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1.  Updating the evolutionary history of Carnivora (Mammalia): a new species-level supertree complete with divergence time estimates 
BMC Biology  2012;10:12.
Background
Although it has proven to be an important foundation for investigations of carnivoran ecology, biology and evolution, the complete species-level supertree for Carnivora of Bininda-Emonds et al. is showing its age. Additional, largely molecular sequence data are now available for many species and the advancement of computer technology means that many of the limitations of the original analysis can now be avoided. We therefore sought to provide an updated estimate of the phylogenetic relationships within all extant Carnivora, again using supertree analysis to be able to analyze as much of the global phylogenetic database for the group as possible.
Results
In total, 188 source trees were combined, representing 114 trees from the literature together with 74 newly constructed gene trees derived from nearly 45,000 bp of sequence data from GenBank. The greater availability of sequence data means that the new supertree is almost completely resolved and also better reflects current phylogenetic opinion (for example, supporting a monophyletic Mephitidae, Eupleridae and Prionodontidae; placing Nandinia binotata as sister to the remaining Feliformia). Following an initial rapid radiation, diversification rate analyses indicate a downturn in the net speciation rate within the past three million years as well as a possible increase some 18.0 million years ago; numerous diversification rate shifts within the order were also identified.
Conclusions
Together, the two carnivore supertrees remain the only complete phylogenetic estimates for all extant species and the new supertree, like the old one, will form a key tool in helping us to further understand the biology of this charismatic group of carnivores.
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-12
PMCID: PMC3307490  PMID: 22369503
Carnivora; conservation biology; divergence times; diversification; macroevolution; phylogenetic supertrees; supermatrix; timetree
2.  Inferring the Tree of Life: chopping a phylogenomic problem down to size? 
BMC Biology  2011;9:59.
The combination of molecular sequence data and bioinformatics has revolutionized phylogenetic inference over the past decade, vastly increasing the scope of the evolutionary trees that we are able to infer. A recent paper in BMC Biology describing a new phylogenomic pipeline to help automate the inference of evolutionary trees from public sequence databases provides another important tool in our efforts to derive the Tree of Life.
See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/9/55
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-59
PMCID: PMC3176480  PMID: 21933452

Results 1-2 (2)