaries on old results, unpublished (or unpublishable) opinions, or interesting tidbits of information that have no other home. No topic is necessarily excluded.

As always, opinions expressed in this blog are the author's own, and no other blogger necessarily agrees with any of them. We are keen to receive responses to the blog commentaries, and to facilitate discussion of important or interesting topics. We are hoping to have many guest posters, as well. If you would like to contribute to the blog, regularly or even irregularly, then please contact us.


  1. Are there any other phylogenetics blogs worth reading that you know of? Some sites do a 'blog roll' in the side pain that have blogs of a similar flavour.

    1. Blogs come and go, and the lack of a blog roll here reflects the fact that there are currently very few active ones in phylogenetics. For example, Dechronization, which was once good, has had a hiatus for the past year. Some of the "evolution" blogs cover phylogenetics, but only in passing. One of our goals here is to re-stimulate some action.