Principal Investigator

Dr. 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. My main interest is the study of the  climatic history of cloud forest species in the northern Neotropics, focusing on the demographic history and phylogeography of cloud forests, particularly plants. I’ve also been particularly interested in studying the macroevolutionary and biogeographic dynamics of vascular plants on a global scale.

You can also find me at ResearchGate

Graduate Students

– MSc Gabriel Merino Díaz (PhD, Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, UNAM) (external advisor)

Gabriel’s doctorate focuses on documenting altitudinal patterns of allelic turn over and their association with morphological and anatomical variation among species of tree ferns. So far, Gabriel has documented interesting patterns of morphological, anatomical and genetic variation in five species of tree ferns along a transect covering more than 1,200 meters in altitude.

– Jessica Hernández Tapia (Masters, Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, UNAM)

Title: Phenological and morphological variation of tree ferns (Cyatheaceae) along an altitudinal gradient

Jessicas’s masters project is focused on exploring phenological patterns (i.e., the timing of leaf production and spore maturation) in species of tree ferns across an altitudinal gradient.

– Julián Olvera Martínez (Masters, Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, UNAM)

Title: Landscape genomics of the tree fern Alsophila firma (Cyatheaceae) under climate change scenarios

Undergraduate Students

– Pablo Barber Córdova (Undergraduate, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM)

Title: Morphological, ecological and genetic variation in the widespread Cyathea bicrenata (Cyatheaceae) in Mexico

Pablo’s undergraduate project is focused on documenting the genetic structure across the distribution of Cyathea bicrenata in Mexico, and investigate its association with morphological, ecological and anatomical differentiation.

Title: Foliar nectaries and species diversification in tree ferns (Cyatheaceae)

Alejandra’s undergraduate project is focused on assessing the evolutionary significance of extra-foliar nectaries in the Cyatheaceae, and whether these are associated with shifts in the rates of species diversification.

– Marco Antonio Hernández Sánchez (Undergraduate, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM)

Title: The influence of temperature gradients in the germination of two species of tree ferns (Cyathea fulva and C. divergens)

Former students

– Josué Barrera Redondo (Bachelor’s dissertation, 2014)

Josué’s thesis (now published) focused on understanding why the molecular clock ‘ticks’ at different rates across lineages, using tree ferns as a model system. In short, Josué found that the rates of molecular evolution in tree ferns are associated with ecological and morphological traits.