Scholarly Research

Trained in political ecology (environmental anthropology; MA; PhD) and human rights law (LLM), I have to-date conducted fieldwork in 19 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, the MENA Region and Europe.  Below I briefly describe some of the most representative projects undertaken in the last 15 years.


Independence Day (July 9, 2011) in Juba, South Sudan.

I have literally lost track of the number of times I have visited South Sudan since it became the primary focus of my work in 2002. The findings of my fieldwork in this fascinating, if challenging, African nation have been disseminated through technical reports for the United Nations, numerous book chapters, articles in peer-reviewed journals, newsletters, and presentations at professional conferences (see corresponding sections of this website. The dynamics of forced displacement, and human-environmental relations in conflict-affected settings with a focus on gender and youth are common threads running through most of this work.


Female Ugandan farmers in Northern Uganda, close to the Albert Nile.

The link between SGBV and Women’s Land Rights in post-conflict settings, the use of customary law in transitional justice initiatives, and the experiences of South Sudanese refugees are some of the issues I have investigated in northern Uganda over the years.


With my team in Gode, Somali Region, Ethiopia.

A Performance Evaluation Baseline for USAID/Ethiopia for which I served as Project Leader and Gender Expert targeted Ethiopian youth (ages 15-29) in a country-wide program implemented by Save the Children. Participating youth in rural areas and towns received market-driven training which was evaluated in terms of availability, quality, relevance, gender sensitivity and responsiveness to localized challenges.


I have lived and worked in Colombia on numerous occasions over the years. My projects have focused on conflict- and environmentally-induced displacement; the peace process from a transitional justice perspective; and, more recently conflict sensitivity in a number of environmental programs implemented in the country.


Chad and Burundi were the primary field sites for a project on “at risk” displaced children/youth, social cohesion and local conflict resolution mechanisms. Data was collected as part of a consultancy with UNICEF that has also generated several scholarly publications – some of them in progress.


Sharing notes with a local research assistant in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Burundi and Rwanda are the sites of a project which, drawing on both legal analysis and in-country fieldwork, assesses retributive and restorative approaches to justice in the aftermath of their respective genocides. I discuss some of my findings in a chapter I contributed for an edited volume on Transitional Justice and Forced Migration: Critical Perspectives from the Global South.

With some of my students on a fieldtrip to El-Fayoum, Egypt.


The fieldwork I first initiated in Egypt while teaching at the American University in Cairo (2007-2010) investigated two separated topics: 1) The experiences of South Sudanese refugees in Egypt; and 2) Women and Water Rights along the Nile. I have remained involved in both issues ever since.


My PhD dissertation was a Gendered Political Ecological analysis of disaster-induced displacement in Central America, with a focus in Honduras. My first edited volume, The Legacy of Hurricane Mitch,  draws in part on that initial year of fieldwork, supplemented by several subsequent fieldtrips to the region.


Maya farmers near Mani, Yucatan, Mexico.

My MA thesis was based on an Indigenous Knowledge field research project of ethno-botanical and agricultural practices among Yucatecan Maya in Mexico.

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