Speciation and extinction rate estimation using phylogenetic trees

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Background: Nowadays we know that human activities have a bad influence on biodiversity. In this context the estimation of how fast speciation and extinction can happen and why they happen are becoming an important challenge. In this project, we will try to estimate the better way to estimate speciation and extinction rate.

Goal: First, the goal of that project is to compare techniques based on birth and death model permitting to estimate the speciation and extinction rate of simulated tree with known speciation and extinction rate. Secondly, the goal is to try to estimate these speciation and extinction rate in a real phylogenetic tree.

Mathematical tools: The principal tool used was the Maximum Likelihood method.

Biological or Medical aspects: This project can help researchers to have a better idea of the applicability a certain likelihood formula.

Supervisor: Micha Hersch and Nicolas Salamin

Students: Herve Cachin and Trestan Pillonel

Presentation: File:Presentation.pdf

References: Felsenstein, Inferring phylogenies, Chapter 33, 2004