Dr Oscar Alejandro Pérez Escobar

Research Leader

Oscar Alejandro Pérez Escobar

My research focuses on phylogenomics of the Orchidaceae, one of the most species-rich families of flowering plants, and an economically important lineage for human society. Using a combination of high-throughput sequencing and Sanger data, I am trying to assemble the orchid tree of life to understand, at shallow and deep evolutionary time, how i) did biotic and abiotic variables influence the mode and tempo of their diversification; ii) where did orchids originate and how did they colonize and diversify in different biomes. My orchid research is tightly linked to the Plant and Fungal Trees of Life strategic 2020 output. I am also using comparative genomics on modern accessions and archaeological material (ancient DNA) to understand the effects of artificial selection on the architecture of genomes through time. 

  • BSc (Hons: Agronomy Engineer), National University of Colombia, 2010
  • PhD, Ludwig Maximilians Universität (Plant Systematics and Evolution: Summa Cum Laude), 2016

Pérez-Escobar, O. A., Camara-Leret, R., Antonelli, A., Bateman, R., Bellot, S., Chomicki, G., Cleef, A., Diazgarandos, M., Dodsworth, S., Jaramillo, C., Madriñan, G., Olivares, I. & Bernal, R. (2018).

Mining threatens Colombian ecosystems.

Science 359: 1475.

Bogarín, D., Pérez-Escobar, O. A., Groenenberg, D., Holland, S.D., Karremans A., Lemmon E. M., Lemmon, A. R., Pupulin F., Smets, E. F. & Gravendeel, G. (2018).

Anchored Hybrid Enrichment generated nuclear, plastid and mitochondrial markers resolve the Lepanthes horrida (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) species complex.

Mol. Phyl. Evol. 129: 27 – 47.

Pérez-Escobar, O. A., Chomicki, G., Condamine, F.L., Karremans, A., Bogarín, D., Matzke, N.J., Silvestro, D. & Antonelli, A. (2017).

Recent origin and rapid speciation of Neotropical orchids in the world's richest plant biodiversity hotspot.

New Phyt. 215: 891-905.

Pérez-Escobar, O.A., Chomicki, G., Condamine, F., de Vos, J., Martins, A., Smidt, E., Klitgaard, B., Gerlach, G. & Heinrichs, J. (2017).

Multiple geographical origins of environmental sex determination enhanced the diversification of Darwin's favourite orchids.

Scientific Reports7: 12878 - 12890.

Pérez-Escobar, O. A., Balbuena, J. & Gottschling, M. (2016).

Rumbling orchids: how to assess divergent evolution between chloroplast endosymbionts and the nuclear host.

Syst. Biol. 65: 51-65.