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Free Content Phylogeny: The science and underlying data

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This article explains the nature of some of the phylogenetic data underlying a 2010 ‘Phylogeny Weekend’ from the viewpoint of a scientist. Phylogenies are a way of visualising inferred evolutionary relationships between organisms, making them intelligible and useful. They may be based upon morphological or genetic data, and are constructed through a series of steps, outlined below, and reliant upon a series of assumptions. I describe how phylogenies are used in my work, to interpret the evolution of plant characters such as the nature of pollen grains. I also explain how the guided walk, Plant Routes, was developed to provide an interactive exploration of phylogeny at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

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Keywords: DNA; alignment; evolution; morphology; plants; relationship; systematics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Publication date: 06 September 2012

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  • Ubiquity is an international peer reviewed journal for creative and transdisciplinary practitioners interested in technologies, practices and behaviours that have the potential to radically transform human perspectives on the world. "Ubiquity", the ability to be everywhere at the same time, a potential historically attributed to the occult is now a common feature of the average mobile phone. The title refers explicitly to the advent of ubiquitous computing that has been hastened through the consumption of networked digital devices. The journal anticipates the consequences for design and research in a culture where everyone and everything is connected, and will offer a context for visual artists, designers, scientists and writers to consider how Ubiquity is transforming our relationship with the world.
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