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Lab Preparation Week 1

Throughout this semester you are going to use your own lap tops for the labs, so you will have to download and install the appropriate software. All the software that we will use is free and available on line for both Macs and PCs. We will use two programs, Mesquite and R, for the majority of the labs. Most of the analytical methods that we will explore can also be executed in several other programs. However, Mesquite and R provide a good general platform for statistical analyses of comparative data. In each lab we will let you know of at least some of the other software options.

This week you need to download and install these two programs and BEAST which we will use in the first lab. We do not have time to do this in class, and it is important that you get it done before the actual day of the lab, in case you have problems. The software and installation instructions can be found at the following locations:

Mesquite: http://mesquiteproject.org/

R: http://www.r-project.org/

BEAST: http://beast.bio.ed.ac.uk/

For Mesquite and especially for R you should bookmark their manuals. These will come in very useful in the future.

After you have installed the programs run them and make sure that they work. For Mesquite and BEAST that means opening up one of their example files and making sure that it runs.

That is good enough for the first week but we are not done downloading forever. For future labs you may also need:

  1. Additional programs

  2. New packages for R or Mesquite

  3. Example files

There will be instructions on the web site for each lab. Make sure to check back before every lab to see if there is anything that you need to download. We'll try to always remind you in class, but ultimately you are responsible for getting the appropriate software and files installed on your computer before lab. You may not be able to do it in class, because Air Bears may not work in 3083 and you will not have enough time.