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María is currently working with Örjan Bodin to explain the ways in which different actors engage in participatory institutions to defend their vision of water. María’s research interests are in the dynamics between actors defending competing visions of water, and in the ways in which such actors use public policies to defend their interests. She is interested in understanding the ways in which public policy is implemented and how that institutionalizes specific social-ecological systems dynamics. Beyond the purpose of learning about actors’ strategies to consolidate specific dynamics for their social-ecological systems, María is interested in translating these complexities to be able to help craft inclusive public policies and working participatory institutions that contribute to ensure social-ecological systems resilience. For her current project, the research focus is on the workings of basin councils in Peru and Brazil.
Maria also works with Maja Schülter on the MuSES (Multi-level social-ecological systems) project, where she explores the ways in which process ontologies can help bridge the dichotomy between the ecological, social, and kind of knowledge on social-ecological systems that process ontologies would lead us to generate.
María holds a PhD in International Development from the University of Oxford supervised by Professor Laura Rival. The topic of her PhD was the multi-level management of pollution in Lake Titicaca (between Peru and Bolivia). Her thesis disentangled the role of social dynamics between officers and organizations in determining the implementation of programs to tackle the problem of pollution. María’s background is in political science (Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris) and environmental economics (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales de Paris). She also studied philosophy at the University Paris I – Sorbonne (BA level). She has worked as a research assistant at Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), as a teaching assistant in history and politics of development studies, and in advanced qualitative methodologies.
Beyond her role at the SRC, Maria engages with scientific community in a number of ways. For instance: