Chuao, Aragua, Venezuela. August, 2012
Photograph by author
Photograph by author
I received my B.A. (2006) and M.A. (2011) in History from the Universidad Católica de Chile. As a Fulbright Scholar, I obtained my Ph.D. in History at the University of California-Davis (2017).
I am currently an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) where I teach courses on the history science, technology, and the environment. Some of my classes and seminars include the history of quantification and metrics in environmental sciences and policy, the science and politics of animal rights, environmental innovation, and race and environmental conflict.
Prior to joining WPI, I was a Postdoctoral Associate, joint affiliated with the program of Science, Technology, and Society and with History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
My research explores the uses of history to inform contemporary debates on environmental sustainability and policy change. My book manuscript, Nitrogen Revolutions: Agricultural Expertise, Technology, and Policy in Chile, studies the transnational history of nitrogen science and policy in Chile, and explores how the lessons learned address the global ecological effects of nitrogen today. Using the global problem of nitrogen pollution and Chile—one of the highest consumers of nitrogen fertilizer in the Americas—as case studies, Nitrogen Revolutions shows that historical expertise is critical today in both academic and public debates on environmental sustainability.
My Master’s thesis focused on the process of disintegration of black slavery in Chile at the end of the 18th century. Trough judicial proceedings, it examined the transition to free labor, interethnic family and social relations, and the use of the legal knowledge by black slaves and their relatives. Since completing my Master’s, I was involved in several projects researching judicial systems, legal practices, and expertise during the late colonial and republican period in Latin America.
Between 2011 and 2013, I worked in a research project focused on legal professionalization and the social construction of legal expertise and corruption in Colombia and Venezuela during the late colonial period and the early republic. I combined GIS and spatial history for the analysis of the practices of legal professionalization and judicial reform among lawyers and non-professional legal practitioners in the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada and Gran Colombia.
I have taught courses on the history of Latin America, the water-energy-food nexus, and global environmental sciences, technologies, and policies.
I have also participated in interdisciplinary teams addressing the socio-ecological and policy dimensions of free-ranging dogs. Beyond teaching and research, I co-founded, and run an international non-profit organization focused on the science-policy interface in environmental and animal welfare issues in Chile.