Phylogenetic Comparative Methods

Comparative methods allow us to use phylogenies (species trees) to reconstruct evolutionary history and infer ancient and large-scale evolutionary patterns.

I use and develop novel phylogenetic comparative approaches to track the evolutionary history of (mutualistic) cooperation through time. I am particularly interested in using comparative methods to detect the evolutionary signal of pre-adaptations favouring the evolution of complex cooperative traits.

I also work on comparative methods to incorporate uncertainty in underlying (binary) trait data in comparative analyses, and have recently co-authored the new R-package sensiPhy (available on CRAN) to perform sensitivity analyses in phylogenetic comparative methods.

Selected publications

Paterno, G.B., Penone, C, Werner, G.D.A. (2018) sensiPhy: An r‐package for sensitivity analysis in phylogenetic comparative methods. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12990 PDF link Article link

Werner, G.D.A., Cornwell, W.K., Sprent, J.I., Kattge, J. Kiers, E.T. (2014). A single evolutionary innovation drives the deep evolution of symbiotic N2-fixation in angiosperms. Nature Communications. 5: 4087 PDF link   Article link

sensiPhy can analyse the sensitivity of our comparative conclusions to the presence or absence of specific clades (indicated in red).