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Institut für Systematische und Evolutionäre Botanik

Rodrigo Cámara Leret

Rodrigo Cámara Leret, Prof. Dr.

Research Interests

Rodrigo's research is centered on the conservation of biological and cultural heritage. Responsible for introducing the concept of indigenous knowledge networks, he brings the human dimension into studies of ecosystem services that traditionally focused on the ecological component. Policy-relevant, his research with the provincial government of West Papua has helped identify regional-scale priorities for expanding protected areas and safeguarding biocultural heritage in the face of climate change. Firmly rooted in natural history, he has spent 30 months doing collaborative fieldwork with 28 indigenous groups in South America and New Guinea, organized capacity-building workshops across the tropics, and led a team of 99 scientists from 56 institutions to build the first expert-verified checklist of the world's richest island flora. Author of 44 papers, his work is regularly published in top scientific journals including Nature and PNAS


2023 – SNSF Starting Grant Professor, Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Zürich, Switzerland
2019 – 2022 Senior Researcher, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2016 – 2019 Early Career Researcher, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, United Kingdom
2014 – 2016 Postdoctoral Fellow, Aarhus University, Denmark
2010 – 2014 PhD in Biology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
2008 – 2010 M.Sc. in Biodiversity, Leiden University, the Netherlands

Selected publications

Full list of publications:

Biocultural vulnerability exposes threats of culturally important species
V Reyes-García*, R Cámara-Leret, B Halpern, C O'Hara, D Renard, Zafra-Calvo & S Díaz. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 120(2): e2217303120 (2023) LINK

Language extinction triggers the loss of unique medicinal knowledge
R Cámara-Leret* & J Bascompte. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 118 (24): e2103683118 (2021) LINK

New Guinea has the world's richest island flora
R Cámara-Leret*, DG Frodin, F Adema, C Anderson, MS Appelhans, G Argent, S Arias Guerrero, P Ashton, WJ Baker, AS Barfod, D Barrington, R Borosova, GLC Bramley, M Briggs, S Buerki, D Cahen, MW Callmander, M Cheek, C-W Chen, BJ Conn, MJE Coode, I Darbyshire, S Dawson, J Dransfield, C Drinkell, B Duyfjes, A Ebihara, Z Ezedin, L-F Fu, O Gideon, D Girmansyah, R Govaerts, H Fortune-Hopkins, G Hassemer, A Hay, CD Heatubun, N Hind, P Hoch, P Homot, P Hovenkamp, M Hughes, M Jebb, L Jennings, T Jimbo, M Kessler, R Kiew, S Knapp, P Lamei, M Lehnert, GP Lewis, HP Linder, S Lindsay, YW Low, E Lucas, JP Mancera, AK Monro, A Moore, DJ Middleton, H Nagamasu, MF Newman, E Nic Lughadha, PHA Melo, D Ohlsen, CM Pannell, B Parris, L Pearce, DS Penneys, LR Perrie, P Petoe, AD Poulsen, GT Prance, JP Quakenbush, N Raes, M Rodda, ZS Rogers, A Schuiteman, P Schwartsburd, RW Scotland, MP Simmons, DA Simpson, P Stevens, M Sundue, W Testo, A Trias-Blasi, I Turner, T Utteridge, L Walsingham, BL Webber, R Wei, G Weiblen, M Weigend, P Weston, W de Wilde, P Wilkie, CM Wilmot-Dear, HP Wilson, JRI Wood, L-B Zhang & PC van Welzen. Nature 584: 579–583 (2020) LINK

Climate change threatens New Guinea's biocultural heritage
R Cámara-Leret*, N Raes, P Roehrdanz, Y de Fretes, C Heatubun, L Roeble, A Schuiteman, PC van Welzen & L Hannah. Science Advances 5: eaaz1455 (2019) LINK

Information gaps in indigenous and local knowledge for science-policy assessments
R Cámara-Leret* & Z Dennehy. Nature Sustainability 2: 736–741 (2019) LINK

Indigenous knowledge networks in the face of global change
R Cámara-Leret*, M.A Fortuna & J Bascompte. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 116 (20): 9913–9918 (2019) LINK

Fundamental species traits explain provisioning services of tropical American palms
R Cámara-Leret*, S Faurby, MJ Macía, H Balslev, B Göldel, WD Kissling, N Rønsted, JC Svenning & H Saslis-Lagoudakis. Nature Plants 3 (2): 16220 (2107) LINK

Modelling responses of western Amazonian palms to soil nutrients
R Cámara-Leret, H Tuomisto, K Ruokolainen, H Balslev & S Munch Kristiansen. Journal of Ecology 105 (2): 367–381 (2017) LINK

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