Betsabé D. Castro Escobar

PhD Candidate


Research Interests

Betsabé D. Castro Escobar is a Puerto Rican, Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, Black, Indigenous, woman of color. She is also a scientist, activist, educator, and communicator. As an interdisciplinary scientist, her work lies at the intersection of ethnobotany, ecology, and evolutionary biology. She currently is conducting her PhD research on a group of plants known as the calabash trees (Crescentieae, Bignoniaceae). She conducts hypothesis-driven research and hopes to contribute to the theoretical foundations in ethnobotany. Her research addresses evolutionary and ecological responses of plants that are the result of their interactions with people, specifically what can these responses tell us about the plants themselves (e.g. origin, transport, geography, domestication), the people that engage with them (e.g. cultural value, use, management), as well what can these responses enlighten us on future changes and adaptations to come (e.g. climate change). She is passionate about working with Caribbean communities in documenting, rescuing, and preserving traditional knowledge of local plants and ecosystems for generations to come. In all of her endeavors, she strives for diverse voices to be heard, included, represented, and uplifted.