GCG - 2017-01-10 conference call

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Conference call agenda

  1. [5 mins] Introduction
  2. [5 mins] Questions about meeting logistics
  3. [15 mins] Group discussion on topics for / goals of the January meeting. Overarching goals of the meeting are:
    1. Understand what work everyone is doing, provide opportunities to collaborate and avoid duplication of effort
    2. Review phylogenetic work to date, discuss application to classification
    3. Discuss future sharing of data, access to data and specimens, and plan future papers and projects
  4. [10 mins] Classification, and application of the phylogeny to classification
  5. [5 mins] Preliminary sorting into working groups for the meeting (by clade, by region)
  6. [10 mins] Eliciting ideas for broadening GCG participation going forward
  7. [5 mins] Interests in the phylogeny: what do people want to do with it? what are people's plans for future phylogenetic work?
  8. [5 mins] Wrap-up: topics for the next phone call

Conference call notes


  • Provide your flight information to Marlene, and we will set up a few shuttles to the Arboretum. For those who can't make the shuttles, we will provide a cab contact
  • Go directly to the hotel when you arrive; rooms are all booked
  • Travel to and from the Arb on thursday and Friday is arranged; if you are here additional days, please communicate with Andrew and Marlene about travel
  • Breakfasts are complimentary at the hotel with your room; any day that you are here, we will eat lunches at the Arboretum visitor center. We will have a group supper Thursday night; the other nights, you can eat at the hotel.
  • get your bank information to Marlene so we can wire you reimbursement for your flight, or let us know asap if you want a check.

Topics for and goals of January meeting

  • Eric: one thing I think we should keep in mind is to be very explicit about it... we need to come up with a provisional or first pass at a classification. We're not going to solve all of the problems, because there are areas unsampled, areas where we can't be definitive. There are places where we won't come to perfect consensus. We shouldn't think, however, that this is necessary to move forward. Allowing for multiple opinions and ways that you could parse it is important so that you don't feel as though the majority view and minority views are in conflict... both can coexist. There are opportunities to allow for multiple opinions. We aren't trying to come up with a definitive statement: this is a provisional, first step.
  • Pedro: I think we are in a good place to start the process. Think about APG: they revise things every four years. We are in the right moment to do the same thing. I think that not adjusting the taxonomy now is worse than making greater changes in the future.
  • Bruce: we also need to think about the nomenclatural implications. By defining a monophyletic Carex, we have hemmed ourselves in. We might want to consider a combination of formal and informal names, just as APG does [Eric concurs].
  • Tony: keeping in the back of our minds the broader community of users is essential. Our results will get used in floras and websites and checklists. We will be reaching many outside of our group, outside of those interested in Carex primarily.
  • Pedro: We want to keep a sectional classification to help divide samples. From the moment we started working on Carex, we realized that sections would mostly not be monophyletic. We are now kind of going backward. Our best groupings using the three-marker tree are the smaller groups: as I see it, it may actually be easier to do a sectional classification, rather than the larger classifications... for this we will probably need to lean on the deeper sampling (larger numbers of loci).
  • Eric: these things don't have to be mutually exclusive. In some ways we can do both: nail down sections that are well supported as well as identifying higher groupings. In the course of doing so, we'll find spp that don't fit any classification. We can then focus on those spp, and emphasize research on those groups. I think therefore that we need to do both things simultaneously.
  • Santiago: I agree.
  • Summary: We expect to come up with an outline for the first paper at this meeting.

Other goals, things we want to allow explicit time to discuss

  • Collaboration generally
  • HybSeq / anchored enrichment
  • Sampling: making sure that we adequately sample biodiversity, and find out where people are sampling, and when.
  • Areas in greatest need of collecting: the work in SE Asia is a huge contribution, but are there other additional areas that we need to target, black holes of Carex diversity. Madagascar and Columbia have both come up in previous conversations. South America generally is a mess, especially Andean S. America.


Question: is there a set of general principles we want to follow as we study the trees prior to the meeting?

  • Eric: we want to have confidence in the clade, either because they are well supported on the phylogeny or because they are morphologically coherent, even if they are poorly supported. The latter might be better suited to informal names. We probably want to think about clade confidence as we start. This might not work all that well overall, but it is a good starting place. Then, what do the orphans look like. Are the orpans things that we think will settle into place? or are there oddities we can't figure out right now? We shouldn't expect that everything will fall into a clade of a reasonable size, or that every clade / section we recognize is going to be of relatively constant size. We should look then for:
    • supported group
    • morphologically cohesive
  • Tony: we have some choice in the matter. While we should try to do the best we can, we shouldn't be too deeply concerned about making mistakes, and we should look at what classification will be most useful for teaching and learning. We need to find that mean. There will isolated things, and we don't have to worry about those... they are evolutionarily interesting.
  • Eric: we should also use geography. It doesn't have to be prescriptive, but we know from historical classifications that convergence has been a real bugbear. Sections that span continents are often not correct. There are going to be groups that can't be defined geographically, but we need to think about it.
  • Pedro: We want our classification to be useful for taxonomic determination. Just naming clades is not helpful, but we also want to emphasize morphological diagnosibility. I am not as concerned about orphans. Look at Phacocystis: we have several morphological groups that are lumped together.

Preliminary working groups

Question to Santi: could we get a provisional tree before the meeting? A: there is a tree from December that is not utterly curated... Santi and Pedro can send Andrew the tree, and Andrew will distribute it b/f the next meeting.

  • Homework for next time: think about how to organize ourselves. The most interesting questions brought up by the phylogeny might be a good place to start.
  • Eric: I wonder whether, as a starting place b/f breaking into smaller groups, we could project the tree and walk through it. We need to walk through the tree and talk about it as a group. Can we slide around it and discuss it as a group, get everyone looking at it together, identifying problem areas. Doing this as a whole group would be helpful. Thinking back to 2011, it was very helpful to be looking at it all together, having people commenting on it together, and then seeing where that left us as a group. A big projection that we can talk through and walk through is a good starting place. After that, groups can go into smaller clades.
  • Pedro: the guided walk through the tree would be helpful.
  • Eric: if we can project it on a wall that's big enough, we could zoom into where people want to look. We could project the figtree and zoom in... if we have a big enough projector, we're okay.
  • Let's get two projectors: one on a wall projecting the tree, another projecting what the species look like
  • Print out the phylogeny onto a couple of long rolls of paper
  • Pedro: could we see what Isabel et al. are doing in Cyperus?
  • Isabel: we can show what we have been doing in Cyperus.
  • Bruce: We have some really nasty group, like androgynous Vignea... no matter what we throw at it, we can't resolve it. How do we resolve these using a classification? How are we going to deal with these philosophically? is it worth taking one of these nasty groups as a test case?
  • Tony: maybe this is the kind of thing people could put their heads together... sometimes a "non-diagnosable" group is just one we've gotten into a rut on. Being all together we might get over this.

Broadening GCG participation

  • Berit? Was not able to attend
  • A skype in the late afternoon and the next morning

Phylogeny and future projects

Questions, thoughts for next call / meeting

Do we just talk through the tree on that next phone call? This could take up the whole time easily enough.

Attendees and preliminary titles

  • Bashir, Tanzeela, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad (Pakistan) -- (no talk)
  • Bruederle, Leo, University of Colorado - Denver (USA) -- [ddRAD Seq data on Carex scirpoidea]
  • Ford, Bruce, University of Manitoba (Canada) -- [Carex of SE Asia]
  • Gebauer, Sebastian, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) -- (no talk)
  • Hahn, Marlene, The Morton Arboretum (USA) -- (no talk)
  • Hayat, Muhammad Qasim, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad (Pakistan) -- The Importance, Biodiversity and and Phytogeography of Cyperacae in Pakistan with special emphasis on Carex
  • Hipp, Andrew, The Morton Arboretum (USA) -- The Global Carex Group: grant progress over the past 4 years
  • Hoffmann, Matthias, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) -- Using the Global Carex Groups Megaphylogeny: The evolution and recruitment of Arctic Carex species
  • Jimenez, Pedro, NYBG (USA) -- Biogeography and diversification in the megadiverse genus Carex
  • Kim, Sangtae, Sungshin Women’s University (S. Korea) -- "Floral evo-devo studies in Carex"
  • Larridon, Isabel, RBG Kew (England) -- [Cyperaceae studies at Kew]
  • Lee, Bora, Sungshin Women’s University (S. Korea) -- Dynamic evolution of chloroplast IR borders in Cyperaceae
  • Maguilla, Enrique, Pablo de Olavide University (Spain) -- RADseq phylogenetics in Carex: Glareosae and Schoenoxiphium
  • Martin, Santiago, Pablo de Olavide University (Spain) -- Geographical and ecological drivers of diversification in Mediterranean Carex
  • Pender, Jocelyn, University of Ottawa (Canada) -- [Community assembly in North American sedges]
  • Reznicek, Tony, University of Michigan (USA) -- [Sedges of Mexico]
  • Roalson, Eric, Washington State University (USA) -- (no talk)
  • Simpson, David, RBG Kew (England) -- Beyond eMonocot
  • Spalink, Daniel, University of Utah (USA) -- Phylogenetic patterns of community assembly in North American sedges
  • Starr, Julian, University of Ottawa (Canada) -- Anchored enrichment data in Cyperaceae
  • Uzma, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad (Pakistan) -- [Biogeography of Himalayan Carex]
  • Villaverde, Tamara, Real Jardín Botanico de Madrid (Spain) -- A preliminary HybSeq phylogeny of the genus Carex, and markers for the Cyperaceae
  • Waterway, Marcia, McGill University (Canada) -- Effects of adding genes and adding taxa on topology and support across the Carex tree
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