Reading and interpreting phylogenetic trees

Author: weiserhardt

Created: 2018-09-25 09:14pm

Edited: 2018-09-25 11:31pm


45min in class session plus out-of-class activities. Part of the MSc level Biogeography & Macroecology course. Intends to ensure that all participants are able to correctly read and interpret phylogenetic trees.

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • correctly identify different types of phylogenetic trees
  • make correct statements about relatedness using relevant terminology
  • make correct statements about estimated age using relevant terminology
  • correctly interpret polytomies and support values
Resources Tasks Supports

Out of class

Blackboard survey
(correct answers not shown)

Answer survey questions

(previous knowledge only)

In class

Survey questions

peer instruction:
groups of 4, convince others

open book
(anything allowed)


Vote on question 1
(one vote per group)

Teacher to provide blackboard survey results for comparison


Explain correct answer
(one group)

Teacher to help out where necessary

Repeat step 3 and 4 for all questions.