Skip to main content

Rachel Jabaily

Rachel Jabaily

Assistant Professor

She/her/hers pronouns

Activities & Interests

Research Interests

I am a proud botanist and evolutionary biologist. My research generates phylogenies, or models of evolutionary relationships built from molecular data, to test hypotheses about where, when, and how various groups of flowering plants evolved. My main study groups are the primarily Australian plant family Goodeniaceae and the New World tropical Bromeliaceae. My research has implications for taxonomy (the naming of species and genera), and conservation. I am starting a new research project on life history evolution in Bromeliaceae involving greenhouse experiments at Colorado College and fieldwork in Florida. I love working with undergraduates, and collaborators locally, across the US, and around the world. 

Personal Interests

I love botanizing and learning the flora of Colorado.

I promote the liberal arts within botany, and I seek to increase inclusion, intersectionality, and social justice.

I enjoy hiking, cooking, yoga, knitting, and spending time with my family.


Jabaily, R.S., K.A. Shepherd, P.S. Michener*, C.J. Bush*, R. Rivero*, A.G. Gardner, & E.B. Sessa. 2018. Employing hypothesis testing and data from multiple genomic compartments to resolve recalcitrant backbone nodes in Goodenia s.l. (Goodeniaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 127: 502-512.

Shepherd, K.A., Wege, J.A., & R.S. Jabaily. 2017. Proposal to conserve the name Goodenia (Goodeniaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 66 (3): 757-758.

Gardner, A.G., J.N. Fitz Gerald, J. Menz*, K.A. Shepherd, D.G. Howarth, &R.S. Jabaily. 2016. Characterizing floral symmetry in the Core Goodeniaceae with geometric morphometrics. PLoS ONE 11(5): e0154736. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154736

Gardner A.G., E.B., Sessa, P. Michener*, E.A. Johnson*, K.A. Shepherd, D.G. Howarth & R.S. Jabaily. 2016. Utilizing next-generation sequencing to resolve the backbone of the Core Goodeniaceae and inform future taxonomic and floral form studies. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 94: 605-17. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.10.003

Evans, T.E., R.S. Jabaily, A.P. Gelli de Faria, L.O.F. de Sousa, T. Wendt, & G.K. Brown. 2015. Phylogenetic relationships in Bromeliaceae subfamily Bromelioideae based on chloroplast DNA sequence data.Systematic Botany 40(1): 116-128. doi: 10.1600/036364415X686413

Jabaily, R.S., K.A. Shepherd, A.G. Gardner, M.H.G. Gustafsson, D.G Howarth. & T.J. Motley. 2014. Historical biogeography of the predominantly Australian plant family Goodeniaceae. Journal of Biogeography 41(11): 2057-2067 doi: 10.1111/jbi.12363

Givnish, T.J., M.H.J. Barfuss, B. VanEe, R. Riina, K. Schulte, R. Horres, P.A. Gonsiska, R.S. Jabaily, D.M. Crayn, J.A.C. Smith, K. Winter, G.K. Brown, T.M. Evans, B.K. Holst, H. Luther, W. Till, G. Zizka, P.E. Berry and K.J. Sytsma. 2014. Adaptive radiation, correlated and contingent evolution, and net species diversification in Bromeliaceae.Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71: 55-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2013.10.010

Jabaily, R.S. and K.J. Sytsma. 2013. Historical biogeography and life-history evolution of the Andean Puya (Bromeliaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 171: 201-224.  doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2012.01307.x

Jabaily, R.S., K.A. Shepherd, M.H.G. Gustafsson, L.W. Sage, S.L. Krauss, D.G. Howarth and T.J. Motley. 2012. Systematics of the Austral-Pacific family Goodeniaceae- Establishing a taxonomic and evolutionary framework. Taxon 61: 419-436.

Givnish, T.J., M.H.J. Barfuss, B. VanEe, R. Riina, K. Schulte, R. Horres, P.A. Gonsiska, R.S. Jabaily, D.M. Crayn, J.A.C. Smith, K. Winter, G.K. Brown, T.M. Evans, B.K. Holst, H. Luther, W. Till, G. Zizka, P.E. Berry and K.J. Sytsma. 2011. Phylogeny, adaptive radiation and historical biogeography in Bromeliaceae: insights from an 8-locus plastid phylogeny. American Journal of Botany 98 (5): 872-895. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1000059

Jabaily, R.S. and K.J. Sytsma. 2010. Phylogenetics of Puya (Bromeliaceae): placement, major lineages and evolution of Chilean species.American Journal of Botany 97(2): 337-356. doi: 10.3732/ajb.0900107

Cano Flores, N*. and R.S. Jabaily. 2010. New localities and taxonomic synopsis of Puya mima (Bromeliaceae), a charismatic and importantPuya from central Peru. Journal of the Bromeliad Society 60(3) 115-120.

Prychid, C.J., R.S. Jabaily, and P.J. Rudall. 2008.  Cellular ultrastructure and crystal development in Amorphophallus (Araceae).  Annals of Botany 101: 983-995. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcn022

Katinas L, J.V. Crisci  R.S. Jabaily , C.L.*Williams, J.B. Walker, B. Drew, J.M. Bonifacino and K.J. Sytsma.  2008.  Evolution of secondary heads in Nassauviinae (Asteraceae, Mutisieae).  American Journal of Botany 95(2): 229-240.  doi: 10.3732/ajb.95.2.229


Regular Classes

BE105- Biology of Plants

BE202- Field Botany

BE415- Evolutionary Biology

BE440- Special Topics: Biogeography & Phylogenetics


    PhD Botany 2009 - Univ. Wisconsin-Madison

    BS Botany 2004 - Univ. Wyoming