Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara

I am a cultural anthropologist specializing in human-environment interactions in the Brazilian Amazon. My research seeks to understand Amazonian livelihoods and land uses in relation to political and economic drivers, but also to expand the view through attention to cultural factors, such as ideals of work, nature, and masculinity, as well as food and landscape preferences. The goal is to understand why destructive environmental practices, particularly cattle raising, make sense from the perspective of different actors. This research in the western Amazon state of Acre, Brazil is the subject of my book, "Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia." My current research focuses on cross-cultural comparison of cattle raising, cowboy/cattle cultures, and beef consumption; everyday forms of nature control; and the cultural dimensions of land change and deforestation, with a focus on cattle raising and gold mining in the Brazilian Amazon.

Experience

  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara