I am interested in advising students whose research focuses on political ecology, environmental justice, and Latin America. Interested students, please send me a brief description of your expectations in a graduate program, the research questions you are considering, and a C.V.

I advice the following graduate students:

  • Angus Lyall. His dissertation examines the case of Millennium Cities, focusing on these urbanization events in the Ecuadorian Amazon as an expression of post-neoliberal development on the Ecuadorian oil frontier. Angus received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Experience (GRE) award, a SSRC pre-dissertation fellowship, and a NSF DDRI grant to conduct his fieldwork. Check out this video for more information on the Millennium Cities project in Ecuador: Playas del Cuyabeno.
  • Fredy Grefa. His dissertation examines payment for ecosystem services programs among the Napo Runa of Ecuador. Fredy received an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Research Development Fellowship to carry out the fieldwork portion of this project (2018-2019).
  • Trey Murphy (co-adviced with Elizabeth Havice). His dissertation examines subsurface mineral rights in Texas, focusing on the affective and economic dimensions of oil extraction. Trey is a Duke Energy Graduate Fellow for 2017.
  • Diamond Eubanks
  • Lara Lookabaugh. For her dissertation project, “Managing Life and Environment in Post-Conflict Guatemala,” Lara is collaborating with the Toj Coman Women’s Collective, in the highlands of Guatemala, to develop a research program that focuses on everyday life events as a way to understand how indigenous women develop local natural resource management practices to face environmental change.
  • KD Brown

Former graduate students

  • Eloisa Berman-Arévalo. Her dissertation examined the role of story-telling in performing and envisioning agrarian justice during post-conflict negotiations in Colombia. Eloisa received a Weiss Urban Sustainability fellowship and an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Research Development Fellowship (2014-2015). She is currently a faculty member in the Department of History and Social Sciences at the Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia.
  • Scott Sellwood. His Master’s thesis examines the articulation of green energy, indigenous social movements, and peace-building in Oaxaca, Mexico. Scott’s graduate program is funded by a Rotary Peace Fellowship. Scott successfully defended his thesis in April 2014 and is currently Senior Program Advisor in Extractive Industries at Oxfam in Washington, D.C. Our joint-publications on the politics of wind energy in Oaxaca, Mexico are available in the journals NACLA and Latin American Perspectives.

Former undergraduate students:

  • Courtney Scoggin graduated in 2015. Courtney worked with a data set collected in January-May 2014 about socioeconomic conditions, environmental perceptions, and perceptions of well-being in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Courtney and Professor Valdivia are currently working on a manuscript based on this research.
  • Carrie Hamilton graduated in 2017. Carrie received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) award to support her 2015 summer research in Ecuador: “Oil Drilling and Industry in Kichwa Communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon.”

Class of 1989 William C. Friday Distinguished Professor