Central among the questions explored in biology are those that seek to understand the timing and rates of evolutionary processes. Accurate estimates of species divergence times are vital to understanding historical biogeography, estimating diversification rates, and identifying the causes of variation in rates of molecular evolution.

This tutorial will provide a general overview of divergence time estimation and fossil calibration using a stochastic branching process and relaxed-clock model in a Bayesian framework. The exercise will guide you through the steps necessary for estimating phylogenetic relationships and dating species divergences using the program BEAST v2.x.


If you found Taming the BEAST helpful in designing your research, please cite the following paper:

Joëlle Barido-Sottani, Veronika Bošková, Louis du Plessis, Denise Kühnert, Carsten Magnus, Venelin Mitov, Nicola F. Müller, Jūlija Pečerska, David A. Rasmussen, Chi Zhang, Alexei J. Drummond, Tracy A. Heath, Oliver G. Pybus, Timothy G. Vaughan, Tanja Stadler (2018). Taming the BEAST – A community teaching material resource for BEAST 2. Systematic Biology, 67(1), 170–-174. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syx060