How predatory is MDPI? Or: The 50 shades of scientific grey

There's an ever-growing grey zone between clearly predatory and legit publishers/ journals. The still exploding number of MDPI journals belong to the shady bunch. Why else would they ask a science drop-out to join the editorial board of Life – the life science journal?

ML, MP, NJ – what's the difference?

In 2015, somebody on ResearchGate posted the following question: “What's the difference between neighbor joining, maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and Bayesian inference?” Many answered, a few were ok but a lot repeated common misconceptions. A necessary correction and some further remarks.

Just a single, easily overlooked tip

One thing about phylogenomic studies in the Era of Big Data is that we easily tend to overlook what is new and interesting. Why it may be worth to give each subtree in a phylogenomic tree a closer look

Artkonzepte, in Bildern

Biodiversität, die Artenvielfalt, ist in aller Munde. Grundlage zum Messen der Biodiversität, ist fast immer (noch) die Anzahl der in einem Gebiet gefundenen Arten. Aber was ist eine Art? Ein paar Bildchen. Und Beispiele.

Scientia-ex-machina: explicit biogeographic inferences and the phylogenomic age

The nice thing about huge datasets is that they can give quick results, often trivial to interpret. In phylogenomics: a fully resolved, unambigously supported phylogenetic tree. The not-so-nice thing is that downstream analyses using these fully resolved trees, such as ancestral area analyses, may be utter nonsense because the experimental set-up was fundamentally flawed to start with. A post-review of Areces-Berazain et al. (2021), including the results from Li et al. (2019) and Yu et al. (2022).

Searching for a research object? Why not maples!

In course of my career as a professional scientist, I had to leave a lot of threads open. Mainly, because I need to make sure to fund my own position, which consumed 80–90% of the money the mighty research councils granted me. One easy pick for those that have money to do molecular research are the western Eurasian super-species of Acer sect. Acer.

Oaks systematics and complete plastome trees

We are living in the era of Big Data. You just need the money and/or workforce, and you drown in data. As consequence an increasing amount of researchers study complete plastomes of organisms, they have little idea about. The oaks (Quercus; beech family: Fagaceae) are becoming a prominent example.