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Keywords:

  • goodness-of-fit;
  • maximum likelihood;
  • molecular phylogenetics;
  • phylogenetic networks;
  • phylogenetic trees;
  • phylogenetics;
  • sequence evolution;
  • stochastic models

Summary

This paper provides a review of the many applications of statistics within the field of phylogenetics, that is, the study of evolutionary history. The reader is assumed to be a statistician rather than a phylogeneticist, so some background is given on what phylogenetics is, along with a brief history of different approaches to phylogenetic inference. The latter half of the paper focuses on a series of open statistical problems in the field with the aim of encouraging more statisticians to engage with this fascinating area of research.