Nature • Computers • Life


Luna L. Sánchez Reyes

Postdoctoral Research Scholar
University of California, Merced


I am a biologist specialized in evolutionary biology. I am currently working as a postdoc at the McTavish Lab, at the School of Natural Sciences of the University of California, Merced. My research interests include species diversification processes, timing of species origin, the intercept between micro and macroevolution, open science, and science communication and reproducibility. For the past few years, I have been working on method and software development for various projects, including platforms such as Datelife, Phylotastic, and most recently Open Tree of Life.


  • Effects of statistical uncertainty on evolutionary inferences
  • Coding with R and Python
  • Open Science in Education and Research


  • Biological Sciences PhD, 2016

    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

  • Biology BSc, 2010

    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México




An overview of the current state of the Datelife project.

iNaturalist phylogenies

Getting chronograms and geographic distribution maps for species in iNaturalist projects.

Models of Species Diversification

My research on species diversification models.


Getting phylogenetic trees on the fly for education and outreach. An overview of the Phylotastic project.


Physcraper: A Python package for continual update of evolutionary estimates using the Open Tree of Life

In this paper we present Physcraper, a Python package for update of phylogenetic relationships using existing expert-curated alignments …

DateLife, leveraging databases and analytical tools to reveal the dated Tree of Life

In this paper we present datelife, a service implemented via an R package and a web site ( for efficient …

Tempo and mode in coevolution of Agave sensu lato (Agavoideae, Asparagaceae) and its bat pollinators, Glossophaginae (Phyllostomidae)

Agave sensu lato appeared around 8 Mya. The best supported diversification model for Agavoidae shows two shifts around 8 Mya. Agave …

Thirty clues to the exceptional diversification of flowering plants

As angiosperms became one of the megadiverse groups of macroscopic eukaryotes, they forged modern ecosystems and promoted the evolution …

Recent radiation and dispersal of an ancient lineage, the case of Fouquieria (Fouquiericeae, Ericales) in North American deserts

Fouqueriaceae, the family of ocotillo and bojum tree, is a monogeneric clade with 11 species. Its siter group, the plox family, …

Phylotastic, improving access to tree-of-life knowledge with flexible, on-the-fly delivery of trees

Phylogenetic knowledge is of great importance for research and education. Yet, it remians mostly unavailable for the non-specialist and …

Uncovering higher-taxon diversification dynamics from clade age and species-richness data

Theory suggests that phylogenetic structure, age type (crown or stem age), and taxonomic delimitation can affect estimates of the …

A metacalibrated time-tree documents the early rise of flowering plant phylogenetic diversity

Flowering plant evolution is key for the establishment of modern terrestrial life. Yet, the time of origin of this group of organisms …

Hierarchical clustering of genetic diversity associated to different levels of mutation and recombination in Escherichia coli, a study based on Mexican isolates.

Escherichia coli occur as either free-living microorganisms, or as pathogenic or commensal bacteria of mammals and birds. The Mexican …