9 October 2018

Invited speaker

Rodrigo will be an invited speaker at the International Conference on Biodiversity, Ecotourism, and Creative Economy, Manokwari, Indonesia, 9 October 2018.


2 October 2018

Job opportunity: New Guinea TIPAS Project Officer

We are pleased to invite applications for a 2-year Project Officer, educated to MSc level, who will contribute to the gathering, analysing and dissemination of information on Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) in Indonesian New Guinea, a part of the TIPAs Strategic Output of the Kew Science Strategy 2015–2020. The position will involve fieldwork of several months per year.

Deadline: October 21 .



27 August - 7 September 2018

Research visit - University of California Santa Barbara

Rodrigo worked with Dr. Lee Hanna and Patrick Roehrdanz to assess how projected land use change and climate change will impact New Guinea's biota. This work will pave the way for setting conservation priorities for a climate-smart protected area network in the island.


5 August 2018

Contributed Talk at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. In "Unravelling New Guinea's Plant Megadiversity" Rodrigo discussed the challenge of building the first expert-verified checklist of vascular plants in New Guinea, and outlined key shortfalls in digitally-available data.


25 May 2018

BSc thesis of Mateo Jaimes published in Caldasia. The study focuses on the knowledge and use of palms in three indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon. While palms play an important role in all three communities, there is a notable decrease in knowledge about uses associated with culture and ritual ceremonies.


M Jaimes, J Betancur & R Cámara-Leret. 2018. Palmeras útiles en tres comunidades indígenas de La Pedrera, Amazonia colombiana. Caldasia 40 (1): 183-199 PDF


30 March 2018

Letter about threats to Colombian ecosystems published in Science


OA Pérez-Escobar, R Cámara-Leret, A Antonelli, R Bateman, S Bellot, G Chomicki, AM Cleef, M Diazgranados, S Dodsworth, C Jaramillo, S Madriñan, I Olivares, A Zuluaga & R Bernal. 2018. Mining threatens Colombian ecosystems. Science. 359 (6383): 1475. PDF


26 March 2018

MSc thesis of Peter Petoe published in Kew Bulletin. A taxonomic revision is presented of the Hydriastele wendlandiana group, a well-defined species grouping within the Indo-Pacific palm genus Hydriastele that occurs in New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and northern Australia.


Peto P, R Cámara-Leret & WB Baker. 2018. A Monograph of the Hydriastele wendlandiana group (Arecaceae: Hydriastelele). Kew Bulletin 73: 17. PDF



2 January 2018

Eliane Schneider's MSc thesis published in Economic Botany. This study reappraised traditional knowledge about palms by the Chachi indigenous group in Ecuador, 30 years after the first study in 1985 on Chachi palm ethnobotany (Barfod and Balslev 1988). Today, the Chachi living in the study communities use only nine of the 14 palm species recorded in 1985 and understory palms have lost their importance as a plant resource.


Schneider E, R Cámara-Leret, A Barfod & C Weckerle. 2017. Palm use by two Chachi communities of Ecuador: a 30-year reappraisal. Economic Botany PDF

November 2017

Start of MSc project of Mr. Zhi Shee Qiang "Molecular phylogeny of Papuan Schefflera"

October 2017

Start of the Kew-Naturalis Royal Society project "Building the New Guinea Research Team" Rodrigo visited the Naturalis Biodiversity Center to work with Prof. Peter van Welzen and Dr. Niels Raes. This was a unique opportunity to consult the Leiden herbarium, library archives, meet with New Guinea experts (Dr. Wim Vink, Dr. Jan Frits Veldkamp and Dr. Max van Baalgoy) and examine ethnographic objects at Dutch museums.

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