Big Tasks Ahead
So now it’s time to start thinking about some of the big tasks we’ll need to do in preparation for the paper. In no particular order, these include:
- Construct a composite phylogeny of all ornithischians (and our outgroups) for use in the quantitative comparative analysis. This will need to be in some sort of format readable by Mesquite or a similar program. This phylogeny will need to be tied to the (preferably recent) literature. It shouldn’t be necessary to run a matrix from scratch – instead, we should focus on just melding trees from various papers together into a single global phylogeny.
- Compile a list of what all of the museum abbreviations mean (institution, city)
- Obtain reasonably accurate age ranges for all of the taxa in the database (probably down to the stage – e.g., Maastrichtian, Bathonian, etc.). One of our analyses (as Randy Irmis will detail in a future guest post) will look at ornithischian limb morphology over time.
- The PLoS ONE reference format uses abbreviated journal titles – but most of our titles aren’t abbreviated yet. We’ll need to get all of our references into a PLoS ONE-friendly format.
- Anything else that should be on the list?
These are the sorts of things that anyone can work on – and many are tasks that could/should be handled by multiple individuals. Any takers?