Plants are amazing chemical factories. These "green factories" have played a key role in the rise of our species and have served as the tools of our progress. From staple foods to spices, from cancer treatments to fuels, plants produce an incredible diversity of chemicals, most of which are yet to be discovered. Nevertheless, the mechanisms responsible for the rise and evolution of these chemicals are still poorly understood. My research is focused on understanding these mechanisms. Specifically, I explore how plant chemistry mediates species interactions, species distributions, and the functional and phylogenetic diversity of plants and insects. Understanding these interactions will help reveal the evolutionary pressures that spawn and maintain the vast tropical plant diversity.