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The question is often raised whether it is statistically necessary to control for phylogenetic associations in comparative studies. To investigate this question, we explore the use of a measure of phylogenetic correlation, lambda, introduced by Pagel (1999), that normally varies between 0 (phylogenetic independence) and 1 (species' traits covary in direct(More)
Phylogenies reconstructed from gene sequences can be used to investigate the tempo and mode of species diversification. Here we develop and use new statistical methods to infer past patterns of speciation and extinction from molecular phylogenies. Specifically, we test the null hypothesis that per-lineage speciation and extinction rates have remained(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading worldwide cause of liver disease. Here, we use a new model of HCV spread to investigate the epidemic behavior of the virus and to estimate its basic reproductive number from gene sequence data. We find significant differences in epidemic behavior among HCV subtypes and suggest that these differences are largely the(More)
We describe a unified set of methods for the inference of demographic history using genealogies reconstructed from gene sequence data. We introduce the skyline plot, a graphical, nonparametric estimate of demographic history. We discuss both maximum-likelihood parameter estimation and demographic hypothesis testing. Simulations are carried out to(More)
Molecular phylogenies can be used to reject null models of the way we think evolution occurred, including patterns of lineage extinction. They can also be used to provide maximum likelihood estimates of parameters associated with lineage birth and death rates. We illustrate: (i) how molecular phylogenies provide information about the extent to which(More)
Phylogenies that are reconstructed without fossil material often contain approximate dates for lineage splitting. For example, particular nodes on molecular phylogenies may be dated by known geographic events that caused lineages to split, thereby calibrating a molecular clock that is used to date other nodes. On the one hand, such phylogenies contain no(More)
Attempts to analyze variation in the rates of molecular evolution among mammalian lineages have been hampered by paucity of data and by nonindependent comparisons. Using phylogenetically independent comparisons, we test three explanations for rate variation which predict correlations between rate variation and generation time, metabolic rate, and body size.(More)