Rodriguez graduated from the University of Texas, Austin with a B.S. in 1969 and a Ph.D. in phytochemistry and plant biology in 1975. Later, at the University of British Columbia, he received medical postdoctoral training in medicinal botany. He was an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine from 1976 to 1994 before joining the faculty at Cornell.
Rodriguez is the director of the Cornell University Esbaran Amazon Field Laboratory located in the Amazon rainforest near Iquitos, Peru.
Rodriguez is the founder of the California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) program funded by the National Science Foundation. As a result, the CAMP program spread from its home campus, University of California at Irvine, to the 9 other branches of the University of California.
- "Profile at CSY.com". Archived from the original on April 8, 2003. Retrieved 2006-10-28.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Profile at The American Society for Cell Biology". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
- Gerber, Suzanne. "Not just monkeying around", Vegetarian Times, November 1998.
- Profile at Cornell's Toxicology website (archived)
- Members page for Cornell University Science Organization of Latinos Archived 2006-11-04 at the Wayback Machine