Curriculum vitae

Montserrat Rios

Ethnobotany and Socio-environmental Development

Quito, Ecuador
E-mail: plantasutilesdeltropico@gmail.com

Specialities: Tropical Ethnobotany, Socio-environmental Development, and Useful Plants in Amazonia

Education
  • B.Sc. 1988 Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.
  • M.Sc. 1994 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, D.F., México.
  • Ph.D. 2002 Núcleo de Altos Estudos Amazônicos, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belem, Brazil.
Teaching experience

Dr. Montserrat Rios believes in developmental interventions of science, fairness of relations between local people and ethnobotanists in any given society, careful considerations of practical and long-term implications of scientific contributions, and the empowerment of the powerless with their ancestral wisdom and collective capacity. She has taught Medicinal Plants, Applied Botany, Biology, Nature and Sustainability, Useful Plants of Ecuador, and 25 Ethnobotany courses and seminars to students, indigenous peoples, Afro-Latin American groups, mestizo populations, small-farmers, and university teachers in Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia. Her ethnobotanical experience, research and education had taken her to 12 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, England, India, Mexico, Peru, Spain, and the United States of America.

Research interests

Montserrat Rios’ research on Tropical Ethnobotany, is mostly focused on the linkages between wisdom and plant resources, the value of wild edible plants in food patterns, and the ancestral practices associated to medicinal plants. She also pursues an active interest in economic botany, ecology restoration with useful plants, fair biotrade and sustainable development, and qualitative and quantitative methods applied to ethnobotany. Her areas of research have included tropical valuable plants of secondary vegetation, ethnobotany and socio-environmental development, ancestral wisdom and medicinal plants of high Andean indigenous people, food patterns in Amazonian populations, inventory of useful plants of Ecuador, Amazonian home gardens, design and establishment of ethnobotanical gardens, gender and ethnobotany, and ethical frameworks that surround traditional knowledge for long-term conservation. During her career she studied plant use and non-timber forest products in mainland and flood-plain forests used by Awa, A’I Cofán, Kichwa, Shuar, Waorani, and Zapara nations in Ecuador; medicinal plants to treat malaria among Wanano and Kubeo indigenous in Colombia; application of rapid ethnobotanical appraisal techniques in small communities located in West Bengal, India; and fresh medicinal plants sold in local markets in Ecuador and Mexico.

Her dissertation examined the utilization of natural resources of secondary vegetation by a small-farmers population in the Brazilian Amazon, and elucidated through life histories analysis and mathematical models how medicinal and edible plants are used by women and men, as well as their knowledge of plant life cycles and classification of Capoeira ecotones.

Recent publications

Principal author of 5 books, principal editor of 8 books, coauthor or coeditor of 2 books, and 23 papers, of which the following are representative of her work and interests:

  • Rios, M. & A. Mora (Eds.). 2014. Acceso a Recursos Genéticos en América Latina y el Caribe: Investigación, Comercialización y Cosmovisión Indígena (Access to genetic resources in Latin America and the Caribbean: Research, commercialization and indigenous worldview). UICN-PNUMA/GEF-ABS-LAC. Quito, Ecuador. 116 pp.

  • Rios, M. & A. Mora (Eds.). 2013. Seis estudios de caso en América Latina y el Caribe: Acceso a Recursos Genéticos y Distribución de Beneficios (Six case studies in Latin America and the Caribbean: Access to genetic resources and benefit sharing). UICN-PNUMA/GEF-ABS-LAC. Quito, Ecuador. 120 pp.

  • Rios, M. & J.I. Ramírez (Eds.). 2012. Saberes Waorani y Parque Nacional Yasuní: plantas, salud y bienestar en la Amazonía del Ecuador (Waorani wisdoms and Yasuni National Park: Plants, health and wealth in the Ecuadorian Amazon). Iniciativa Yasuní ITT, Ministerio Coordinador de Patrimonio, Ministerio del Ambiente, Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) y Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial (FNAM). Quito, Ecuador. 118 pp.

  • Rios, M. 2011. Benefits of plants in secondary forest. En: P. Shanley, M. Cymers, M. Serra y G. Medina (Eds.), Fruits trees and useful plants in Amazonian life. FAO, CIFOR and People and Plants International. Roma, Italia. P. 260.

  • Granizo, T. & M. Rios (Eds.). 2011. Aprovechamiento económico del bioconocimiento, los recursos genéticos, las especies y las funciones ecosistémicas en el Ecuador (Economic Benefit of Bioknowledge, Genetic Resources, Species and Ecosystem Functions in Ecuador). Ministerio Coordinador de Patrimonio. Quito, Ecuador. 120 pp.

  • Rios, M.; V. Yanchaliquín; M.B. Páez y X. Haro-Carrión. 2009. Plantas medicinales de Salinas de Guaranda, Provincia de Bolívar, Ecuador (Medicinal Plants of Salinas of Guaranda, Bolivar Province, Ecuador). Fundación Pachamama y Ediciones Abya-Yala. Quito, Ecuador. 106 pp.

  • Rios, M. 2007. La Etnobotánica en el Ecuador: síntesis, retos y perspectivas/Ethnobotany in Ecuador: Synthesis, Challenges, and Perspectivas. En: Rios, M.; M. Koziol; H. Borgtoft Pedersen & G. Granda (Eds.), Plantas útiles del Ecuador: aplicaciones, retos y perspectivas/Useful plants of Ecuador: applications, challenges, and perspectives. Ediciones Abya-Yala. Quito, Ecuador. Pp.: 17-49.

  • Rios, M.; M. Koziol; H. Borgtoft Pedersen & G. Granda (Eds.). 2007. Plantas útiles del Ecuador: aplicaciones, retos y perspectivas/Useful Plants of Ecuador: Applications, Challenges, and Perspectives. Ediciones Abya-Yala. Quito, Ecuador. 652 pp.

  • Rios, M. 2006. 3ª ed. Naturaleza y Sostenibilidad (Nature and Sustainability). Corporación para el Desarrollo de la Educación y Universidad Tecnológica del Ecuador. Quito, Ecuador. 73 pp.

  • Rios, M.; M. dos Reis Cordeiro & Comunidad Benjamin Constant. 2002. Guía etnobotánica de la comunidad Benjamin Constant, Estado de Pará, Brasil (Ethnobotany Guide of the Benjamin Constant Community, Pará State, Brazil). The Field Museum. Chicago, United States of America. 150 pp.

  • Rios, M.; R.C.V. Martins-da-Silva; C. Sabogal; J. Martins, R. Nonato de Silva, R. Ribeiro de Brito, I. Matos de Brito, M. de F. Costa de Brito, J. Ribamar da Silva e R.T. Ribeiro. 2001. Benefícios das plantas da capoeira para pequenos agricultores da Região Bragantina, Pará, Amazônia brasileira (Benefits of the useful plants of Capoeira for the small-farmers of the Bragantine Region of the Brazilian Amazonia in Pará State). CIFOR, DFID, and Embrapa-CPATU. Belém, Brazil. 52 pp.

  • Friedman, J.; D. Bolotin; M. Rios; P. Mendosa; Y. Cohen & M. Balick. 1993. A novel method for identification and domestication of indigenous useful plants in Amazonian Ecuador. Progress in New Crops. Wiley Press. New York, United States of America. Pp.: 167-174.