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Jaramillo, Carlos

Staff Scientist

palynology, paleobotany, paleontology, biostratigraphy, paleobiology.

International Audience Summary of Expertise

  • Carlos Jaramillo studies patterns of plant diversity and investigates their relationship to climate change. As a paleobotanist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, his research focuses on the evolution of tropical landscapes and its biota throughout geological history. These studies have taken him primarily to Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, and Brazil. Carlos uses paleontological research to explore the important role the tropics play in regulating the global climate. He studies how changes in the distant past suggest ways to manage the consequences of global change today.

    Carlos also led the expedition that discovered the fossils of the Titanoboa-the world's largest snake. The Smithsonian produced a full-scale model replica of the snake displayed in Grand Central Station in New York City and a television show on the Smithsonian Channel, Titanoboa: Monster Snake.

    Carlos received his PhD from the University of Florida in Geology and Botany in 1999. After more than a decade as a paleobotanist, he still feels: "The excitement of finding a fossil is like nothing else. You realize how lucky we are to be here on this planet."

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