Evolutionary Graphs

Arne Mooers

Abstract

Evolutionary relationships among populations, species and higher taxa can be represented and studied using directed and undirected, cyclic and acyclic graphs. We construct such graphs from genetic, genomic, morphological and cultural data for microbiomes, for populations and for species, and use them to both help elucidate the process of evolution (e.g. leading to humans) and to help identify populations and lineages of particular worth (e.g. for conservation). Our approach draws on graph theory but is primarily computational and data-driven, has both pure and applied knowledge products, and spans evolutionary biology, conservation biology and policy, and paleoanthropology.