National Geographic Expert

Santiago Ramírez Said

Santiago Ramírez Said is a Colombian and Lebanese botanist, who has devoted his career to the sustainable development and conservation of indigenous peoples across the Americas. Fluent in 4 languages, he works with communities in Canada, Panama, Colombia and beyond to protect native culture, storytelling and ethnobotany. Santiago has also helped create reforestation projects that work hand in hand with local indigenous leadership. In addition to his work conserving cultural heritage, Santiago tackles pressing environmental and social challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, the refugee crisis and the buildup of Sargassum seaweed. Using interdisciplinary approaches, he works with multinational teams empowering communities across the tropical Atlantic to repurpose Sargassum in a way that preserves the marine environment while sustaining local economies.