I am an assistant professor of social science (environmental studies) at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, a liberal arts institution in collaboration between Yale University and the National University of Singapore. I hold a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resources Policy (2014) from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), with a concurrent Masters in Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. My dissertation committee included David Sonnenfeld (Environmental Sociology), Valerie Luzadis (Ecological Economics), Peter Castro (Environmental Anthropology), Carol Colfer (Cultural Anthropology), and Philip McMichael (Development Sociology). Prior to becoming a social scientist, I was trained in civil and environmental engineering from the University of the Philippines (2001) and the National University of Singapore (2004), respectively.
As an interdisciplinary scholar, I employ diverse methodological approaches (ethnographic and quantitative) and draw from multiple disciplinary backgrounds including political ecology, environmental sociology, STS, ecological economics, environmental science, and more recently cultural studies. I also have a broad professional background, having practiced engineering, management, consulting, policy and academic work in the Philippines, Singapore and the United States. I have been an environmental scholar, professional and advocate for more than 20 years.
My broad research agenda explores the political economy and cultural politics of contemporary agrarian and food issues, particularly at the intersections of globalization and sustainable development. My approach examines multiple levels and units of analysis, with particular attention to spaces and time where the ‘global’ meets the ‘local’. The topical areas I have examined thus far include the green economy and its discontents, food security in development frontiers, contradictions of alternative food systems, politics of urban farming, and agrarian implications of agritourism, all in the context of Southeast Asia.
Yasmin, my partner, is currently assistant professor of sociology at the Singapore Management University. She holds a PhD in Sociology (2015) from Syracuse University, a masters degree in Human Development and Education from Harvard, and Psychology from the University of the Philippines. Her research is at the nexus of migration, education and labor in Southeast Asia. We have two energetic toddlers who enjoy living in our residence on campus.