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Santiago Ramirez

Assistant Professor

Evolution and Ecology

4337 Storer Hall


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

Research Contribution to Society:

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.

Department and Center Affiliations:

Center for Population Biology


Last updated 8/9/2013
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

Field Sites:

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

Teaching Interests:

Ecological Genomics, Evolution, Comparative Methods.