Research

Professional research

I have been employed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the InterAmerican Institute for Global Change Research (IAI). For these organizations, I conducted ethnographic research, co-authored and edited papers that dealt with the interplay of ecology and anthropology, including issues of climate change, livelihoods, gender, indigenous rights (legislation and land) and collaborative management of natural resources.

These studies were made available to the World Bank, local and national nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and published and presented in international venues. My professional experience working in the conservation field has highlighted the need for more locally suitable and, therein, sustainable policies.

Research for University Degrees

My research has emphasized improving methodological and theoretical inquiry. For the bachelor's, I investigated music as a pedagogical tool to learn foreign languages in Ecuador. For the master's, I used photographs taken by residents to help assess the impact of ecotourism as a path for socially just, environmentally sustainable, and locally crafted development in the Dominican Republic. For the doctorate, I employed  visual techniques (including cognitive methods [or visually mapping conceptions], photography, videography, and sound recordings) to study the meanings and applications of development, conservation, and nature of Yoruba-derived ecological knowledges in Cuba.

Post-Ph.D. Research Grant

'Entangled Lives: Human Encounters with Rhesus Macaques on Florida's Silver River'

Preliminary abstract: In an era of global conservation and development, unpacking notions of belonging is paramount: lives are at stake. Globally deployed colonial ontologies that separate human from nature and native from alien inform local policies. Yet, how these ontological politics manifest in individual tourist behaviors is less clear. As tourism becomes more prevalent at a global level and human-environmental contexts become more complex, anthropologists are needed to query multispecies encounters.

Future research Projects

I am developing three research projects. One is on water in Florida, one is on envisioning development and the future in Cuba, and one is on documenting the people and beliefs involved with Ecadorian textile and tagua fair trade markets. In Florida, I propose to make a documentary for residents and homeowners to better grasp the connections between their individual practices and the Floridan aquifer. The need has been voiced by residents, agencies and government workers alike.