The New York Botanical Garden


Fabian A. Michelangeli

Associate Curator, Institute of Systematic Botany

Ph.D., Cornell University
Ithaca, NY (2000)
Expertise: Systematics and taxonomy of Melastomataceae, ant-plant interactions, floristics of the Guayana Highlands


My research focuses on the evolution and systematics of Neotropical plants and animal-plant interactions. I have focused most of my research in the large tropical family Melastomataceae. Currently I am working on an analysis of relationships within the tribe Miconieae, using molecular, anatomy and morphological data, in collaboration with Walter Judd (University of Florida), Renato Goldenberg (Universidade Federal do Parana) and Frank Almeda (California Academy of Sciences). These phylogenies will be used for the study of character evolution within the group. I am also particularly interested in ant-plant symbiotic relationships, especially in those cases in which the ants nest on the plant, protecting the plant against herbivores (myrmecophytism). This type of associations is found in over 80 species of Melastomataceae and has evolved independently in different lineages. I am also part of a large interdisciplinary team researching the factors responsible for the origin and maintenance of biodiversity in the Atlantic Forests of eastern Brazil.

Selected Publications

For complete list see CV.

Aguirre-Santoro. J., D. W. Stevenson & F. A. Michelangeli . Molecular Phylogenetics of the Ronnbergia Alliance (Bromeliaceae, Bromelioideae) and insights about its morphological evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 100: 1-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.04.007.

Reginato, M. & F. A. Michelangeli. 2016. Untangling the phylogeny of Leandra sensu str. (Melastomataceae, Miconieae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 96: 17-32. DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.11.015. [published online December 14, 2015].

Goldenberg, R., F. Almeda, K. Sosa, R. C. Ribeiro & F. A. Michelangeli. 2015. Rupestrea: A new brazilian genus of melastomataceae , with anomalous seeds and dry indehiscent fruits. Systematic Botany 40: 561-571. DOI: 10.1600/036364415X688862.[published online August 10, 2015]

Michelangeli, F. A., W. Carmenate Reyes & K. Sosa. 2015. A synopsys of Meriania (Melastomataceae) for the Greater Antilles with emphasis on the status of the Cuban species. Brittonia 67: 118-137. DOI: 10.1007/s12228-015-9366-4 [published online February 21st 2015].

Kriebel, R., F. A. Michelangeli & L. M. Kelly. 2015. Discovery of unusual characters in the evolutionary history of Conostegia (Melastomataceae, Miconieae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 82: 289-313. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2014.09.021. Published online 19 Oct 2014.

Ocampo, G., F. A. Michelangeli & F. Almeda. 2014. Seed Diversity in the Tribe Miconieae (Melastomataceae): Taxonomic, Systematic, and Evolutionary Implications. PLOS ONE 9(6): e100561. DOI.10.1371/journal.pone.0100561

Michelangeli, F. A., P. J. F. Guimaraes, D. S. Penneys, F. Almeda & R. Kriebel. 2013. Phylogenetic relationships and distribution of New World Melastomeae (Melastomataceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 171: 38-60. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2012.01295.x.

Goldenberg, R., C. N. de Fraga, A. P. Fontana, A. N. Nicolas & F. A. Michelangeli. 2012. Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Merianthera (Melastomataceae). Taxon: 61: 1040-1056.

Trusty, J. L., A. Tye, T. M. Collins, F. A. Michelangeli, P. Madriz & J. Francisco-Ortega. 2012. Galápagos and Cocos Islands: so close and so distant. International Journal of Plant Sciences: 173: 36-53.

Michelangeli, F. A., A. Nicolas, M. E. Morales-P & H. David. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships of Allomaieta, Alloneuron, Cyphostyla and Wurdastom (Melastomataceae), and the resurrection of the tribe Cyphostyleae. International Journal of Plant Sciences 172: 1165-1178.

Penneys, D. S., F. A. Michelangeli, W. S. Judd, and F. Almeda. 2010. Henriettieae (Melastomataceae): A new Neotropical berry-fruited tribe. Systematic Botany 35: 783-800. DOI: 10.1600/036364410X539862.

Michelangeli, F. A. 2010. An annotated list and key of Neotropical Myrmecophylous Melastomataceae. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. Series 4. 61 (9): 409-449.

Galarda Varassin I., D. S. Penneys & F. A. Michelangeli. 2008. Comparative anatomy and morphology of nectar-producing Melastomataceae. Annals of Botany 102: 899-909. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcn180.

Michelangeli, F. A., W. S. Judd, D. S. Penneys, J. D. Skean, Jr., E. R. Becquer, R. Goldenberg & C. V. Martin. 2008. Multiple events of dispersal and radiation of the tribe Miconieae (Melastomataceae) in the Caribbean. Botanical Review 74: 53-77. DOI: 10.1007/s12229-008-9004-x.