Research


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My research is at the intersection of food systems, governance, and natural hazards. In general, I strive to understand how systems of governance and socio-ecological interactions relate to adaptive capacity, food security, and food sovereignty in the Caribbean. I use mixed methods approaches to answer my research questions; from the joint analysis of social and biophysical data, to facilitating focus groups and participatory activities. Furthermore, my research approach is grounded on disaster and natural hazards research, agroecology, and psychosocial theoretical frameworks. My goal as an interdisciplinary and applied scientist it to generate visibility and knowledge that contributes to making our food systems more just, and to having a food system that feed us without further harming the environment that sustains us. You can see my academic and scientific contributions here.

My dissertation, under the advisory of Dr. Meredith T. Niles, focuses on Puerto Rican farmers’ adaptive capacity in light of climate change. I am looking at Puerto Rico’s agricultural sector response and recovery after 2017’s Hurricane Maria to understand how cross-scale dynamics (agricultural, social, political) relate to farmers’ access to resources and abilities to withstand, cope with, and recover from natural hazards, as well as to farmers’ ability to transform their systems. This dissertation is based upon a survey of 405 Puerto Rican farmers that was carried out after Maria thanks to the UPR Extension Service. Check the research brief here.

Research interests: Island food systems, natural hazards and agriculture, food security and sovereignty, adaptive capacity and structural vulnerability, agroecology, social-ecological systems, science communication and outreach, Puerto Rican and Caribbean studies, food culture, governance, public health and public policy.