Recent studies show that including fossils in phylogenetic comparative studies improves inference and model fitting. However, it is not known how many fossils to include, where to include them, and the effects of tree size and shape on inference.

This project aims to address this problem by using computer simulations of quantitative traits along phylogenies of different shapes and sizes.

There is also the possibility of analysing real data sets for taxa with good fossil records.

This project will provide practical recommendations to comparative biologists wishing to improve their analyses in collaboration with palaeontologists

Supervisor: Dr Simon Blomberg