Santiago Ramirez

image of Santiago Ramirez

Assistant Professor


Center for Population Biology
Evolution and Ecology

Offices and Labs

4337 Storer Hall


2008 Ph.D. Harvard University
2001 B.Sc. Universidad de los Andes

Research Contribution

More than 80% of the ~300,000 species of angiosperms on Earth exhibit adaptations for pollination by insects, and thus most terrestrial ecosystems depend on insect pollination services. Nonetheless, our understanding of how plant-pollinator mutualisms diversified, coevolved, and assembled into ecological networks remains surprisingly limited. Our research focuses on understanding the ecological, evolutionary, and genetic mechanisms of adaptation among plant-pollinator mutualisms. We integrate genomic, chemical, and behavioral approaches to elucidate the evolutionary origin and the ecological function of both insect and plant adaptations.

Research Interests

Evolution, adaptation, and speciation of plant-pollinator mutualisms. Comparative and population genomics of bees and their associated host plants. Phylogenetics, chemical ecology, neuroethology, and natural history of insect-plant interactions.


David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellow (2014-2019)
NSF-DEB (Sole PI) Functional, Genomic and Evolutionary Analysis of Chemical Courtship Signals in Euglossine Bees (2015-2019)

Department and Center Affiliations

Center for Population Biology

Field Sites

Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, US (California, Florida)

Teaching Interests

Ecological Genomics, Evolution, Comparative Methods.


EVE EVE101 Evolution (Fall)


8/9/2013 3:28:18 PM
  • Ramírez, SR, C Hernandez, A Link, MM Lopez-Uribe, (2015) Seasonal cycles, phylogenetic assembly, and functional diversity of orchid bee communities Ecology and Evolution 5(9):1896-1907

  • Karban R, WC Wetzel, K Shiojiri, S Ishizaki, SR Ramírez,JD Blande (2014) Deciphering the language of plant communication: volatile chemotypes of sagebrush. New Phytologist 204: 380-385

  • Dong-Hwan, C, SR Ramírez , ND Tsutsui (2012) A silica gel based method for extracting insect surface hydrocarbons. Journal of Chemical Ecology 38:176-187

  • Pringle EG, SR Ramírez, TC Bonbroke, DM Gordon, R Dirzo (2012) Cryptic diversity and population structure in widespread Azteca plant-ants from the northern Neotropics. Molecular Ecology21:3576-3592

  • Ramírez SR , T Eltz, MK Fujiwara, B Goldman-Huertas, G Gerlach, ND Tsutsui, NE Pierce (2011) Asynchronous diversification in a specialized plant-pollinator mutualism. Science 333:1742-1746 PDF
  • Ramírez SR , T Eltz, F Fritzsch, R Pemberton, EG Pringle, ND Tsutsui (2010) Intraspecific geographic variation of fragrances acquired by orchid bees in native and introduced populations. Journal of Chemical Ecology 36: 873-884 PDF
  • Ramírez SR , DW Roubik, C Skov, NE Pierce (2010) Phylogeny, diversification patterns and historical biogeography of euglossine orchid bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 100(3): 552-572 PDF
  • Ramírez SR , C Nieh, TB Quental, DW Roubik, VL Imperatriz-Fonseca, NE Pierce (2010) A molecular phylogeny of the stingless bee genus Melipona (Hymenoptera: Meliponini). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56(2): 519-525
  • Ramírez SR (2009) Orchid bees. Current Biology 19(2):1061-1063. [PDF]
  • Zimmermann, Y, SR Ramírez , T Eltz (2009) Chemical niche differentiation among sympatric orchid bees. Ecology 90(11): 2994-3008. PDF
  • Ramírez, SR, B Gravendeel, RB Singer, CR Marshall, NE Pierce (2007) Dating the origin of the Orchidaceae from a fossil orchid with its pollinator. Nature 448:1042-1045 PDF