• I work in the evolutionary ecology of plant-animal interactions in the Chilean Mediterranean ecosystem. More specifically, I study the complexity of the natural selection process acting upon plant and animal phenotypes in a coevolutionary framework. I focus on mutualistic (pollination, seed dispersal) and antagonistic (parasitism, flower herbivory) interactions. 
  • A complementary interest is history and philosophy of science. In particular, I am interested in the philosophy of biology and evolution, contemporary metaphysics of science, scientific ontology, and model-based reasoning. 
  • I regularly teach both for undergraduate and graduate students of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the Faculty of Science. Starting in 2019, I will also teach for graduate students in Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities.


  • Medel, R., M.A. Aizen, & R. Zamora (eds.). 2009. Ecología y Evolución de Interacciones Planta-Animal. Editorial Universitaria, Chile.
  • Latorre, G. & R. Medel. 2018. La obra científica de Andrés Bello. Editorial Universitaria.


  • Evolutionary Biology. This course forms part of the Undergraduate Program in Biology, University of Chile. It presents an overview of the conceptual, methodological and modern research in evolution, including the genetic basis of evolution, quantitative genetics, the logic and measurement of natural selection, phylogenies and the comparative method, and current appplications of evolutionary knowledge to solve contingent social issues.
  • Philosophy of Biology. This course forms part of the Graduate Program in Philosophy at University of Chile, but may be taken as an optional course by undergraduate students of Biology provided they have some background in Philosophy of Science. It focuses on the relationship between philosophy and biology by examining the role of laws, explanation, and models in biological theories in the light of contemporary advances in philosophy of science. Further topics include the notions of teleology, individuality, species, emergence, and biological ontology.  


  • Cares, R.A., C. Sáez, A. Valiente-Banuet & R. Medel & C. Botto-Mahan. 2018. Frugivory and seed dispersal in the endemic cactus Eulychnia acida: extending the anachronism hypothesis to the Chilean Mediterranean ecosystem. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural: Accepted.
  • Smith-Ramírez, C., L. Vieli, R.M. Barahona-Segovia, J. Montalva, F. Cianferoni, L. Ruz, F.E. Fontúrbel, C.E. Valdivia, R. Medel, A. Pauchard, J.L. Celis-Diez, V. Riesco, V. Monzón, F. Vivallo & M. Neira. 2018. Las razones de por qué Chile debe detener la importación del abejorro comercial Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus) y comenzar a controlarlo. Gayana: in press. PDF
  • Medel, R., C. González-Browne, D. Salazar, P. Ferrer & M. Ehrenfeld. 2018. The most effective pollinator principle applies to new invasive pollinators. Biology Letters 14: 20180132. PDF
  • Medel, R., C. González-Browne & F.E. Fontúrbel. 2018. Pollination in the Chilean Mediterranean-type ecosystem: a review of current advances and pending tasks. Plant Biology 20: 89-99. PDF
  • Murúa, M., A. Espíndola, A. González & R. Medel. 2017. Pollinators and crossability as reproductive isolation barriers in two sympatric oil-rewarding Calceolaria (Calceolariaceae) species. Evolutionary Ecology 31: 421-434. PDF
  • Fontúrbel, F.E., P. Jordano & R. Medel. 2017. Plant-animal mutualism effectiveness in native and transformed habitats: assessing the coupled outcomes of pollination and seed dispersal. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 28: 87-95. PDF
  • Fontúrbel, F.E., D.A. Salazar & R. Medel. 2017. Why mistletoes are more aggregated in disturbed forests? The role of differential host mortality. Forest Ecology and Management 394: 13-19. PDF
  • Fontúrbel, F.E. & R. Medel. 2017. Frugivore-mediated selection in a habitat transformation scenario. Scientific Reports  7:45371. PDF
  • Botto-Mahan, C., V. Campos & R. Medel. 2017. Sex-dependent infection causes non-additive effects on kissing bug fecundity. Ecology & Evolution 2017: 1-6. PDF
  • Fontúrbel, F.E., D.A. Salazar & R. Medel. 2017. Increased resource availability prevents the disruption of key ecological interactions in disturbed habitats. Ecosphere e01768. PDF