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Columba González-Duarte

Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology, Mount Saint Vincent University

Pursuing a greater understanding of the relationship between monarch butterflies and the people and communities they interact with has carried Dr. Columba Gonzalez-Duarte far, connecting her roots in Mexico to Toronto and to her new home in Halifax.

She holds a PhD degree, in socio-cultural anthropology, from the University of Toronto, with a collaborative degree at the School of Environment. After graduating in 2019, she gained a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. She is now an Assistant Professor with Mount Saint Vincent University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Through her research, Columba explores the monarch butterfly’s tri-national conservation dynamics, exploring connections between NAFTA’s agri-food industry, labour migration, and monarch decline. She has also worked with Indigenous communities that co-habit with the butterfly across Canada, the United States and Mexico, documenting their knowledge and ways of relating with the migratory insect.


  • 2020–present
    Assistant Professor , Mount Saint Vincent University
  • 2019–2020
    Postdoctoral fellow, University of Toronto/Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity


  • 2019 
    PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, University of Toronto


  • 2021
    “Butterflies, Organized Crime, and ‘Sad Trees’: A Critique of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve Program in a Context of Rural Violence.” , World Development

Grants and Contracts

  • 2021
    Nuevos feminismos y ambientalismos, `patchwork ́ cartográfico socioambiental desde América Latina
    Funding Source:
    Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
  • 2021
    DISES: Governance across Space: Discovering Principles of Equity and Sustainability to Conserve Migratory Species within Telecoupled Social Environmental Systems
    Senior Personnel
    Funding Source:
    National Science Foundation