To explore evolutionary relationships among organisms, biologists construct and compare phylogenetic trees, not unlike the "family trees" traced for humans by genealogists. In recent years, the use of molecular data to build these trees and sophisticated computer-aided techniques to analyze them have led to a revolution in the study of cospeciation (the joint speciation of two or more lineages that are ecologically associated, such as hosts and parasites). "Tangled Trees" provides an up-to-date review and synthesis of current knowledge about phylogeny, cospeciation and coevolution. The opening chapters present various methodological and theoretical approaches, ranging from the well-known parsimony approach to "jungles" and Bayesian statistical models. Then a series of empirical chapters discusses detailed studies of cospeciation involving vertebrate hosts and their parasites, including nematodes, viruses and lice. "Tangled Trees" should be welcomed by researchers in a wide variety of fields, from parasitology and ecology to systematics and evolutionary biology.
Roderic D. M. Page is Reader in the Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, at the University of Glasgow. He is the coauthor of Molecular Evolution: A Phylogenetic Approach.