Research

Current research in the lab

  • Molecular Systematics of Tree Ferns: phylogenetics, macro-ecology, 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 ferns and other plants. 
    • Principal collaborators: Luis Eguiarte Fruns, Mark Olson, Isolda Luna, Marcus Lehnert.
    • Students: Jessica Hernández Tapia, Gabriel Merino Díaz.
  • Open projects:
    • ‘Morphological and genetic variation in the widespread Cyathea bicrenata (Cyatheaceae) in Mexico’
    • Student: Gabriel Merino
    • Aim: To document the phylogeographic patterns across the distribution of C. bicrenata in Mexico, and investigate its association with morphological and anatomical differentiation. Interestingly, this wide spread species also spans a wide range of altitudes, which appear to be linked to its genetic structure.

    • ‘Variation in leaf anatomy and its association with climate across tree ferns’
    • Student: OPEN!
    • Aim: To document variation in anatomical features of leaves, such as stomatal density and size, in several tree fern species and explore its associations with climatic variables, such as temperature and humidity.

    • ‘Genetic and phenological variation in tree ferns along environmental gradients’
    • Student: Jessica Hernández
    • Aim: To explore the genetic variation and phenology of tree fern species along environmental gradients, through the application of field studies and next generation sequencing.


  • Forests in the mist: climate change impacts on cloud forests

    • 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: Andrés Ortíz Rodríguez, Juan Francisco Ornelas, Jonás Aguirre Liguori, Luis Eguiarte Fruns, Peter Tiffin.
    • Students: OPEN!
  • Open projects:
    • ‘The impact of climate change on the geographic distribution and species composition of cloud forests in Mexico’

      Aim: To model the impacts of climate change on cloud forests in Mexico by analyzing distribution data for cloud forest plant species. We want to assess the changes in species diversity, community structure and geographic extension of cloud forests under different scenarios of climate change.

    • ‘Phylogeographic patterns of cloud forest plant species in Mexico’

      Aim: To assess the phylogeographic history of cloud forests during the last 200,000 years by analyzing genetic, morphological and ecological data for cloud forest plant species. We want to model the demographic history and spatial genetic structure of plants species in Mexico, particularly those characteristic of the cloud forests.