New article out by Almeida, Bossert ... [more authors including the NSF Bees of the World gang, Danforth, Murray, Branstetter, and Freitas] ... & Pie. "The evolutionary history of bees in time and space", in Current Biology.
Comprehensive study of bee phylogeny (using UCEs), age, and biogeography. What is pretty cool is that it serves as a comparative treatment to Charles Michener's classic 1979 paper on bee biogeography. Michener posited that bees originated in Western Gondwana, but it hasn't been adequately tested using molecular phylogenies and new methodologies. Another thing that I think is amazing -- the molecular dating. I'm talking 185 bee fossils used -- and not just node calibrations! Silas did the dating analysis, using a fossilized birth-death model (in the program MrBayes), meaning he assigned fossils to clades and not to a specific node or branch.
We had some media attention on this, too! Kind of interesting to see how that process worked. Our College of Ag, CAHNRS, put out an article and then WSU Insider published it a couple of days later. Several internet sites picked up the story put out by WSU, such as Popular Science. Silas and I did a radio interview for Northwest Newsradio. Silas was interviewed by NPR!
WSU distributes their news articles (like ours) on EurekAlert, so that other sites can access them for content. Some internet sites put their own 'creative' spin on it -- like the one that was titled "A team of paleontologists find fossils that could radically change what is known about bees" on Crast.net. Hm.... not exactly. This paper didn't deal with describing new fossils, but it was the most extensive use of fossil data on a bee molecular phylogeny.
Silas Bossert has moved into a tenure track position at WSU. Congratulations!