Villarrubia-Gómez’s PhD is a collaborative project between the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Gothenburg University in Sweden, and in partnership with the 5 Gyres Institute in US. Her research focuses on the global challenge of plastic pollution using social-ecological systems approach.
She is particularly interested in Earth System Governance and Planetary Boundaries, understanding the science-policy-society interfaces and their power dynamics, through the lens of intersectionality and environmental justice. Villarrubia-Gómez is a science activist, and sees science communication as a pivotal part of her research to reach broader audiences.
Villarrubia-Gómez holds an MSc in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development from Stockholm University and BSc in Environmental Science from Granada University. Before her PhD, she worked as a Plastic Pollution Expert for GRID- Arendal (a UNEP Partner) in projects related to the transboundary movement of plastic waste for the Basel Convention, and participated in a desktop study to gather knowledge to prevent and manage plastic pollution in the West, Central and Southern African coastlines in collaboration with the Abidjan Convention and United Nations Environmental Programme.
Villarrubia-Gómez has also consulted for international organizations such as the Environmental Investigation Agency and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance.
She is part of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) WG 40 on Marine Plastics and Microplastics, Assessing Risks Associated with Plastics in the Ocean.