Looking Backward in Time: Population and Species Comparisons

  • Warren J. Ewens
Part of the Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics book series (IAM, volume 27)


Perhaps the best-known retrospective activity in evolutionary genetics is the reconstruction (more accurately, estimation) of the phylogenetic tree of a collection of contemporary populations or species, given genetic data from these populations or species. In this chapter we consider stochastic processes describing, with greater or lesser accuracy, the evolution of the genetic constitution of several populations or species, all descended from a common ancestor population or species, in order to carry out this estimation procedure. We shall use the expression “different population” in this analysis, taking this to mean different species if appropriate.


Markov Chain Stationary Distribution Transition Matrix Species Comparison Contemporary Population 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren J. Ewens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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