Oscar M Vargas

My research focuses on understating spatio-temporal patterns of plant evolution in the Neotropics by incorporating phylogenomics, comparative phylogentics, and biogeography. Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, supervised by Kathleen Kay, working and NSF-funded grant (Dimensions of Biodiversity), which aims to understand tropical plant speciation using the plant genus Costus as model.

I obtained my B.S. (2005) and my M.S. (2008) at the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, under the guidance of Santiago Madriñán. In 2016, I completed my Ph.D in Plant Biology at The University of Texas at Austin under the supervision of Beryl Simpson. During 2016-2018, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan working with Christopher Dick and Stephen Smith. In Michigan, I helped develop the Lecythidaceae family of trees as a model to understand the evolution of tree diversity in Amazon forests.

A good part of this website is devoted to the systematics and evolution of the genera Diplostephium and Piofontia, which were my model organisms for my M.S. my Ph.D. dissertations.

Please be aware that the genus Diplostephium has been split in two with numerous species being transferred to Piofontia (see Vargas et al 2017, Vargas 2018). I am slowly making changes to the species lists and photos to reflect these taxonomical changes.

Download my CV.