My current and recent field-based research projects are based in the Gran Chaco (Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina) and the Ecuadorian Amazon. I am working on projects related to Indigenous territorial management and land rights, the implementation of Inter-American Court of Human Rights decisions, legacies of settler colonialism, expanding agrarian frontiers, political ecologies of infrastructure, and relationships between biocultural diversity, climate change mitigation, and community-led conservation.

Below, please find information about several of my research projects and areas of interest.

Current Projects

Disrupting the Patrón: Indigenous land rights and the fight for environmental justice in Paraguay’s Chaco

As a 2021 American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, I completed my first book that University of California Press published in April 2023. The work builds from longterm research with Enxet and Sanapaná in Paraguay’s Chaco. The project traces the formation of racial geographies that result from settler colonialism and its extractive imperative yet attends to the future-oriented resistance of Indigenous peoples who are renewing relations with territories once stolen through the pursuit of environmental justice. 

The e-book is available for free reading and downloads here.

Resilient Socio-Environmental Systems: Indigenous Territories in the Face of Change

I am a Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems grant (2021-2025). Based in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the study integrates ecology, socio-environmental modeling, human geography, and spatial sciences to investigate Indigenous territorial management strategies and their effects on system resilience. Our team comprises a collaboration between U.S. and Ecuadorian academics and Indigenous communities. The project is locally known by the name “Con Territorio: Conciencia, Convivencia y Conservación Comunitaria.”

Building the future: Infrastructure, climate change, and environmental justice in the Gran Chaco

As a 2019 UF Global Fellow, I expanded my research program to begin investigating land-use change, expanding extractive frontiers, and the infrastructure development with attention to climate and environmental (in)justice in the Gran Chaco–one of the world’s most threatened forest frontiers. My Fulbright Scholar award (2022-2023) supports in-depth field research on this project through collaborations with partners from Indigenous communities, leading human rights organizations, and the Universidad Católica Center for Anthropological Studies in Paraguay.

Core Research themes

Political Ecology

Indigenous Land Rights

Environmental & Climate Justice

Development Geographies

Critical Conservation Studies

Public Engagement