• 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 abduction, a model-based reasoning process involved in creativity and scientific discovery.


  • 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 is an overview of modern research in evolution for undergraduate students. It includes the basic concepts in evolution, the genetic basis of evolution, quantitative genetics, the logic and mesurement of natural selection, phylogenies and the comparative method, and current appplications of evolutionary knowleledge.
  • Readings in Philosophy of Science. This course consists in the review and discussion of specific problems in philosophy of science. Previous years the following topics have been analyzed: a) The historical turn in philosophy of science, b) Revolutions in Evolutionary Biology, c) Realism and Antirealism.  


  • 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