I am a native from Chile, where I received my B.A. (2006) and M.A. (2011) in History from the Universidad Católica de Chile. I received my Ph.D. in History at the University of California Davis in 2017.
I am currently an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Humanities & Arts Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Prior to joining WPI, I was a Visiting Scholar and a Postdoctoral Associate, jointly affiliated with the program of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and with the History Section at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
I am the recipient of the 2019 EHCA Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental History for the paper "The Place of National Science in Transnational Environmental Governance. Chile's Nitrogen Revolution and the Global Nitrogen Challenge." The prize is awarded by the Environmental History Research Cluster Austria, and acknowledges conceptual and empirical approaches to environmental history, which are interdisciplinary and contribute significantly to advancing the field as an interdisciplinary endeavor.
My work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Commission, Chile's National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT), the Max Planck Institute for Legal History in Frankfurt, Harvard University's Law School, its Institute for Global Law and Policy and the History Department, UC Davis' Division of Social Sciences, and MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, among others.
Before focusing my attention on global environmental issues, I worked on questions regarding race, justice, and legal systems in the 17th-19th century across the north-Atlantic and the Americas. Today, I combine these backgrounds to provide a more integral approach to environmental problems in my teaching and scholarship. These projects provided me with skills to reflect on the long-term effects of colonialism, law, and state-formation processes across the global North and South. I integrate many of the discussions from postcolonial studies, critical race theory, and the social studies of law and justice into my teaching and scholarship on environmental change and policy.
More recently, I have developed policy-oriented scholarship and participated in several projects of stakeholder engagement. As co-founder of an international NGO focused on the science-policy interface in environmental and animal welfare issues in Chile, I have been able to put in practice my broader experience in applied socio-ecological research and community involvement. As part of this project, I have closely worked with government agencies in Chile that provide technical assistance to small-scale farmers and indigenous communities affected by dog attacks in Chile, as well as with wildlife protection organizations. This work led to a first national assessment of the impacts of free-ranging dogs on Chile's small-scale farmers and indigenous communities. Part of this work was published here and received widespread media attention in Chile. Building stakeholder engagement with expert communities (wildlife specialists, ecologists, veterinarians, and livestock authorities) and institutions in both Chile and the United States has allowed me to think more broadly about the challenges of interdisciplinary and policy-oriented research across issues of social justice and ecological change.
I am committed to open up conversations about diversity and inclusion in environmental scholarship. Justice and inequality are central to current debates about global environmental governance. While scholarship on environmental studies and public policy have contributed to this discussion, important challenges remain. I have developed several projects that integrate questions about the inequalities of knowledge production across expert communities, national borders, and the human-animal divide. Some of my work addressing issues of diversity and inclusion in environmental scholarship are included here.
I have integrated many of these questions in my scholarly and professional service work with various organizations. I designed and currently curate the collections "Technology and Expertise" and "Histories across Species" for Arcadia, the online, peer-review journal of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, a joint initiative of Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, the Deutsches Museum, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. I currently serve as an elected member for the Nominations Committee of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS), as a member of the Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), and as a Digital Communications Manager for the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO).
My current research studies global nitrogen pollution with special attention to the rise of science and sustainable development policy in the Global South. As scientific knowledge and public awareness about human-induced global environmental change increases, nitrogen is expected to become a central issue in international environmental policy and climate justice debates. This work examines the challenges of linking unequal nitrogen forms, quantifications, and epistemologies in international science and policy frameworks such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I have been invited to give talks on this issue in several institutions in Chile, the United States, and Europe. My more recent related publication includes a chapter entitled “Global Nitrogen in Sustainable Development: Four Challenges at the Interface of Science and Policy,” forthcoming in the Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Springer Nature, 2020).
Welcome to my website and reach out if you are interested in building some collaborative projects.