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Archive of previously featured resources

These are some of the resources we have featured in the past.

EVOLUTION: The Tree-Thinking Challenge

Published in Science 310 (5750) pp. 979-980.

Summary from publisher:
Phylogenetic trees are widely used to study the relationships among living species and genes. In their Perspective, Baum et al. discuss how it has become apparent that trees are commonly misunderstood, leading to confusion about the concept of common ancestry. Although challenging, tree thinking should be taught as an element of evolution training at all levels.

Two tree-thinking quizzes were published as supplemental materials to this paper.

Teaching phylogenetics at introductory undergraduate and pre-college levels

Our specific aims for this symposium are:

  1. To clarify and refine the claim that tree-thinking should play a central role in the teaching of evolutionary biology at the college and precollege levels
  2. To present educational research on the problems students face in understanding phylogenies
  3. To present some novel curricular materials that can be useful
  4. To highlight the leadership role that academic scientists should be playing in training future K-12 teachers in introductory biology classes at college and current K-12 teachers through the development of conceptual arguments, curricular materials and outreach activities.

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What did T. Rex taste like?

What Did T. rex Taste Like? is an introduction to cladistics, the most commonly used method of classification today. Cladistics organizes living things by common ancestry and evolutionary relationships, enabling us to better understand life's present diversity and evolutionary history.

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Introduction to phylogenetic trees and “tree-thinking”

Phylogenetics is the study of the relationships of organisms to each other. A central concept in this field is a phylogenetic tree, a depiction of the inferred evolutionary relationships of species to each other. Phylogenetic trees are very useful for organizing knowledge of biological diversity and for providing insights into events that occurred during evolution. Thus, being able to correctly interpret such trees is an essential tool for a modern biologist. This document is intended to provide you with a brief overview of the important principles and a list of specific skills you need to acquire to be able to extract information from phylogenies.

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