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headshot of Diego Salazar Amoretti

Diego Salazar Amoretti

Assistant Professor

Biological Sciences


Diego Salazar Amoretti's research examines the mechanisms that forge and maintain the remarkable diversity of plants. 

Specifically, his research centers around three main themes: 

  1. The role that chemical diversity plays in plant species interactions and species coexistence
  2. How plant-specialized metabolites help mediate the effects of climate change on species interactions
  3. The mechanisms behind the evolution of plant specialized metabolites.

Every species must use, overcome or circumvent chemical compounds in order to complete their life cycle. Plants, in particular, face an unparalleled diversity of natural enemies, likely exerting an equally diverse range of evolutionary pressures and ecological challenges. To overcome these challenges, plants are armed with rich and diverse chemical arsenals, a unique chemical fingerprint that reveals much about their evolutionary histories. Salazar Amoretti approaches the study of plant chemistry at the species, community and evolutionary levels, focusing on species-rich plant genera. His work integrates experimental field ecology, analytical chemistry, metabolomics, machine learning and applied phylogenetics, all built on the cornerstone of natural history.


    • PhD, University of Saint Louis-Missouri (Christensen Fund for Plant Conservation fellow
    • BS, Universidad de Costa Rica
    • Postdoctoral fellowship, University of California Berkeley

    Research Interests

    • Plant chemical ecology and evolution
    • Tropical plant ecology and evolution
    • Plant species interactions