Integrating Fossil Observations Into Phylogenetics Using the Fossilized BirthDeath Model Academic Article uri icon


  • Over the past decade, a new set of methods for estimating dated trees has emerged. Originally referred to as the fossilized birthdeath (FBD) process, this single model has expanded to a family of models that allows researchers to coestimate evolutionary parameters (e.g., diversification, sampling) and patterns alongside divergence times for a variety of applications from paleobiology to real-time epidemiology. We provide an overview of this family of models. We explore the ways in which these models correspond to methods in quantitative paleobiology, as the FBD process provides a framework through which neontological and paleontological approaches to phylogenetics and macroevolution can be unified. We also provide an overview of challenges associated with applying FBD models, particularly with an eye toward the fossil record. We conclude this review by discussing several exciting avenues for the inclusion of fossil data in phylogenetic analyses.

published proceedings

  • Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics

author list (cited authors)

  • Wright, A. M., Bapst, D. W., Barido-Sottani, J., & Warnock, R.

complete list of authors

  • Wright, April M||Bapst, David W||Barido-Sottani, JoĆ«lle||Warnock, Rachel CM

publication date

  • January 2022