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Karin dos Santos



Tel: 08-519 551 51



Ph.D. University of Campinas, Brazil, 2003.

M.Sc. University of Campinas, Brazil, 1998.


My main duties at the department are curating South American plant collections, digitize type specimens, data registering, and coordination of Reflora Project, which is a Brazilian sponsored digitization program that currently employs three interns from Brazil, registering and digitizing Brazilian plant specimens in our collections. I am also involved in different research projects in plant community, biogeography, and systematics. Moreover, I periodically perform field collecting in order to enhance our plant collections.


My research focuses mainly on plant communities and explores ecological and evolutionary factors that promote and depress plant diversity. Some of my studies have concerned the impact of intensive land-uses and landscape configuration, such as forest fragmentation. These studies have been expanded and currently I am investigating time lagged responses to environmental changes in highly dynamic fragmented landscapes. The aim is to improve the understanding of present patters of forest diversity and composition to propose more accurate conservation strategies. I am also interested on lianas biology, taxonomy and their role on tree dynamics and forest regeneration. These lianas studies are also being held in the southeastern Brazil in cooperation with diverse Brazilians’ institutions and researchers, and deal mostly with the question whether lianas can alter tropical forest succession and maintenance. Within the evolutionary framework I am examining the biogeography of moist forest enclaves in semi-arid regions on the north of Brazil, in which the goal is to elucidate how historical climate changes contributed to the evolution and persistence of those moist forests in atypical region. Plant evolution is also the focus in the study of the generic limits of Neotropical Chrysophylloideae (Sapotaceae).

Overall, my main concern as a researcher is to investigate impacts of global changes on long-term maintenance of biodiversity, willing to contribute to afford scientific basis for more effective conservation plans and policies.


Project I. Species diversity and origin of Brazilian enclaves of moist forests (in progress), in collaboration with Ivan Jeferson Sampaio Diogo (PhD student, State University of Campinas -UNICAMP), Prof. Itayguara Ribeiro da Costa (Federal University of Ceará -UFC), and Prof. Flavio Antonio Maes dos Santos (State University of Campinas - UNICAMP).

Project II. Generic limits and a new classification of Neotropical Chrysophylloideae (Sapotaceae) (in progress), in collaboration with Dr. Ulf Swenson (Swedish Museum of Natural History) and Dr. Aparecida D. de Faria (University of Londrina –UEL).

Project III. Reflora Project, digitizing Brazilian specimens in The Swedish Museum of Natural History (S) (in progress), in collaboration with Prof. Rafaela Forzza (The Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden - JBRJ).

Project IV. Ecology and taxonomy of vines in semideciduous forests in the southeastern Brazil with a focus on Bignoniaceae (in progress), in collaboration with Prof. Andréia A. Rezende (University of São Paulo – UNESP) and Dr. Arildo Dias (Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group, Wageningen University).

Project V. Landscape ecology of semideciduous forest fragments in the southeastern Brazil (in progress), in collaboration with Heather Woods (PhD student, Stockholm University) and Prof. Flavio Antonio Maes dos Santos (State University of Campinas - UNICAMP).

Selected Publications

Dias, A.S., Santos, K., Santos, F.A.M., Martins, F.R. 2017. How liana loads alter tree allometry in tropical forests. Plant Ecology, 218(2), 119-125. DOI 10.1007/s11258-016-0671-0

Santos, K. 2016. Brazilian plant specimens at the Regnellian herbarium: history and repatriation. Rodriguésia 67(4): 879-892.

Rezende, A.A., Melis, J., Dias, A.S., Santos, K. 2015 Lianas: Métodos de Amostragem e Estudo de Caso. In: J.M. Felfili; P.V. Eisenlohr; M.M.R.F. Melo; L.A.Andrade; J.A.A. Meira Neto. (Org.). Fitossociologia no Brasil: Métodos e Estudos de Casos. 1ed. Viçosa: Editora UFV, 2011, p. 372-387.

Santos, K., Kinoshita, L.S. and Rezende, A.A. 2009. Species composition of climbers in seasonal semideciduous forest fragments of Southeastern Brazil. Biota Neotropica 9(4): 175-188. ISSN 1676-0603

Santos, K., Kinoshita, L.S. and Santos, F.A.M. 2006. Tree species composition and similarity in semideciduous forest fragments of southeastern Brazil. Biological Conservation 135: 268-277. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2006.10.027

Santos, K.; Kinoshita, L.S. 2003 Floristic composition of the woody flora of the Ribeirão Cachoeira forest, Campinas, São Paulo State, a semideciduous tropical forest in Southeastern Brazil. Acta Botanica Brasilica 17: 325-341.