Phylogeny: The science and underlying data | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-6271
  • E-ISSN: 2045-628X


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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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): alignment; DNA; evolution; morphology; plants; relationship; systematics
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