Today the meeting starts with a highly molecular morning. Gonzalo Giribet present a symposium about new methods for “phylogenomics” (organized by him, Ward Wheeler, and Jirky Mouna). Three talk were about the use of gene order, inversions, recombination, in the context of phylogenetic analysis. All of the presented analysis are POY-oriented ;). It is sad that Andres Varón, a colombian working with POY, was unable to assist.
The most interesting one, is the talk of Gonzalo who insists the usefulness of morphological data, and present some new analysis with his EST data for metazoa (published in Dunn et al. 2008), with more than 200 morphological characters for metazoans in a network of experts. His analysis show that morphology provide evidence for grouping at all levels of the tree. He was very suspicious about the “groundpland” coding. I always prefer exemplar coding, but sometimes, some useful information available from not directly analyzed terminals (for example, several developemental data) can provide an excellent source of information.
Prosanta Chakrabarty, try to test sexual selection in a group of luminous fishes, I get impressed with the diversity of that fishes, but, I think that the questions about selection preasures can not be answered in the way showed by Prosanta (or in any way!).
Next, there are two nice works on Curculionids. In the first Analía Lanteri, showed a particular group of broad nose weevils, then Adriana Marvaldi, showed his most recent advances in the understanding of the whole morphology (and phylogeny) of Curculionoidea, and how many of the sequence data recently assembled for that beetles, is highly congruent with the morphological results.
Afternoon talks are more interesting to me, because they are about biogeography ;) --I only have 3 interests: parsimony methodology, morphological phylogenetics, and REAL biogeography xD--.
In the first one, Peter Hovenkamp, shows a very interesting parallel between ideas form phytosociology and endemism, he founds that many of the implementations of Josias Braun-Blanquet (or the europoean school of phytosociology really did not implement that methods! He thinks that NDM (of Szumik and Goloboff, 2004) can be a better tool for phytosociological ecology!
Another wonderful talk was giving by Claudia Szumik, who made an analysis of endemism of northern argentina. The good thing about the study, is that it includes data taken directly from the experts of each group, with several data collected by Claudia and their co-authors!
Loló (Dolores Casagranda) present a comparison between NDM and PAE, I work on that talk, so I feel that a I will give a biased report, so I pass xD.
Erika Parada, an student from my undergrad university, talks about his analysis of northern andes, she uses tree-fitter, a program that I do not like a bit :P, because it has several problems, I think she made a great work, but unfortunatelly results with TF are, for me, doubtful! :P
I do not like the talk from Dalton Amorim, but the discussion that follows the talk was very interesting, with James Liebherr, given several strong (and clever!) points against Dalton ideas.