Biology Letters
Restricted accessMeeting reports

Synthesizing and databasing fossil calibrations: divergence dating and beyond

Daniel T. Ksepka

Daniel T. Ksepka

Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Department of Paleontology, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA

[email protected]

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Michael J. Benton

Michael J. Benton

School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Matthew T. Carrano

Matthew T. Carrano

Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013, USA

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Maria A. Gandolfo

Maria A. Gandolfo

LH Bailey Hortorium, Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Jason J. Head

Jason J. Head

Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, CanadaL5L 1C6

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Elizabeth J. Hermsen

Elizabeth J. Hermsen

LH Bailey Hortorium, Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Walter G. Joyce

Walter G. Joyce

Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen, 72074 Tübingen, Germany

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Kristin S. Lamm

Kristin S. Lamm

Bioinformatics Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
José S. L. Patané

José S. L. Patané

Laboratorio de Ecologia e Evolucao, Instituto Butantan, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Matthew J. Phillips

Matthew J. Phillips

School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Saint Lucia 4072, Australia

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
P. David Polly

P. David Polly

Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Marcel Van Tuinen

Marcel Van Tuinen

Department of Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC 28403, USA

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Jessica L. Ware

Jessica L. Ware

Department of Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ 07102, USA

Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10024, USA

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

,
Rachel C. M. Warnock

Rachel C. M. Warnock

School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

and
James F. Parham

James F. Parham

Alabama Museum of Natural History, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 3548, USA

Google Scholar

Find this author on PubMed

    Divergence dating studies, which combine temporal data from the fossil record with branch length data from molecular phylogenetic trees, represent a rapidly expanding approach to understanding the history of life. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center hosted the first Fossil Calibrations Working Group (3–6 March, 2011, Durham, NC, USA), bringing together palaeontologists, molecular evolutionists and bioinformatics experts to present perspectives from disciplines that generate, model and use fossil calibration data. Presentations and discussions focused on channels for interdisciplinary collaboration, best practices for justifying, reporting and using fossil calibrations and roadblocks to synthesis of palaeontological and molecular data. Bioinformatics solutions were proposed, with the primary objective being a new database for vetted fossil calibrations with linkages to existing resources, targeted for a 2012 launch.

    References