Dra. Noris Salazar-Allen (1947-)

By Salem S. Hunter, Tristen J. Pasternak, Amanda M. Chandler

Oct 13 2022

Noris Salazar-Allen, acclaimed researcher and bryologist, studies the group of non-vascular plants known as bryophytes, including the evolution and distribution of these organisms in her home country of Panama. Salazar’s research is an innovative presence in Panama, as she is the first Panamanian researcher to specialize in bryophytes. Despite being a key organismal group within one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world, Salazar's bryology research seeks to counteract the gaps in what is known about bryophytes by bringing to light their evolution and habitat distribution within tropical ecosystems.

The research that Salazar explores with these cryptogamic organisms is far-reaching, as the exploration into understanding the evolution of these organisms leads to investigating an evolutionary past that extends as far as 400 million years ago (Smithsonian 2013). In addition to conducting genetic analyses to gain insight into bryophytes’ ancient lineage, Salazar and her team also investigate how increases in disturbances induced by climate change impact the composition and diversity of bryophyte communities.

An advocate for herbaria as well, at the University of Panama’s herbarium (PMA) Salazar initiated the addition of bryophytes and lichens to the collection. Here at NYBG, the William & Lynda Steere Herbarium is home to many specimens collected by Noris Salazar Allen for the continuation of research into these key organisms.


Smithsonian. 13 August 2013. Profile: Noris Salazar Bryophyte diversity in El Copé. Smithsonian Institution: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Retrieved 3 Oct 2022, from: https://stri.si.edu/story/profile-noris-salazar.

Smithsonian. n.d. Noris Salazar. Smithsonian Institution: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Retrieved 3 Oct 2022, from: https://stri.si.edu/scientist/noris-salazar.