Phylogenetic comparative analysis of integrated anatomical traits

A Short Course

When and Where?

Call for participation

Ontologies encode information about a domain of knowledge, such as how anatomical structures are related, which is crucial information for modeling character evolution. Phenoscape, in its current Semantic Comparative Analyses for Trait Evolution (SCATE) project, is developing tools that use the computable knowledge in ontologies to improve phenotypic character modeling and inform analyses of trait evolution. To train evolutionary biologists and developers of comparative analysis tools to adopt these new capabilities, the SCATE team will be holding a short course on using ontologies in comparative analyses of integrated anatomical traits, in conjunction with the 2019 iEvoBio and Evolution Meetings, on June 26, 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Attendees will learn how to use R packages such as RPhenoscape to access a knowledgebase of ontology-linked phenotypes, build character matrices that take anatomical dependencies into account, and use these to construct stochastic character maps on a phylogeny. The course will also include a practical introduction to community ontologies for biodiversity domain knowledge (anatomy, taxonomy, phenotypic quality).

Graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and software developers with interests in comparative analyses, morphology, and phylogenetics are encouraged to apply.

Free registration: Applications accepted until May 15th or capacity is reached. Register by filling out the form at


SCATE is funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) as collaborative awards 1661456 (Duke University), 1661529 (Virginia Tech), 1661516 (University of South Dakota), and 1661356 (UNC Chapel Hill and RENCI) within the Advances in Biological Informatics (ABI) program.