Position title: Ph.D. (2008-2014)
Background & Research Interests: Rafael earned a BS degree from Universidad do los Andes in Colombia. He is interested in the evolutionary biology, systematics and taxonomy of Neotropical Orchids. “My dissertation research focuses on the orchid genus Mormolyca. My research couples molecular phylogenetic data with floral morphology and volatiles to assess the role of evolving flower form and function in the process of orchid speciation.” Rafael’s research is supported by a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.
Dissertation: “Molecular systematics, floral micro-morphology, rewards, and fragrance variation in the Neotropical orchid genus Mormolyca (Orchidaceae)”. Defended May 2013.
Current Status: Dr. Arevalo is currently employed as a research scientist in the Wood Anatomy Lab at the USDA’s Forest Products Research Laboratory in Madison, WI.