Rafael Arévalo

Rafael Arevalo
Kohler Fellow
330 North Orchard Street
Madison WI 53715

Years at WID

2013 - present2015


Rafael Arévalo is a Colombian biologist who is conscious of the extraordinary biological diversity of his country, and committed to studying its astonishing flora. For these reasons he has chosen to pursue a career in botany. The chance to obtain a doctorate degree from the Department of Botany at UW-Madison represents an unparalleled opportunity for him to reach his long-term aspiration of becoming one of Colombia’s leading plant biologists.


  • B.S., Biology, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
  • M.S., Biology, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Research Description

The evolutionary biology, systematics and taxonomy of Neotropical Orchids. My dissertation research focuses on the orchid genus Mormolyca. The study couples molecular phylogenetic data with floral morphology and fragrance compounds to assess the role of evolving flower form and function in the process of orchid speciation



  • Kohler Fellow
  • L & S Teaching Fellow

Selected Publications

  • Arévalo, R. & K. Cameron. 2013. Molecular Phylogenetics of Mormolyca (Orchidaceae: Maxillariinae) based on Combined Molecular Data Sets. Lankesteriana 13(1–2): 1–11.
  • Arévalo, R., K.Cameron & E. Christenson. 2013. Three new species of Ornithidium and Maxillaria (Maxillariinae) from Colombia: Recent discoveries from the Cordillera Occidental of the Colombian Andes. Orchids 82(1): 44–48.
  • Arévalo, R., J. Figueroa, & S. Madriñán. 2011. Anatomía foliar de ocho especies de orquídeas epífitas. Lankesteriana 11(1):39–54.
  • Arevalo R., A. Cueva, Ma.C. Lopez, J.T. Otero, J.P. Suarez & V. Vázconez. 2009. Pesebres vs. Orchids: are they compatible? Is moss presence related to the abundance and richness of epiphyte orchids?. In: Pridgeon A.M., Suárez J.P. (eds) Proceedings of the Second Scientific Conference on Andean Orchids. Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Loja, Ecuador, pp 27-31.
  • Arévalo, R. & J. Betancur. 2006. Vertical distribution of vascular epiphytes in four forest types of the Serranía de Chiribiquete, Colombian Guayana. Selbyana 27(2): 175–185.
  • Arévalo, R. & J. Betancur. 2004. Diversidad de epífitas vasculares en cuatro bosques del sector suroriental de la Serranía de Chiribiquete, Guayana Colombiana. Caldasia 26(2): 359–379.