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Oscar Alejandro Peréz Escobar


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Department Biologie I
Systematische Botanik und Mykologie
AG Prof. Dr. Gottschling
Menzinger Straße 67
80638 München


Fon:+49 89 17861-251
Fax:+49 89 172638
Room:230, second floor


Agronomy Engineer, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, graduated with distinctions


2011San Diego County Orchid Society: Community Building for the Conservation and Annotated List of Orchidaceae in the Tropical Cloud Forest of Dapa, Colombia (granted to Terry Lynn Gartelman; written by Edicson Parra and OP)
2012 - presentDepartamento de Ciencia y Tecnología - COLCIENCIAS: Scholarship for Doctorate studies
2013Organization of Tropical Studies: Tropical Plant Systematics course award
2014 - presentDeutsche Forschungemeinschaft (DFG): Evolution and phylogenetics of the sexually dimorphic orchid genus Cycnoches (granted to Dr. Günter Gerlach, Dr. Marc Gottschling and Prof. Dr. Frank Blattner; written, by GG, MC, FB and OP)

Ph.D. research
“The evolution and systematics of the Cycnoches orchids”

Orchids have always captured the imagination of biologists, naturalists, amateurs and lay people from around the world, due to their remarkable display of floral morphologies and reproductive strategies. With about 800 genera and 26,000 species distributed worldwide, Orchidaceae is one of the largest families of flowering plants. Orchids are also of key economic importance in many corners of the world because of their top priced horticultural varieties and their industrial applications, as is the case of the vanilla orchid. Charles Darwin, a professed orchid lover, stands as one of the major researchers in orchid pollination biology. In 1862, he studied sexual systems and the impact of self-pollination in orchids and he termed members of the subtribe Catasetinae “the most remarkable of all Orchids” (Darwin 1862, chapter VI). Darwin was bewildered with members of this charismatic Neotropical lineage because of their amazing array morphological diversity, pollination syndromes, such sexual deceit, oil and fragrance reward, and reproductive strategies.
My dissertation project deals with the evolution of the subtribe Catasetinae (Cymbidieae), with special emphasis on the sexually dimorphic genus Cycnoches. Using a wide range of phylogenetic analysis, I aim to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships within the subtribe. Based on a solid phylogenetic framework, I am interested on study the evolution of sexual systems in Catasetinae and investigate different geographic, biological and climatic factors that have shaped clade evolution between this remarkable lineage.

Catasetum hybrid

Mormodes ephippilabia

Other research interests

Orchid taxonomy

I am also interested on the taxonomy of various neotropical orchid lineages such as those belonging to the subtribes Epidendrinae (Epidendrum L.) and Pleurothallidinae (Acianthera Schw., Lepanthes Sw.). This part of my research work involves active fieldwork, focused on the endangered and poorly studied cloud forests of Colombia. Explorations carried out during several years (2008-2012) have resulted on the enrichment of local herbaria collections (VALLE, CUVC – Colombia).

Lepanthes elizabethae

Macradenia lutescens

Species delimitation using Next Generation Sequencing and Fragrance profiles on orchid species complexes

Using SNIP data generated by GBS technique and fragrance profiles analyzed using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrophotometry; we aim to bring light into the intricate relationships of several variable species from the orchid genus Cycnoches. Such species are clustered into two complexes, named C. egertonianum and C. guttulatum complexes. The former encompasses species distributed from Costa Rica to Southern Mexico, whereas the latter includes species growing in Panama and possibly in the Choco Biogeographic Colombian region. Preliminary results have shown that, individuals formerly assigned to different species (e.g. C. guttulatum, C. dianae and C. pachydactylon), might in fact by a single, quite variable specie: they share the same pollinator and fragrance profiles are very similar.

Cycnoches dianae

Cycnoches barthiorum and its pollinator



Kolanowska M., Pérez O., Parra E., Szlachetko D. (2011): An illustrated field guide to the orchids of the Yotoco Forest Reserve (Colombia). Fundacja Rozwoju Uniwerytetu Gdanskiego. Gdansk, Poland. 293 p.

Monographs – peer reviewed

Hágsater E., Santiago E., Pérez O. et al. (2014): Icones Orchidacearum Fascicle 14: The genus Epidendrum, part 10. Herbario AMO, Mexico.

Hágsater E., Santiago E., Sánchez L., Pérez O. et al. (2013): Icones Orchidacearum Fascicle 13: The genus Epidendrum, part 9. Herbario AMO, Mexico.


Pérez O., Balbuena J., Gottschling M. (in review): Rumbling orchids: How to assess divergent evolution between nuclear and chloroplast genomes.

Pérez O., Gottschling M., Whitten W, Salazar G., Gerlach G. (in review): Evolution of sexual systems in Darwin’s favorite orchids.

Irimia R., Pérez O., Gottschling M. (2014): Strong biogeographic signal in the phylogenetic relationships of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Plant Syst. Evol. 301(5)

Pérez O., Blanco M. (2014): Rediscovery of Malaxis nana (Orchidaceae: Malaxidae), in Costa Rica, with an updated description. Lankesteriana 14 (2): 119 – 114

Pérez O., Kolanowska M., Parra E. (2013): Lepanthes elizabethae (Pleurothallidinae, Orchidaceae), a new species from Colombia. Phytotaxa 79 (2): 58 – 62

Kolanowska M., Pérez O. (2012): A new species of Lockhartia (Orchidaceae) from Colombia. Systematic Botany 37 (2): 347 – 351

Kolanowska M., Pérez O., Parra E. (2012): A new species of Campylocentrum (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae) from Colombia. Lankesteriana 12 (1): 9 – 11

Ortiz P., Pérez O., Parra E. (2011): A new and distinctive species of Lepanthes (Orchidaceae) from Colombia. Orquideología 28(1):27-30.

Kolanowska M., Pérez O., Parra E. (2011): Anathallis muricaudata (Luer) Pridgeon & M.W. Chase, a rare species from the Yotoco Forest Reserve. Orquideología 28(1): 31

Pérez O., Parra E., Kolanowska M., Ortiz P. (2011): First report of Telipogon lankesteri Ames (Orchidaceae) for Colombia. Orquideología 28(1): 36 – 40.

Pérez O., Parra E. (2011): Lepanthes ortiziana (Pleurothallidinae: Orchidaceae) a new species from the cloud forest of the subandean region of Colombia. Orquideología 27 (2)

Pérez O., Pérez O., Parra E. (2010): A new species of Acianthera (Orchidaceae) from Colombia. Orquideología 27(1): 55 – 62

Pérez O., Parra E., Kolanowska M. (2010): Lepanthes caetanoae (Pleurothallidinae: Orchidaceae) a new species from the Subandean Region of Colombia. Orquideología 27(1): 46 – 54

Pérez O., Parra E., Ortiz P., Thoerle L. (2010): First report of Lepanthes stellaris Luer & Hirtz (Orchidaceae) for Colombia. Orquideología 27(1): 95 – 99

Ortiz P., Pérez O., Parra E. (2009): A new and interesting species of Lepanthes (Orchidaceae) from Colombia. Orquideología 26(2): 55 – 62

Pérez O., Parra E., Ortiz P. (2008): Orchidologic Inventory of the Yotoco Forest Reserve, Cauca Valley. Acta Agronómica 58(3): 189 – 196


Dedicatory of the species Epidendrum oscar-perezii Hágsater & E. Santiago, published in Icones Orchidacearum Vol. 14 (PDF)

Dedicatory of the species Specklinia pereziana Kolan. (now Lankesteriana barbulata (Lindl.) Karremans), published in Biodiv. Res. Conserv. 24: 19 – 22 (PDF)

Last update: 2015-05-19