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BEAST is a cross-platform program for Bayesian MCMC analysis of molecular sequences. It is entirely orientated towards rooted, time-measured phylogenies inferred using strict or relaxed molecular clock models. It can be used as a method of reconstructing phylogenies but is also a framework for testing evolutionary hypotheses without conditioning on a single tree topology. BEAST uses MCMC to average over tree space, so that each tree is weighted proportional to its posterior probability. We include a simple to use user-interface program for setting up standard analyses and a suit of programs for analysing the results.

Environment Modules

Run module spider beast to find out what environment modules are available for this application.

System Variables

  • HPC_BEAST_DIR - installation directory


Beast is also available for use through the friendly web interface of the UFRC Galaxy instance. It's located in the "Phylogenetics" section.

Interactive BEAUti use

See for general documentation on using BEAUti.

  • Start an OnDemand session (console or desktop)
  • Load the beast module in the terminal

See GUI Programs for reference.

Additional Information

  • Use -beagle_GPU beast command-line argument to invoke BEAST with GPU acceleration when running in a GPU Job
  • To use CPU acceleration with the beagle library, use the '-beagle_SSE -beagle_instances N' command line switches where 'N' equals to the number of requested Beagle library instances.
  • To limit the number of computing cores Beast will use for posterior computation to the number requested from the batch system use the '-threads N' where 'N' is the number of threads. Then, the job resource request should be equal to
#SBATCH --ntasks=1
#SBATCH --cpus-per-task=X

where X = N + 1.

Installing BEAST2 plugins

  • Start an OnDemand session (console or desktop)
  • Load the beast module in the terminal
  • Run beauti; use the File/Manage Packages menu to select the add-ons to (un)install.

Note: Beast2 plugins are installed into your personal directory.