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CD-ROM providing a complete self-study introductory course in plylogenetic reconstruction using cladistic analysis. The CD is fully interactive and includes animated sequences, questions at the end of each section, and practical exercises.
Part I. First Principles:
1.1 Reconstructing evolutionary history from observed differences
1.2 Parsimony and tree construction
Part II. Characters and Homology:
2.1 Homology and homoplasy
2.2 Homology in molecular data
2.3 Character definition
Part III. Cladograms and Trees:
3.1 Rooting procedures and character polarity
3.2 Cladograms, phylograms, and phylogenetic trees
3.3 Monophyly, paraphyly, and polyphyly
3.4 Consensus trees
Part IV. Fit and Robustness:
4.1 Measuring goodness of fit
4.2 Tests of robustness
Part V. Practical Exercise:
5.1 Phylogenetic analysis of eight species of sea-urchins
5.2 Cladistic analysis of morphological characters
5.3 Cladistic analysis of molecular characters
5.4 Comparison of results and conclusions
Peter Skelton is a senior lecturer in Earth Sciences at the Open University, UK. Andrew Smith is a Merit Researcher at the Natural History Museum Palaeontology Department in London, UK. Neale Monks is a researcher in paleontology and a science writer. He wrote the booklet that accompanies this CD-ROM.
"I have tested this CD-ROM with a few students who were unanimous in proclaiming its quality and ease of use, and having used it myself it has sharpened up my teaching of this topic."
– Journal of Biological Education
"The interactive format is engaging [...] I am certain that after carefully completing the activities the beginner would have a good grasp of the key principles and terminology used in cladistic analysis."
– On-Line Newsletter, Natural History Museum
"[...] if you are teaching undergraduates, or want a straightforward tutorial on the basics of cladistics, this might just be the source for you."
– Palass Newsletter
"[...] the authors of this product have overall done a good job finding a balance between content, animation, interactivity, question-asking and challenging 'games'."
– Palaeontologia Electronica
"[...] the best general teaching resource available [...]"
– Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
"I have tested this CD-ROM on a few students who where unanimous in proclaiming its quality and ease of use. Having used it myself, it has sharpened up my teaching of this topic."
– Paul Pursglove, Educational Media