Short Courses

Short Courses

We believe that as scientists, our learning is never done.

Plan now to take advantage of these cutting-edge courses as part of your GSA 2019 experience.

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Note: If you've already registered for the meeting and wish to add a course, please contact GSA Sales & Service, +1-888-443-4472.


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Associated Society Courses

ASC 1. Quantitative Methods in Phylogenetic Paleobiology.
Sat., 21 Sept., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Free.

Instructors: David Bapst, Texas A&M University; Sandy Carlson, University of California Davis; Laura Soul, National Museum of Natural History; Peter Wagner, University of Nebraska; Rachel Warnock, ETH Zurich; April Wright, Southeastern Louisiana University; David Wright, National Museum of Natural History


There has been considerable development of Bayesian and likelihood methods for assessing phylogenetic relationships in recent years. This includes advances in probabilistic models of anatomical character evolution and and models of assessing tree probabilities given diversification and sampling rates. The 2019 Paleontological Society Short Course will be a day-long workshop-style short course that will feature not just lectures about methodological advances, but also hands-on exercises for the audience members to perform on their laptop computers. The workshop is being organized and run by David Bapst, Sandy Carlson, Laura Soul, Peter Wagner, Rachel Warnock, April Wright & David Wright.

We are designing the short course so that novices can learn not only about the current methods for modeling character change and divergence times, but also can learn tactics for recognizing characters and delimiting character states on fossils. The short course also should provide a "refresher" course for more experienced workers who have conducted phylogenetic analyses with parsimony and other methods. Moreover, we intend the short course to be useful for paleontologists who do not do phylogenetics themselves, but who mentor students or collaborate with colleagues who do.

Exercises will be conducted using RevBayes; the relevant workshop materials & tutorials are all developed online ( We strongly encourage participants to download these materials before the short course: although there will be Internet access at the convention center, we cannot guarantee that it will be fast enough for people to download files on site.

The workshop will take place either at the Phoenix Convention Center or the Sheraton Grand Phoenix Hotel, two blocks away, on Saturday the 21st of September 8:00 - 17:00 (with several short breaks and a lunch break). A short workshop for installing relevant software will be held Friday late afternoon to early evening at the Convention center, with the exact times and location to be announced. We emphasize that because this short course is being conducted as a workshop rather than a day-long symposium, attendees will get the most out of the course by attending the entire session.