Escudo de la República de Colombia Escudo de la República de Colombia


Rodrigo Bernal - Ph.D., Universidad de Aarhus, 1996. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.




My main interest on plants is centered in their relation to people. Over the last 30 years I have studied palms, the most useful plant group for forest people, and one of the three families with the largest economic importance at the world level. I have studied various aspects related to the sustainable use of different palm species. In 1991 I launched a pilot project for the sustainable use of vegetable ivory, an initiative that turned an almost forgotten product into a fashionable material, whose harvest and processing generates income to many peasant families. My interest in approaching people and plants resulted in the first field guides ever produced to the plants of a protected area in Colombia (Guía de las plantas del Parque Natural Ucumarí, 1994), and in the first field guide to a family of plants in the New World (Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas, 1995).

The passion for approaching plants to people awoke my interest in common names. I started to work on a Dictionary of Common Names of Colombian plants in 1996, but he project gained momentum in 2001, when other members joined the team.



Gloria Galeano - Ph.D., Universidad de Aarhus, 1997. Profesora Asociada, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.



My research interest has focused mainly on plant taxonomy, particularly in the palm family (Arecaceae). I have also studied Colombian flora and vegetation, particularly in the Chocó region, where I have conducted also ethnobotanical studies. I am also interested in the flora of the tropical dry forests of Colombia. During the last few years I have focused on threatened plants, and have produced several Red Books of Colombian Threatened Plants.

I joined the Common Names team in 2001, being aware of the need of such a tool for environmental education and for developing a sense of ownership toward our natural resources.




Ángela Rodríguez - Bióloga, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2005



The study of plants has played a vital role in my career as a biologist, as they are the link between biological and cultural aspects. Because of this, I have focused my research projects on plant-animal, and plant-people interactions, a rich source of interdisciplinary work and a possibility of contributing to science and society.

I joined the Common Names team in 2001. I also study the breeding and management of wild Colombian bees, as well as their occurrence in urban and rural areas, and their activity in flowers.




Helena Sarmiento - Bióloga, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2005



I joined the Common Names team in 2001. I conducted my undergraduate research on plants used by Amerindian and peasant communities in an area of the Tolima Department in Colombia.


Mauricio Gutiérrez - Biólogo, Universidad de Antioquia, 2004



I am interested in plants and our relationship with them, from the point of view of popular medicine, traditional use, and prospective sustainable use. I have conducted work with peasant and Amerindian communities, a research that has revolved around common names.