Phylogenies, or evolutionary trees, are the basic structures necessary to think about and analyze differences between species. Statistical, computational, and algorithmic work in this field has been ongoing for four decades now, and there have been great advances in understanding. Yet no book had summarized this work. Inferring Phylogenies does just that in a single, compact volume. Phylogenies are inferred with various kinds of data. This book concentrates on some of the central ones: discretely coded characters, molecular sequences, gene frequencies, and quantitative traits. Also covered are restriction sites, RAPDs, and microsatellites.
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I am an evolutionary biologist working mostly in the field of molecular phylogenetics and this book has taught me (almost) everything I know. Felsenstein is a wonderful writer and I believe the math he describes is not only minimal, but unnecessary as the text provides wonderful descriptions of the methods. For anyone working in this field this book is an essential tool for eliminating the "black box" in phylogenetic analysis.