Under the supervision of Garry Peterson and Anne-Sophie Crépin, and jointly based at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Ospina-Medina’s PhD research is aimed at better understanding the causal mechanisms through which rural out-migration and remittances can affect local land use and agricultural activities, in countries that are currently undergoing structural economic transformations. In particular, his research focuses on identifying the conditions under which these rural-urban flows can lead to tree cover increase, consistent with the 'forest transition' theory.
While there is a rich body of place-based research on this topic, the empirical evidence regarding the effect of migration and remittances on land use is mixed. Therefore, Ospina-Medina’s PhD research started by taking stock on this multidisciplinary literature, compiling the proposed causal mechanisms and synthesizing these insights through dynamic modeling approaches, which, in turn, will be used to suggest new empirically testable hypotheses.
Ospina-Medina holds an MSc degree in 'Ecosystems, Resilience and Governance' from Stockholm University. His Master's thesis, supervised by Garry Peterson and Oonsie Biggs, was focused on regime shifts in land systems. More specifically, a search for signatures of alternate regimes on global cropland cover data. He obtained his BSc degree from the School of Environmental and Rural Studies at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, at his native Colombia. He has worked at research institutes, both in Colombia and Sweden, in topics ranging from valuation of ecosystem services, institutional analysis in the contexts of common-pool resource management, and analysis of socio-environmental conflicts, among others.
In previous years, Ospina-Medina has been secretary and vice-chair of the SRC PhD Students’ Council, and the PhD student representative at the Stockholm Resilience Centre board.
Research news | 2018-12-13
Money sent home by migrants can prevent undesired farmland abandonment, as well as the promise of extensive forest regrowth
Research news | 2018-01-24
Former and current PhD students from SRC propose a new framework to help early-career sustainability scholars to become “undisciplinary”
Research news | 2017-11-21
A new framework suggested to manage complex climate futures in the world’s most northern ocean
2018 - Journal / article
We explore how remittances shape the effect of rural out-migration on the potential for local forest transitions. Building on an existing theoretical model of social-ecological regime shifts that links migration, farmland abandonment, and forest regrowth, we incorporate migrant remittances as an additional rural-urban teleconnection. We also extend the ecological dynamics to include a dynamical forest regrowth rate, generating...
2017 - Journal / article
We propose a framework to support management that builds on a social–ecological system perspective on the Arctic Ocean. We illustrate the framework’s application for two policy-relevant scenarios of climate-driven change, picturing a shift in zooplankton composition and alternatively a crab invasion. We analyse archetypical system dynamics between the socio-economic, the natural, and the governance systems in these scenarios. ...
2017 - Journal / article
The establishment of interdisciplinary Master’s and PhD programmes in sustainability science is opening up an exciting arena filled with opportunities for early-career scholars to address pressing sustainability challenges. However, embarking upon an interdisciplinary endeavor as an early-career scholar poses a unique set of challenges: to develop an individual scientific identity and a strong and specific methodological skill...