Pre-doctoral studentsMario Mairal PisaPost-doctoral researchersLisa Pokorny Montero

Master projectAndrea Briega

Former team membersCajsa Lisa Anderson (Upsala University, Suecia)

Sven Buerki (University of Neuchattel, Suiza)

Andrea Sánchez Meseguer

Isabel Sanmartín Bastida
  • Research scientist
  • Speciality:

    Biogeography: Analytic tools and biogeographic reconstruction of lineages and biota

  • Geographical region:Mediterranean region, Macaronesia, Neotropics
  • Line of research: Plant evolutionary biology
  • Professional profile

    Integrating new phylogenetic dating and model-based biogeographical methods to disentangle the evolutionary origins of the African-Mediterranean "Rand Flora"
    Disjunct distributions of plant groups between Macaronesia-NW Africa, E Africa, and W Asia have been recognized for almost a century, in what has been called the "Rand Flora" pattern. One of the most-cited examples of this disjunction is the Canary Island "dragon tree", which has its closest relatives in Yemen and Socotra. In this project we will use both empirical data from model groups and published phylogenies in combination with new phylogenetic dating and model-based biogeographic methods to unravel the evolutionary and biogeographic origins of this enigmatic floristic pattern.

    Applying a new Bayesian biogeographic method to reconstructing patterns of diversification in the Canarian flora
    Oceanic archipelagos of volcanic origin like the Canary Islands represent a special challenge to biogeographers because dispersal is typically the dominant process while most existing methods are based on vicariance. Here we will use a new biogeographic method based on a Bayesian probabilistic model to estimate rates of dispersal between islands and patterns of colonization using a large dataset of published Canarian plant phylogenies. The final aim is to extract generalizations on the origin and evolution of the extraordinary diversity of the Canarian flora.

    Selected Publications
  • Riina, R., Villaverde, T., Rincón-Barrado, M., Molero, J., Sanmartín, I. 2021. More than one sweet tabaiba: Disentangling the systematics of the succulent dendroid shrub Euphorbia balsamifera. Journal of Systematics and Evolution [in press].
  • Kirschner, P.; Záveská, E.; Gamisch, A.; Hilpold, A.; Trucchi, E.; Paun, O.; Sanmartín, I.; Schlick-Steiner, B.C.; Frajman, B.; Arthofer, W.; Steiner, F.M.; Schönswetter, P. 2020. Long-term isolation of European steppe outposts boosts the biome’s conservation value. Nature Communications 11(1):1968.
  • Thode, V.A.; Lohmann, L.G.; Sanmartín, I. 2020. Evaluating character partitioning and molecular models in plastid phylogenomics at low taxonomic levels: A case study using Amphilophium (Bignonieae, Bignoniaceae). Journal of Systematics and Evolution [in press].
  • Culshaw, V.; Stadler, T.; Sanmartín, I. 2019. Exploring the power of Bayesian birth-death skyline models to detect mass extinction events from phylogenies with only extant taxa. Evolution [in press].
  • García-Verdugo, C., Caujapé-Castells, J., Sanmartín, I. 2019. Colonization time on island settings: Lessons from the Hawaiian and Canary Island floras. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 191(2):155-163.
  • Lavor P.; Calvente A.; Versieux L.M.; Sanmartin I. 2019. Bayesian spatio-temporal reconstruction reveals rapid diversification and Pleistocene range expansion in the widespread columnar cactus Pilosocereus. Journal of Biogeography 46(1):238-250.
  • López-Estrada, E.K.; Sanmartín, I.; García-París, M.; Zaldívar-Riverón, A. 2019. High extinction rates and non-adaptive radiation explains patterns of low diversity and extreme morphological disparity in North American blister beetles (Coleoptera, Meloidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 130:156-168.
  • Moharrek, F.; Sanmartin, I.; Kazempour-Osaloo, S.; Nieto Feliner, G. 2019. Morphological Innovations and Vast Extensions of Mountain Habitats Triggered Rapid Diversification Within the Species-Rich Irano-Turanian Genus Acantholimon (Plumbaginaceae). Frontiers in Genetics 9:698.
  • Sanmartín, I. 2019. Breaking the chains of parsimony: the development of parametric approaches in historical biogeography In: B.C. Cox, R. Ladle & P.D. Moore (eds.). Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach Wiley Blackwell, pp. 13-37. 10th Edition

  • Thode, V.A., Sanmartín, I., Lohmann, L.G. 2019. Contrasting patterns of diversification between Amazonian and Atlantic forest clades of Neotropical lianas (Amphilophium, Bignonieae) inferred from plastid genomic data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 133:92-106.
  • Antonelli, A.; Ariza, M.; Albert, J.; Andermann, T.; Azevedo, J.; Bacon, C.; Faurby, S.; Guedes, T.; Hoorn, C.; Lohmann, L.G.; Matos-Maraví, P.; Ritter, C.D.; Sanmartín, I.; Silvestro, D.; Tejedor, M.; Ter, Steege, H.; Tuomisto, H.; Werneck, F.P.; Zizka, A.; Edwards, S.V. 2018. Conceptual and empirical advances in Neotropical biodiversity research. PeerJ 10:e5644.
  • Condamine, F.L.; Rolland, J.; Höhna, S.; Sperling, F.A.H.; Sanmartín, I. 2018. Testing the Role of the Red Queen and Court Jester as Drivers of the Macroevolution of Apollo Butterflies. Systematic Biology 67(6):940-964.
  • Ebach, M.C.; Morrone, J.J.; Sanmartín, I.; Escalante, T. 2018. Further progress in historical biogeography. Australian Systematic Botany. 30(5-6):i.
  • Mairal, M.; Caujapé-Castells, J.; Pellissier, L.; Jaén-Molina, R.; Álvarez, N.; Heuertz, M.; Sanmartín, I. 2018. A tale of two forests: Ongoing aridification drives population decline and genetic diversity loss at continental scale in Afro-Macaronesian evergreen-forest archipelago endemics. Annals of Botany 122(6):1005-1017.
  • Meseguer, A.S.; Lobo, J.M.; Cornuault, J.; Beerling, D.; Ruhfel, B.R.; Davis, C.C.; Jousselin, E.; Sanmartín, I. 2018. Reconstructing deep-time palaeoclimate legacies in the clusioid Malpighiales unveils their role in the evolution and extinction of the boreotropical flora. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27(5):616-628.
  • Ree, R.H.; Sanmartín, I. 2018. Conceptual and statistical problems with the DEC+J model of founder-event speciation and its comparison with DEC via model selection. Journal of Biogeography 45(4):741-749.
  • Villaverde, T.; Pokorny, L.; Olsson, S.; Rincón-Barrado, M.; Johnson, M.G.; Gardner, E.M.; Wickett, N.J.; Molero, J.; Riina, R.; Sanmartín, I. 2018. Bridging the micro- and macroevolutionary levels in phylogenomics: Hyb-Seq solves relationships from populations to species and above. New Phytologist 220:636-650.
  • Garciá-Aloy, S.; Sanmartín, I.; Kadereit, G.; Vitales, D.; Millanes, A.M.; Roquet, C.; Vargas, P.; Alarcón, M.; Aldasoro, J.J. 2017. Opposite trends in the genus Monsonia (Geraniaceae): Specialization in the African deserts and range expansions throughout eastern Africa. Scientific Reports 7(1):9872.
  • García-Aloy, S.; Vitales, D.; Roquet, C.; Sanmartín, I.; Vargas, P.; Molero, J.; Kamau, P.; Aldasoro, J.J.; Alarcón, M. 2017. North-west Africa as a source and refuge area of plant biodiversity: A case study on Campanula kremeri and Campanula occidentalis. Journal of Biogeography 44:2057-2068.
  • Mairal, M.; Sanmartín, I.; Herrero, A.; Pokorny, L.; Vargas, P.; Aldasoro, J.J.; Alarcón, M. 2017. Geographic barriers and Pleistocene climate change shaped patterns of genetic variation in the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot. Scientific Reports 7: e45749.
  • Mairal, M.; Sanmartín, I.; Pellissier, L. 2017. Lineage-specific climatic niche drives the tempo of vicariance in the Rand Flora. Journal of Biogeography 44(4):911-923.
  • Villaverde, T.; Escudero, M.; Martín-Bravo, S.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Sanmartín, I.; Vargas, P.; Luceño, M. 2017. Bipolar distributions in vascular plants: A review. American Journal of Botany. 104(11):1680-1694.
  • Sanmartín I.; Meseguer A.S. 2016. Extinction in phylogenetics and biogeography: From timetrees to patterns of biotic assemblage. Frontiers in Genetics 7:35.
  • Mairal M.; Pokorny, L.; Aldasoro,  J.J.; Alarcón, M.;Sanmartín, I. 2015. Ancient vicariance and climate-driven extinction explain continental-wide disjunctions in Africa: the case of the Rand Flora genus Canarina (Campanulaceae). Molecular Ecology 24(6):1335-1354.
  • Mairal, M.; Sanmartín, I.; Aldasoro, J.J.; Culshaw, V.; Manolopoulou, I.; Alarcón, M. 2015. Palaeo-islands as refugia and sources of genetic diversity within volcanic archipelagos: The case of the widespread endemic Canarina canariensis (Campanulaceae). Molecular Ecology 24:3944-3963.
  • Meseguer, A.S.; Lobo, J.M. ;  Ree, R.; Beerling, D.J.; Sanmartín, I. 2015. Integrating Fossils, Phylogenies, and Niche Models into Biogeography to reveal ancient evolutionary history: the Case of Hypericum (Hypericaceae). Systematic Biology 64:215-232.
  • Pokorny, L.; Riina, R.; Mairal, M.; Meseguer, A.S.; Culshaw, V.; Cendoya, J.; Serrano, M.; Carbajal, R.; Ortiz, S.; Heuertz, M.; Sanmartín, I. 2015. Living on the edge: Timing of Rand Flora disjunctions congruent with ongoing aridification in Africa. Frontiers in Genetics 6:e54.
  • Warren, B.H.; Simberloff, D.; Ricklefs, R.E.; Aguilée, R.; Condamine, F.L.; Gravel, D.; Morlon, H.; Mouquet, N.; Rosindell, J.; Casquet, J.; Conti, E.; Cornuault, J.; Fernández-Palacios, J.M.; Hengl, T.; Norder, S.J.; Rijsdijk, K.F.; Sanmartín, I.; Strasberg, D.; Triantis, K.A.; Valente, L.M.; Whittaker, R.J.; Gillespie, R.G.; Emerson, B.C.; Thébaud C. 2015. Islands as model systems in ecology and evolution: Prospects fifty years after MacArthur-Wilson. Ecology Letters 18:200-217.
  • Inda, L.A.; Sanmartín, I.; Buerki, S.; Catalán, P. 2014. Mediterranean origin and Miocene-Holocene Old World diversification of meadow fescues and ryegrasses (Festuca subgenus Schedonorus and Lolium). J. Biogeogr. 41(3):600-614.

  • Meseguer, A.S.; Sanmartín, I.; Marcussen, T.; Pfeil, B.E. 2014. Utility of low-copy nuclear markers in phylogenetic reconstruction of Hypericum L. (Hypericaceae). Plant Syst. Evol. 300(6):1503-1514.

  • Sanmartín, I. 2014. Biogeography. In: Vargas; Zardoya (eds.).The Tree of Life. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, US. pp. 156-166.

  • Vitales, D.; Garnatje, T.; Pellicer, J.; Vallès, J.; Santos-Guerra, A.; Sanmartín, I. 2014. The explosive radiation of Cheirolophus (Asteraceae, Cardueae) in Macaronesia. BMC Evol. Biol. 14(1):118  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-14-118..

  • Barres, L.; Sanmartín, I.; Anderson, C.L.; Susanna, A.; Buerki, S.; Galbany-Casals, M.; Vilatersana, R. 2013. Reconstructing the evolution and biogeographic history of tribe Cardueae (compositae). American Journal of Botany 100:867-882, doi:10.3732/ajb.1200058.
  • Meseguer, A.S.; Aldasoro, J.J.; Sanmartín, I. 2013. Bayesian inference of phylogeny, morphology and range evolution reveals a complex evolutionary history in St. John's wort (Hypericum). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 67:379-403, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.02.007.
  • Antonelli, A.; Sanmartín, I. 2011. Mass extinction, gradual cooling, or rapid radiation? Reconstructing the spatio-temporal evolution of the ancient angiosperm genus Hedyosmum (Chloranthaceae) using empirical and simulated approaches". Systematic Biology, 60(5): 596-615. 

  • Antonelli, A.; Sanmartín, I. 2011. Why are there so many plant species in the Neotropics?  Taxon, 60: 403 - 414.

  • Buerki, S.; Forest, F.; Alvarez, N.; Nylander, J. A. A.; Arrigo, N.; Sanmartín.I. 2011. An evaluation of new parsimony-based versus parametric inference methods in biogeography: a case study using the globally distributed plant family Sapindaceae. Journal of Biogeography 38: 531-550

  • Hoorn, C.; Wesselingh, FP.; Steege, H. ter.; Bermudez, MA.; Mora, A.; Sevink, J.; Sanmartín, I.; Sanchez-Meseguer, A.; Anderson, C.L.; Figueiredo, J.D., Jaramillo, CM., Riff, FR., Negri, H. Hooghiemstra, J. Lundberg, Stadler, T., Sarkinen, T. , Antonelli, A. 2011. "On the origin of neotropical biodiversity - Response". Science 331: 399-400.

  • Ronquist, F.; Sanmartin, I. 2011. Phylogenetic methods in biogeography. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. 42: 441-64.

  • Hoorn, C.; Wesselingh, F.P.; Steege, H. ter.; Stadler, T.; Sanmartín, I.; Sánchez-Meseguer, A.; Anderson, C.L.;  Jaramillo, C.M.; Bermudez, C.; Figueiredo, J.D.; Riff, F.R.; Negri, H.; Hooghiemstra, J.; Lundberg, H.P.; Linder, T.; Sarkinen, A.; Mora; Antonelli, A.  2010. Amazonia Through Time: Andean Uplift, Climate Change, Landscape Evolution, and Biodiversity. Science 330: 927-931. Supplementary online material

  • Sanmartín, I.; Anderson, C.L.; Alarcon-Cavero, M.L.; Ronquist, F.; Aldasoro. J.J. 2010.Bayesian island biogeography in a continental setting: The Rand Flora case. Biology Letters. Biology Letters 6:703-707

  • Antonelli, A.; Nylander, J.A.A.; Persson, C.; Sanmartín, I. 2009 Tracing the impact of the Andean uplift on Neotropical plant evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 106(24):9749-9754

  • Micó, E.; Sanmartín, I.; Galante, E. (2009) Mediterranean diversification of the grass-feeding Anisopliina beetles (Scarabaeidae, Rutelinae, Anomalini) as inferred by bootstrap-averaged dispersal-vicariance analysis. Journal of Biogeography, 36 (3): 546-560.

  • Ree, R.H.; Sanmartín, I. (2009) Guest Editorial: Prospects and challenges for parametric models in historical biogeographical inference. Journal of Biogeography 36: 1211-1220.

  • Nylander, J.A.A.; Olsson, U.; Alström, P.; Sanmartín, I. (2008). Accounting for phylogenetic uncertainty in biogeography: A bayesian approach to dispersal-vicariance analysis of the thrushes (Aves: Turdus). Systematic Biology, 57: 257-268.

  • Sanmartin, I.; van der Mark, P.; Ronquist, F. (2008). Inferring dispersal: a Bayesian approach to phylogeny-based island biogeography, with special reference to the Canary Islands. Journal of Biogeography 35:428-449.

  • Sanmartín, I. (2007) Event-Based Biogeography: Integrating patterns, processes, and time. En: Biogeography in a Changing World (eds: M.C. Ebach and R.S. Tangney), Systematics Association Volume Series, Taylor & Francis, London, pp. 135-156.

  • Sanmartín, I.; Ronquist, F. (2004). Southern hemisphere biogeography inferred by event-based models: plant versus animal patterns. Systematic Biology 53 (2): 1-28.

  • Sanmartín, I. (2003). Dispersal vs. vicariance in the Mediterranean: Historical biogeography of the palearctic Pachydeminae (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea). Journal of Biogeography 30: 1883-1897.

  • Sanmartın, I. 2002. A paleogeographic history of the Southern Hemisphere (Divulgative material)

  • Sanmartín, I.; Enghoff, H; Ronquist, F. (2001). Patterns of animal dispersal, vicariance, and diversification in the Holarctic. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 73: 345-390.

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