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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