Research & Visiting Scholars

Research Scholars

Dr. Simone Athayde

Core Faculty and Associate Research Scientist, Tropical Conservation and Development Program (TCD), Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida
Affiliate Faculty, Department of Anthropology, Florida Climate Institute (FCI), UF Water Institute and UF Biodiversity Institute (UFBI)

Dr. Athayde is an environmental anthropologist and interdisciplinary ecologist, who has carried out extensive research and training activities in collaboration with Amazonian universities in Brazil. At the University of Florida, Dr. Athayde is an Associate Research Scientist in the Center for Latin American Studies and Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) Program. She is the UF Leader of the Amazon Dams Network (ADN), a World Social Science Fellow of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and a lead author and expert for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Her research interests include conservation of biocultural diversity, inter- and transdisciplinary research and practice, indigenous knowledge systems, and participatory research and management of social-ecological systems. Her work has been recognized with awards from both the Center for Latin American Studies and TCD Programs, from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida, from the Ministry of Culture in Brazil, and from the International Society of Ethnobiology.

Curriculum Vitae

Mônica do Nascimento Pessoa

Ph.D. student in History
Postgraduate Program in History - UDESC
Associate researcher with the Nucleus of Afro-Brazilian Studies (NEAB)

Graduated in History from the University of Vale do Acaraú (2011) and Master Cultural Heritage and Society from the University of Região de Joinville Region (2015). She is currently a doctorate student in History (Present Time History) at the University of Santa Catarina State (UDESC), in the Post-Graduate Program in History (PPGH), linked to the research line: Political Cultures and Sociability. She is an associate researcher in the African-Brazilian Studies Center (NEAB/UDESC). She is a member of the Observatory of African-Brazilian Culture in Santa Catarina, participating in the Black Culture study group and the critical study group on whiteness. She coordinates the NEAB’s International and Interinstitutional Relations Work Group. She is a member of the Black Researchers Nacional Association (ABPN) and has experience in the areas of African History, addressing themes like Orality, Literature, Cultural Heritage, and Social Memory.

Her Research Project “Griots in contemporary Mali: The trajectory of Toumani Kouyate” aims to reflect about the oral tradition in Western Africa, starting from the way of being, thinking and living of the djelis (words masters). It seeks to set approximations and differentiations to the role of the griot (stories tellers and animators in Western Africa). The practices of the djelis are translated into knowledge and cultures from an “Africa-subject”, with initiatory rites, social relationships, cosmogonies, and teachings, which bear ancestries. The griots have the djelis as their masters, they cheer up and sing with traditional instruments. What are the history and memory meanings for the djelis and griots in Western Africa? We intended, through the memory of Toumani Kouyaté, a djéli from Mali, to understand the role of the oral tradition, interpreting, mainly, the practice of the djeli, as a word wise in the “walking” on the cultural universe of the different Africas in the past and in the present.

Silvane Silva

Doctoral candidate - Ph.D. in History from Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC/SP), researches the leadership of quilombola women in the struggles for rights in their communities in the State of São Paulo. Researcher associated with CECAFRO - Center for African Cultural Studies and Diaspora - PUC/ SP. Advisor: Dr. Amailton Magno Azevedo.

Silvane's research aims to analyze the political role of women in the struggles to maintain their way of life in the quilombola (former maroon) communities of the State of São Paulo, through the conquest of land titling and access to basic social rights such as health care and formal education. The research seeks to understand the ways in which quilombola women acted in the elaboration of public policies and, at the same time, were influenced by them, from the 1988 Constitution. At that historical moment, Article 68 of the Transitional Constitutional Provisions legitimized the remaining quilombolas communities rights to the recognition and ownership of land. However, the constitutional text alone did not guarantee access to these rights. The rural and urban black movement organized to enforce what was laid down in the law, and other social actors were important in this process: Anthropologists, sectors of the Catholic Church and Pentecostals. With this, new legal norms were created, bringing new fights. In this study, the leadership of quilombola women in these processes is emphasized.

Visiting Scholars

Alberto Acosta

Bacardi Family Eminent Scholar
Alberto Acosta is the Spring 2018 Bacardi Family Eminent Scholar, where he will teach the course Buen Vivir and Other Postdevelopment Pathways at the Center for Latin American Studies. He is one of the world’s leading theorists on the concept and implementation of Buen Vivir. Acosta served as President of the assembly charged with drawing up Ecuador’s new constitution that guarantees the Rights of Nature (2007-2008), was Ecuador’s Minister for energy and mining (2007), and candidate for president (2013). He worked as professor and researcher at FLACSO-Ecuador, and was actively involved in the Yasuní initiative to leave the oil in the soil.

Dr. Ernane Correa Rabelo

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil
Dr. Rabelo is conducting research on Brazilian media in the US, especially the influence of new communication technologies on Brazilian immigrants in the US. 

Dr. Karsten Paerregaard

Professor of Anthropology
School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
For the past 25 years, my research has focused on rural-urban migration in Peru and Peruvian transnational migration in the United States, Spain, Italy, Japan, Argentina, and Chile. This work includes studies in migrant networks, remittances, illegality, fiestas, religious practices, political mobilization, family organization, social conflict, and other themes. Analytically, my research is inspired by recent theories of transnationalism and diaspora and, methodologically, I have used a multi-sited research strategy. Theoretically, I want to understand how physical and social mobility are conceived and practiced in a globalized world. My current research is focused on climate change and its environmental effect on Peru's rural and urban population. Of particular interest is how Peru's growing water scarcity due to global warming and the melting glaciers generate new conflicts and how local, regional and national institutions respond to these conflicts. I also explore how rural and urban communities create new strategies and forge new alliances to adapt to the changing environment and examine the role that family households, communal organizations, migrant associations, international tourists, development agencies, small-scale industries, mining companies and state institutions play in the struggle to adjust to the growing water scarcity. My ambition is to create a comparative anthropology of mountain areas and to explore how mountain people use mobility as a strategy to adapt to climate change.


Previous Visiting Scholars

Dr. Antonio Braga

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Brazil
Dr. Braga is conducting a study on religion and Brazilian immigrant youth in the United States.

Dr. Mimi Urbanc and Dr. Mateja Smid Hribar

Anton Melik Geographical Institute of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
In collaboration with the UF Department of Anthropology

Dr. Mimi Urbanc and Dr. Mateja Smid Hribar are working with Dr. Catherine Tucker on a project to assess how theoretical approaches to the study of the commons and common-pool resources are interacting with research on ecosystem services. These realms of research have important overlaps and synergies that merit assessment especially given the importance of common-pool resources (forests, savannahs, water sources, the atmosphere, etc.) and ecosystem services for global sustainability and adaptation to social-ecological and climate change processes. With a larger team of researchers in Europe and Latin America, they are carrying out a broad review of the current state of knowledge, trends, and future directions on research at the intersection of commons and ecosystem services. 

Dr. Miguel Ayarza

Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (CORPOICA)
Dr. Ayarza will be visiting UF from March 13 - 24, 2017. The main purpose of his visit is to establish collaborative linkages between CORPOICA and researchers at the University of Florida.  CORPOICA is interested in strengthening its research capacity in several areas, including assessment of climate change risks and evaluation of technological and socioeconomic adaptation strategies, and to analyze impacts of agricultural intensification on soil and water resources at different spatial and temporal scales.  During his stay, he would like to meet with faculty to get to know their research activities in these areas, and to identify other potential topics of collaboration.