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Education

Concurrent PhD-MPA (Environmental and Natural Resources Policy), State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 2014

MSc Environmental Management, National University of Singapore, 2007

MSc Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 2004

BS Civil Engineering, University of the Philippines, 2001

Background

I am currently assistant professor of social science (environmental studies) at the Yale-NUS College in Singapore. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I employ diverse methodological approaches (ethnographic and quantitative) and draw from multiple theories from environmental science, environmental policy and politics, political ecology, ecological economics, environmental sociology, environmental anthropology, and more recently cultural studies. I also have a broad professional background, having practised 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 15 years.

My broad research agenda explores the political economy of, environmental discourses on, and decision-making associated with contemporary environmental and agrarian issues, particularly at the intersections of globalisation, climate change, agrarian change, and frontier land development. My approach examines multiple levels and units of analysis, with particular attention to the space and time where the ‘global’ meets the ‘local’. My most recent research project examines discourses on Philippine upland environments and identities in the context of multi-level climate change governance (i.e. the green economy and low carbon development programs). Currently, I am collaborating with scholars from the Philippines, Australia, UK, and the United States to investigate agrarian change in the context of green economy development programs (biofuels, rubber and oil palm) in ancestral domains in the Global South. This includes the investigation of socio-cultural transformation, resilience, and food security in indigenous communities engaged in low-carbon commodity crop production in the Philippine uplands. I am increasingly becoming interested in exploring the nexus between food and the green economy and am currently working on a research project to explore the political ecology and cultural politics of ‘sustainable’ (organic and local) food production and consumption in the context of the green economy project in the Philippines.

Yasmin, my wife, is currently a research fellow at the Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme of Nanyang Technological University, doing work on migration of STEM talents in Singapore. She just completed her PhD degree in sociology from Syracuse University, with a specialisation in education, migration, and qualitative methods. We do occasionally talk (and sometimes argue) about social science theories and philosophies in the dinner table. More recently we collaborated on publishing an journal article together, drawing from our respective expertise on environmental and migration studies. We both enjoyed the process and we do hope to collaborate more in the future. We have been married for eight years and have an uber cute and sweet 9-month old baby boy.

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