- Systematics of the subfamily Opuntioideae (Cactaceae) in northern Mexico
- Opuntia and Nopalea systematic and biogeography
- Hybridization in the prickly pears
- Ethnobotany of prickly pears in Mexico
- Sustainability and landscape use of desert plants
I divide my time at Desert Botanical Garden as the Curator of Living Collections and as a Research Botanist. I am responsible for curatorial aspects such as plant acquisition, maintaining the database and mapping of the gardens’ Living Collection. My main research interest has been the systematics of the genus Opuntia (prickly pears) in northern Mexico, particularly in the states of San Luis Potosi, Coahuila and Sonora. I am also working on a taxonomic revision of the genus Nopalea, a unique group of tropical prickly pears from Mexico and Central America which are pollinated by hummingbirds. My studies are based on fieldwork as well as morphology, chromosome numbers and pollen morphology, among other techniques. As a collaborator for the Vascular Plants of Arizona project, I have written various family treatments as well as done a number of plant illustrations.
Baker, M., J. Rebman, B. Parfitt, D. Pinkava, C. Christy, A. Salywon, R. Puente, Zimmerman & J. H. Cota. 2009. Chromosome numbers of miscellaneous angiosperm taxa. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 3(1): 279-283.
Hernandez-Hernandez, T., H. Hernandez, J. A. De-Nova, R. Puente, L.E. Eguiarte and S. Magallon. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships and evolution of growth form in Cactaceae (Caryophyllales, Eudicotyledoneae. Amer. Journ. Bot. 98(1): 44-61.
Puente, R. 2006. Hummingbirds and prickly pears: flower adaptations in the genus Nopalea (Cactaceaea). The Sonoran Quarterly June 2006. Vol. 60(2): 4-6p
Puente, R. & C. Hamann. 2005. A new hybrid prickly pear from Coahuila, Mexico: Opuntia xcarstenii hyb. nov. (Cactaceae). Cact. & Succ. Journ. (US). 77(5): 2-10
Puente-Martinez, R. et al. 2003. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Lamiaceae, Part I. Journ. of Az-Nev. Acad. of Sc. 35(2):151-169
Puente-Martinez, R. and T. F. Daniels. 2001. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Garryaceae. Journal of Arizona-Nevada Acad. of Sc. 33(1):31-34
Puente-Martinez, R. and R. B. Faden. 2001. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Commelinaceae. Journal of Arizona-Nevada Acad. of Sc. 33(1):31-34