TIME, STRATIGRAPHY, AND FOSSIL PHYLOGENIES: RE-EVALUATING THE USE OF TEMPORAL DATA IN PHYLOGENY RECONSTRUCTION AND TRAIT EVOLUTION
Although geologic data are routinely used to calibrate molecular phylogenies estimating divergences among extant species, the use of temporal information in phylogeny reconstruction has had a somewhat contentious history in paleontology. Nevertheless, the intensity and temporal distribution of fossil samples make predictions regarding the probability of phylogenetic hypotheses, divergence times, and rates of character evolution. The emerging field of phylogenetic paleobiology increasingly utilizes model-based approaches, such as fossil-tip dating methods, to simultaneously account for diversification dynamics and incomplete sampling when inferring phylogenetic relationships.
In this talk, I re-evaluate the use of temporal data in phylogeny reconstruction and trait evolution. Throughout, I provide empirical examples illustrating recent conceptual and analytical advances in phylogenetic paleobiology emphasizing the deep time fossil record of Paleozoic crinoids.