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Ph.D., University of Georgia (2001)

Research Interest

Tropical streams are diverse and complex ecosystems inhabited by great variety of organisms. My laboratory group works on four main topics:

  1. Understanding the dynamics of tropical streams and how they are affected by climate change. The research is based in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. In Puerto Rico, we are assessing the effects for droughts and hurricanes, both forecasted to become more intense.  In Costa Rica, we are studying the importance of episodic acidification, climate patterns, and inputs of solute-rich groundwater on stream ecosystem processes and on aquatic macroinvertebrates.
  2. Understanding urban streams as ecosystems. We study urban streams in Puerto Rico, a highly urbanized tropical island, which provides valuable information of relevance to other tropical locations. We are also starting a research program focused on urbanization and streams in North Carolina.
  3. Understanding the aquatic biodiversity and stream ecosystem function in fragmented tropical landscapes.  We mostly work in cloud forest in Mexico, where streams drain a mosaic of forest and agricultural land uses.
  4. Advancing the taxonomy of aquatic insects, in particular dragonflies and damselflies (order Odonata). We focus on describing the larval stages of Odonata and also in creating identification tools (e.g., manuals, photographic guides) to facilitate research with aquatic organisms.

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Selected Publications

Gutiérrez-Fonseca, P.E., A. Ramírez, C.M. Pringle. 2018. Large-scale climatic phenomena drive fluctuations in macroinvertebrate assemblages in lowland tropical streams, Costa Rica: The importance of ENSO events in determining long-term (15y) patterns. PLOS ONE 13(2): e0191781.

García, P., R. Novelo-Gutiérrez, G. Vázquez, & A. Ramírez. 2016. Allochthonous vs. autochthonous energy resources for aquatic insects in cloud forest streams, Veracruz, Mexico. Hidrobiológica 26 (3): 483-496.

Wehrtmann, I. S., A. Ramírez, & O. Pérez-Reyes. 2016. Freshwater Decapod Diversity and Conservation in Central America and the Caribbean. In: T. Kawai and N. Cumberlidge (eds.). A Global Overview of the Conservation of Freshwater Decapod Crustaceans. (pp. 267-301): Springer.

Novelo-Gutiérrez, R., A. Ramírez, & D. Delgado. 2016. The larvae of Epigomphus jannyae Belle, 1993 and E. tumefactus Calvert, 1903 (Insecta: Odonata: Gomphidae) PeerJ 4:e2338

Ramírez, A., M. Ardón, M. M. Douglas, & M. A. S. Graça. 2015. Tropical freshwater sciences: an overview of ongoing tropical research. Freshwater Sciences 34(2): 606-608.

Ramírez, A. & P.E. Gutiérrez-Fonseca. 2014. Functional feeding groups of aquatic insect families in Latin America: a critical analysis and review of existing literature. Revista de Biología Tropical 62(Sup.2): 155-167.


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