Biographical sketch

Efrain De Luna
Current position:
Investigador Titular C, Dept. Biodiversidad y Sistemática, Instituto de Ecología, AC. Xalapa, México.
Current interests:
Statistical analyses of morphological variation. Phylogenetic analyses of geometric morphometric data, in combination with molecular markers. Morphometrics and phylogenetics of Braunia (Hedwigiaceae).
B. Sc. in Biology. Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM. México (1983). I was introduced to bryology as an undergraduate student. Under the direction of Claudio Delgadillo, I did a comparison of the montane moss flora at the extremes of the Neovolcanic axis in central México (reference 1). 
Ph.D, Duke University. Durham, NC. USA (1992). As a graduate student, I worked under the supervision of Brent Mishler, and was funded by a Mexican government scholarship (CONACYT 1986-1989), Duke University teaching assistantships (1989-1992), and a National Science Foundation Doctoral improvement research grant. My dissertation research focused on ontogenetic studies, morphometrics, and phylogenetic analyses of the Hedwigiaceae (reference 2).
I collected my first moss specimen in 1981, and since then I have been interested in the moss diversity of Eastern México, where I have been since 1992 at my home institution INECOL in Xalapa. My recent collections are mainly to document taxonomic diversity in the Hedwigiaceae.
In the late 90´s I did pioneer work on molecular phylogenetics of bryophytes, especially the pleurocarpous mosses (reference 3). 
I consider myself a bryologist, but often wander into the intersection of morphometrics and phylogenetics seeking for answers to such questions as how to analyse morphological character variation (reference 4). My current research and teaching focuses on methods for the phylogenetic analysis of morphometric data (inter-landmark distances and configurations of "x, y" coordinates).
As a taxonomist of Hedwigiaceae, I continue working on detailed morphometric comparisons of species towards a worldwide phylogenetic revision of the acrocarpous moss Braunia. I am also working on the molecular systematics of the Neotropical species of Braunia.
Main topics in graduate level courses I teach are phylogenetics and morphometrics. 
Over the last 20 years, I have advised PhD students and co-authored papers on phylogeny and morphometrics of bats, fishes, diverse angiosperms, myxomycetes, and even bryophytes (SCOPUS).

I have been particularly interested in educational outreach, using the Internet. I run web sites on bryology, morphometrics, and phylogenetics (all in Spanish).
References cited here:
1.  De Luna E. 1985. Afinidades fitogeográficas de los musgos de los extremos del Eje Neovolcánico, México. BIOTICA 10(3): 235-255.

2.  De Luna E. 1992. Developmental and Systematic Studies in the Hedwigiaceae (Musci). PhD Thesis, Duke University.  216 p.

3. De Luna, E., AE. Newton, A. Withey, D. Gonzalez & BD. Mishler. 1999. The transition to pleurocarpy: a phylogenetic analysis of the main diplolepidous lineages based on rbcL sequences and morphology. THE BRYOLOGIST 102: 632-651.

4. Ramírez-Sanchez, M.M., E. De Luna & C. Cramer. 2016. Geometric and traditional morphometrics for the assessment of character state identity: multivariate statistical analyses of character variation in the water mite genus Arrenurus (Acari, Hydrachnidia, Arrenuridae). ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY 177:720-749.

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