Santiago Ramírez Barahona

I am a plant biologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), specially interested in the ecological, geographical and historical factors that influence species and gene diversities at different spatial scales. I’ve spent my carrer studying the climatic history of cloud forest species in the northern Neotropics, focusing on the demographic history, population genetics, morphological differentiation, and ecological niche of cloud forest trees.

You can also find me at ResearchGate


– Miriam Muñoz Cinta (undergraduate)

‘The impact of climate change on the geographic distribution and species composition of cloud forests in Mexico’

Miriam is working on modeling the impacts of climate change on cloud forests in Mexico. By analyzing distribution data for cloud forest plant species, her work focuses on assessing changes in species diversity, community structure and geographic extension of cloud forests under different scenarios of climate change.

– MSc Gabriel Merino Díaz (graduate, PhD)

‘Genetic, physiological and morphological variation in scaly tree ferns (Cyatheaceae) along altitudinal gradients’.

Gabriel’s doctorate focuses on documenting altitudinal patterns of allelic turn over and their association with morphological and physiological variation among species of tree ferns.

Former students

– Josué Barrera Redondo (undergraduate)

‘Morphological and environmental factors associated to changes in substitution rates in ferns’.

Josué’s thesis focused on understanding why the molecular clock ‘ticks’ at different rates across lineages, using tree ferns as a model system. In short, Josué analyzed rates of molecular evolution and their association with ecological and morphological variables in the tree ferns. His work made the cover of Evolution!

Current projects in the lab

  • Molecular Systematics of Tree Ferns: phylogenetics, macroecology, genomics and spatial genetics.
    • Goal: The main goal is to describe the patterns of species diversity and study the factors and mechanisms associated with species diversification in tree ferns. For this, we are studying geographical patterns of ecological, morphological and genetic variation at different spatial scales. We are also exploring the factors associated with heterogeneity in the rates of molecular evolution and species diversification in the group. 
    • Principal collaborators: Luis Eguiarte Fruns, Fabricio Villalobos, Mark Olson, Isolda Luna, Marcus Lehnert, Michael Kessler.
    • Students: Josué Barrera Redondo
  • Climate change – from communities to genes
    • Goal: To understand the effects of past and future climate change on the geographical distribution of species and its impact on community composition, population divergence (morphological and ecological) and local adaptation. 
    • Principal collaborators: Isolda Luna Vega, Andrés Ortíz Rodríguez, Juan Francisco Ornelas, Jonás Aguirre Liguori, Luis Eguiarte Fruns, Peter Tiffin.
    • Students: Miriam Muñoz Cinta
  • Temporal and spatial patterns of species diversification in vascular plants.
    • Goal: …..
    • Principal collaborators: Susana Magallón, Jürg Schönenberger, Herve Sauquet.


If you are interested in joining the lab contact Santiago Ramírez Barahona at or