Carlos R. Ramírez, Ph. D.

Carlos through the years

Español / Spanish

Under Construction

Department of Biology Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, CT 06515 U.S.A.
Office: Jennings Hall 226 Assistant Professor of Botany
Tel. (203) 392-6217 Tropical Plant Ecology
Fax. (203) 392-5364 Ethnobotany
E-mail: Urban Botany


Ph.D. 2001. Biology. Plant Sciences Subprogram, The City University of New York

& The Graduate Studies Program of The New York Botanical Garden, NY

M. Phil. 1996 Biology The Graduate School and The University Center. CUNY, NY

M. Sc. 1992 Botany and Plant Pathology Michigan State University, MI

B. A. 1989 Biology Lehman College, The City University of New York, NY


Why am I a Scientists?

Biodiversity Counts: The American Museum of Natural History

What have I done for Biodiversity?

How do I contribute to the future of ETHNOBIOLOGY?

For NSF White Paper Click Here


Undergarduate Courses

Biology 101
Botany (non-majors) 3 Credits Fall '06
Biology 103
Botany (majors)

4 Credits

Sp. '05
Biology 230
Morphology of Vascular Plants 4 Credits    
Biology 232
Morphology of Non-Vascular Plants 4 Credits    
Biology 350
Anatomy of Vascular Plants 4 Credits    
Biology 455
Taxonomy of Vascular Plants 4 Credits    
Biology 495
Departmental Honors 3 Credits    
Biology 499
Independent Study and Research in Plant Sciences 1 Credit    


Graduate Courses

Biology 507
Ethnobotany 3 Credits

Biology 508

Tropical Plant Ecology

3 Credits

Biology 514 Urban Botany 3 Credits
Biology 560 General Topics Seminar 1 Credit
Biology 561
Special Topics Seminar 1 Credit
Biology 600
Independent Study and Research in Plant Sciences Up to 3 Credits

Summer Couses

Field Ethnobotany, Panama Institute of Troppical Ecology and Conservation (session c)
Tropical Plant Taxonomy, Panama Institute of Troppical Ecology and Conservation (Session b)



Tropical Forest Ecology, Conservation and Management

My interest in this topic stems from the fact that tropical forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate and in many cases we do not know what exactly is lost. My studies include tropical forest inventories in permanent study plots. The Human-Forest relation is a major component of my studies, including the impact of urbanization, development, and poversty. The management of tropical areas is critical for the proper maintenance, conservation and use of the resources found in these ecosystems. A long term project is underway at El Imposible National Park (managed by SalvaNATURA) in El Salvador, C. A.  A new project is to begin in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institute in Bocas del Toro Biological Station on Isla Colón, Panama.

Paleoethnobotany in Mesoamerica

I study plant remains found in archeological sites in Mesoamerica like "Joya de Ceren," the Popeii of Latin America. This research helps understand the uses of plants in antiquity by giving us an idea of people's diets, possible agricultural practices and uses of natural resources. This work is done in collaboration with Dr. David Lentz of the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY (now at the Chicago Botanic Garden).

Biocultural Diversity and Medicinal Plants in Meso and South America

In my laboratory, the study of medicinal plants is a major component. Particularly, tropical plants from Central America are tested for antimicrobial activity. Currently, the focus of my studies includes 1) medicinal plants used by midwives 2) market studies to determine the origin, use, preparation and trade of medicinal plants in El Salvador and Perú, medicinal plants used by a Shipibo family in Pucallpa, Peru, 4) shamnism in Iquitos, Peru 5) the ethnobiology of Aristolochia salvadornsis Stdl. (Aristolochiaceae) and 6)  a new project is being established in collaboation with the Shaman Association of the Naso or Teribe Community in Sey Kjin, Panama. The most recent project will be done with the Emberá people in the Darien Provonce of Panama in collaboration with the local "chamanes."

Shamanism in Peru

I am currently conducting a study of how Mestizo shamans use plants in Northern Peru. This work in done in collaboration with Don Antonio Barrera Banda of Iquitos (founder os Trocha Amazónica). The main goal of this work is to understand how shamans identify, collect, process, and manage the populatins of medicinal plants used in their practice. To accomplish this task, interviews are done in the field and home to then map using GPS the plant populations maintained by the shamans at home or in the wild. Another important componet of this study is the interface of diagnozing and prescribing of medicinal plants though visions and how this methodology correlates to scientific methods. In the end, Don Antonio and myself intend to contribute to the Building Bridges with Traditinal Knowlege idea.

All these projects are done under the premise that Traditional Knowledge is not a commodity and that the respect for the Intellectual Property Rights of indigenous communities are not negotiable nor for sale.



Ramirez-Sosa, C. R. 2006. Quantitative ethnobotany in El Salvador, Central America: a model to study ethnobotanical knowledge dynamics. Preceedings of the IVth International Congress of Ethnobotany (ICEB 2005). In press.

Yates, S. and C. R. Ramírez-Sosa. 2004. Ethnobotanical Knowledge of Brosimum Alicastrum Sw. (Moraceae) Among Urban And Rural El Salvadorian Adolescents. Economic Botany 58(1): 72-77.

Ramirez-Sosa, C. R. et. al.  2003.  Ethnobiology Group 2003.  Intellectual Imperatives in Ethnobiology.  The National Science Foundation, Biocomplexity Report.  Missouri Botanical Garden. St. Louis. MO. 10 pg.

Ramirez-Sosa, C. R. 2003.  Common Plant of El Imposible National Park.  Chapter (with 60 photographs) in Komar, O., Editor.  Guide to El Impobible National Park and its Wildlife.  Spanish/English.  SalvaNATURA, Ecological Foundation of El Salvador. San Salvador, El Salvador

Lentz, D. L. and C. R. Ramírez-Sosa. 2001. Chapter 4: Cerén Plant Resources: Abundance and Diversity, in Sheets, Payson. 2002, Editor. Before the Volcano Erupted : The Ancient Cerén Village in Central America. University of Texas Press.

Lentz, D., C. R. Ramírez-Sosa & B. W. Griscom 1997. Formative- period subsistence and extraction of forest products at he Yarumela Site, Honduras. Ancient Mesoamerica 8: 63-74.

Ramírez-Sosa, C. R., D. Lentz & B. W. Griscom. 1996. Paleoethnobotanical investigations of the Formative Period of the Yarumela Site, Honduras. Yaxquín (Boletín Informative del Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia) XIV (1 & 2): 74-95. In Spanish.

Ramírez-Sosa, C. R. & O. Komar. 1996. Biodiversity Conservation Plan for El Imposible National Park, Ahuachapán, El Salvador, C.A. (in Spanish). USAID-El Salvador, Green Project. Consulting Collection. San Salvador, El Salvador, C. A.

De Soyza, A. G., D. T. Kincaid, & C. Ramírez-Sosa. 1990. Variability of leaf chlorophyll content in a population of Sassafras. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Society 117(2): 167-172.



2005-The National Geographic Society.  Biocultural Conservation of the Naso (Teribe) people of Panama, Central America, ($6,004).  Pre-proposal accpeted for full submission.

2005- The National Geographic Society, Who did the Spaniards encountered? Paleoethnobotany on the Isla Colón, Bocas del Toro, Panama. ($15,000).  In review.

2005- University Reaserach Grant-CSU- AAUP. Biocultural Diversity in Panama: The Naso-Teribe people of the Talamanca Mountains. ($5,000). In review.

2005- Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee, Southern Connecticut State University. Cultural diversity and Conservation in El Salvador: Ethnobotany of the Maya, Pipil, and Lenca.  In review.

2002 - P.I. John Ben Snow Memorial Trust Public/Private Learning Collaborations. Technology, Science and the Preservation of Mohawk Culture in Northern New York.

2002 - P.I. New York Science Education Program Undergraduate Research Opportunity. Pollination Biology of an Endemic Medicinal Plant in Central America: Aristolochia salvadorensis (Aristolochiaceae).

2002 - Merck /AAAS Summer Research Program, St. Lawrence University

2001 - Merck /AAAS Summer Research Program, St. Lawrence University

2001 - Large Grant. Faculty and Development and Teaching Committee. Market Ethnobotany in the Peruvian Amazon: Iquitos and Pucallpa. July-August.

2001 - Technology for Teaching Project Opportunities (TTP). The Development of an Interactive Science CD-ROM for Teaching about Biological Diversity.

2000 - Merck /AAAS Summer Research Program, St. Lawrence University. “An ecological and ethnobotanical inventory of a Central American Pacific Coast Mixed Forest fragment, El Amatal, San Diego, El Salvador.” ($6.690)

2000 - International and Intercultural Studies Program. . “An ecological and ethnobotanical inventory of a Central American Pacific Coast Mixed Forest fragment, El Amatal, San Diego, El Salvador.” ($3,000).

1999 - Co-PI. Food and Pharmacopoeia of the Ancient Maya: Paleoethnobotany at Cerén. The National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration. Washington, D.C.

1998 - Co-PI. Food and Pharmacopoeia of the Ancient Maya: Paleoethnobotany at Cerén. The Heinz Foundation Pittsburgh, PA.



Society for Economic Botany

Organization for Tropical Studies

Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation (Founding Member)

Society of Ethnobiology

Ecological Society of America