PhD, University of Florida
I am a cultural anthropologist with research interests in economic and ecological anthropology and conservation and development in Latin America. My current research is focused on understanding the economic and cultural factors that contribute to the expansion of cattle raising in the western Amazon state of Acre, Brazil. I employ political ecology and practice theory frameworks to analyze how rubber tappers, colonists, and large-scale ranchers use and perceive cattle in relation to multi-scalar economic structures and conservation and development discourses and policies. I also examine the symbolic practices and preferences for a cattle-centered rural life that are expressed in cauboi (cowboy) and contri (country) popular culture in Acre. My interest in the economic, ecological, and cultural relationships between humans and cattle in Amazonia provides the foundation for an emerging research project in which I compare “cattle cultures” in the Americas, Africa, and India.