Author Archives: Rafael Medina

<span property="name">Rafael Medina</span>
Rafael Medina is Assistant Professor of Biology at Augustana College (Illinois, USA). He earned his Ph.D. at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Connecticut. His research experience focuses on the taxonomy, phylogenetics, and phylogenomics of bryophytes, but he is also interested in the broad study of biodiversity and science communication.

In some beaches of Madagascar you can find in the sand, if you are lucky, fragments of egg shells that seem oddly large. They used to be, in fact, part of huge bird eggs, massive as watermelons (and able to […]

Every single day, the scientific knowledge of the biodiversity of the planet is increased with the description of new species. All of them are, in their own terms, valuable: a new piece in the puzzle of the history of Life […]

The idea of a living fossil is rather intuitive. We think that a kind of organism deserves that denomination if it has been living in the planet during a very large period of time apparently without any change. A […]

Endemic species are part of the natural heritage of a region, and their preservation for future generations should receive the same kind of priority and public understanding as historical sites, because they share a common trait: if they disappear, they […]

The issue of the number of species on the planet always comes back to the headlines of the scientific journals. We have addressed this topic before in Mapping Ignorance focusing on a study which estimated that even in theoretically […]

Different TV shows have popularized some details of the scientific methodology used in forensics in order to unravel the circumstances of a death. Regardless of the accuracy of your favorite TV series, sources of relevant forensic information are truly diverse […]

Many organisms, such as fungi and plants without seeds, produce spores as a dispersal mechanism. Spores are usually microscopic propagules, many of them are able to resist harsh environmental conditions and successfully germinate after a long period of time. We […]

In the basement of the Prado Museum, Madrid, there is a small yet astonishing group of fresco paintings that do not receive as many visitors as other masterpieces of the collection. They were painted in the 11th century […]

Symmetry is a major trait in the architecture of the vast majority of animals: if we exclude sponges, a typical animal body plan will show one or more planes of symmetry. Radial symmetry is considered the ancestral state for the […]

The word “species” is one of the most relevant and controversial in the history of Biology and has often become the main topic of many books and articles. It seems that biologists can do their job quite well and understand […]