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.
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