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Indiana University Bloomington
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Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences
One Discipline, Four Fields

Eduardo S. Brondizio


Professor, Anthropology Department
Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
Faculty Associate, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Native Studies Program (NAIS), and the COAS Individualized Major Program (IMP), Food Studies program
Interim Co-Director, Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change (ACT)
Chair, Workshop Advisory Council (WAC), Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Science Committee member, Future Earth program [Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability: ICSU, ISSC, UNESCO, UNEP, WMO, UNU, IGFA, Belmont forum]
co-Editor-in-Chief, Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability (COSUST), Elsevier

(812) 855-8162 | Email | Office Hours

Geographical Areas of Specialization: Amazon, Brazil, Latin America

Topical Interests: Environmental and economic anthropology, land use and landscape history, institutions and collective action,  household economy and demographics, livelihoods and poverty, ethnobotany and people-forest interaction, socio-ecological complex systems analysis, global environmental change, sustainability sciences, and integrative methodologies [Geospatial, ethnography and survey, ecological assessments, institutional analysis]


Environmental anthropologist dedicated to longitudinal, comparative, and interdisciplinary research on human-environment interactions, Brondizio’s work has analyzed the social, demographic, and environmental transformations of rural areas and populations in the Amazon, particularly resulting from the influence of national and global markets, government programs and policies, development projects, and environmental change. This research links sociodemographic, land use, and institutional analysis at household and community levels to regional level analysis of landscape change, rural-urban networks and urbanization, and commodity chains of agricultural and forest products. This long-term research program has examined these changes through collaborative development of conceptual frameworks and methodologies integrating geospatial analysis, ethnography, survey, institutional analysis, ecological assessments, and historical investigation. Brondizio has published extensively on land-use and landscape change, agricultural and agroforestry intensification, small-farmers’ identity and livelihood, household socio-demography and economy, commodity chains, and more broadly environmental anthropology, rural development and poverty, urbanization, ecosystem services, institutional analysis of resource systems, and integrative methodologies. On-going research projects include international collaborations on –the vulnerabilities and sustainability of delta regions, -institutions, property regimes, and land use change, -comparative analysis of sustainable development indicators, and -farmers’ adaptation to climate change.

A member of the inaugural Science Committee of the Future Earth program, Brondizio has been engaged with international global changed research programs since the 1990s, in particular the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Program (IHDP). He has contributed to several past and on-going global assessments and initiatives, including:  the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, UNEP's GEO-4, the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), the United Nations Inter-governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); the Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) on Forests and Food Security [IUFRU, FAO], and the Thematic Group on Forest, Oceans, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services (FOBES) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN).

Brondizio has served as chair of the Department of Anthropology at IU from 2005-2012. He has held visiting scientist and professorship positions at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, Institut des Hautes Etudes de l'Amérique Latine, Institut d'études avancées (IEA), and the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, Collège de France, Paris, France. The Universidade do Vale do Paraiba (UNIVAP), S. J. Campos, Brazil, and the Swedish Agricultural University, Department of Rural Development, Uppsala, Sweden.


Graduate and authorized/senior undergraduates:

E527: Environmental Anthropology

E600/G599 Research design and proposal writing in Anthropology

E600/E400: People and Plants: A graduate seminar in Ethnobotany

E600/E400: Human Ecology from Space: An Introduction to Remote Sensing in the Social Sciences
A495: Amazonian cultural ecology
A495: Brazilian and Amazonian cultural history


E105: Culture & Society
E322: Peoples of Brazil
I375: Brazilian and Amazonian history (in Portuguese)
E101: Ecology and Society
E105: Native Amazonians (Topics course)

International courses and workshops:
Geospatial analysis: Short Course in Research Methods (SCRM), supported by National Science Foundation, Cultural Anthropology Program
Studying the Human dimensions land use change in Amazônia.
Human dimensions of land use: Research frameworks and integrative methods
Spatial techniques in ethnographic research: Remote sensing applications

Other courses:
Bloomington Cooking School: Course series Brazilian culture and food (with Alfredo Minetti)

Teaching Publications:
Reynolds, H., E. Brondizio, and Jennifer Meta-Robinson (eds.). 2010. Teaching Environmental Literacy: Across Campus and Across Curriculum. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.


Current Research Projects

Field Research in Brazil

Ponta de Pedras, Marajo Island and Belém, Pará State (since 1989), TransAmazon (Altamira-Medicilandia, Pará State), (since 1992), BR-163/Santarém region, Pará State (since 1999), Macapá, Marzagão, Amapá State (since 2006). Other sites (since 1992): Zona Bragantina and Tomé-Açu (Pará State), and Vale do Ribeira (São Paulo State).


Catalyzing action towards sustainability of deltaic systems with an integrated modeling framework for risk assessment (DELTAS). Partner-PI. National Science Foundation, Belmont Forum [International collaborative project involving 24 partner-PIs]

DURAMAZ2. Developpment Durable de L’Amazonie. Multi-institutional collaboration supported by the Agence Nationale de Recherche (ANR) Agence Nationale de Recherche "Blanc - SHS 1 - Sociétés, espaces, organisations et marchés". [International collaborative project involving 8 research groups]

Socio-Cultural Adaptations of Caboclos in the Amazon Estuary of Brazil to Extreme Tidal Events. Multi-institutional collaboration supported by the International Development Research Center, Canada (IDRC). Lead institution: Federal University of Para, Brazil. [International collaborative project involving 6 co-PIs]

Land Use Change in Amazonia: Institutional Analysis and Modeling at multiple temporal and spatial scales (LUA/IAM) [Multi-institutional collaboration supported by the FAPESP Research Program on Global Climate Change, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [International collaborative project involving +10 collaborating scientists]

Selected Publications

Brondizio, E. S. and E. F. Moran (eds.) 2012. Human-Environment Interactions: Current and Future Directions. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Scientific Publishers. 17 chs.,434 pp.

Pinedo-Vasquez, M., M. Ruffino, C. Padoch, E. S. Brondizio (eds.). 2011. The Amazonian Várzea: the decade past and the decade ahead. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Scientific Publishers co-publication with The New York Botanical Garden Press: 362 pp.

Reynolds, H. and E. Brondizio, Jennifer Meta-Robinson  (eds.). 2010. Teaching Environmental Literacy: Across Campus and Across Curriculum . Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Pp. 212.

Brondizio, E. S. 2008. The Amazonian Caboclo and the Açaí palm: Forest Farmers in the Global Market.” New York: New York Botanical Garden Press. Pp. 402 [Winner: 2010 Mary W. Klinger Book Award of the Society for Economic Botany]

Research Articles:

Brondizio, E. S. 2014. Forthcoming. Abordagens teóricas e metodológicas para o estudo de mudança de Usos da Terra. In  Ambiente e Sociedade na Amazonia : Uma Abordagem Interdisciplinar. E. Vieira, P. Toledo, e R. Araujo. Belem, Brazil : Editora do Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi.

Eloy, L., E. S. Brondizio, and R. Pateo. Forthcoming. New perspectives on mobility, urbanisation, and resource management in Amazônia. Bolletim of Latin American Research (BLAR).

Brondizio, E. S. and T. Von Holt. 2014. Geospatial Analysis in Anthropology. In H. R. Bernard and C. L. Gravelee (eds.) Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Lanham, Maryland: Altamira Press. Chapter 19, p. 601-629.

Tengö, M; Malmer, P; Brondizio, E; Elmqvist, T; Spierenburg, M. 2014. A Multiple Evidence Base approach to connecting diverse knowledge systems for ecosystem governance. AMBIO. DOI 10.1007/s13280-014-0501-3 [Published online 22 march 2014]

Brondizio, E. S., N. Vogt, and A. Siqueira 2013. Forest Resources, City Services: Globalization, Household Networks, and Urbanization in the Amazon estuary. In K. Morrison, S. Hetch, and C. Padoch (eds). The Social Life of Forests. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. Pp. 348-361.

Medeiros, H., Murrieta, RSS, Adams, C., Brondizio, ES. 2013. Scientific and Local Knowledge of Ungulates in Brazilian Atlantic Forest: Revealing Convergences and Complementarities. Journal of Ethnobiology 01/2013, 33:180-202.

Medeiros, H., Murrieta, RSS, Adams, C., Brondizio, ES. 2014.Local and scientific knowledge for assessing the use of fallows and mature forest by large mammals in SE Brazil: identifying singularities in folk ecology. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 01/2014, 10(1): 7

Brondizio, E. S. 2013. A microcosm of the Anthropocene: Socioecological complexity and social theory in the Amazon. Perspectives: Journal de la Reseaux Francaise d’Institut d'études avancées (RFIEA). N. 10: 10-13 [Autumn 2013]

Duraiappah AK, S. T. Asah, E. S. Brondizio, N. Kosoy, P. O’Farrel, A-H Prieur-Richard, K. Takeuchi. 2014. The New Commons: Matching the Mis-Matches. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 7:94–100

Welch, J., E. S. Brondizio, C. Coimbra, S. Hetrick. 2013. Indigenous Burning as Conservation Practice: Neotropical Savanna Recovery amid Agribusiness Deforestation in Central Brazil. PLOS ONE. December 2013, Volume 8, Issue 12 e81226.

Brondizio, E. S., E. Ostrom, and O. R. Young.  2013. Analyse et gouvernance des systèmes socio écologiques multi-niveaux. Management et Avenir 65, 2013/7: 108-140. 10.3917/mav.065.0108 [translation reduced version of Brondizio, Ostrom, and Young 2009]

Ballestero, E. and E. S. Brondizio. 2013. Building negotiated agreement: The emergence of community based tourism in Floreana (Galapagos Islands). Human Organization 72(4): 323-335

Duraiappah, A., S. Asah, E. S. Brondizio, L. Hunter, N.  Kosoy, A-H. Prieur-Richard, S. Subramaniam. 2013. Managing biodiversity is about people: The Role of Social Sciences in Achieving the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets. Background Paper for the Trondheim Conference 1 on Biodiversity. Montreal: UN-CBD.

Hetrick, S., Roy Chowdhury, R., E. S. Brondizio, and E. F. Moran. 2013. Spatiotemporal patterns and socioeconomic determinants of vegetative cover in Altamira City, Brazil. Land 2(1) doi:10.3390/land20x000x

Brondizio, E. S. A. Cak,  M. Caldas, C. Mena; R. Bilsborrow, C. T. Futemma, E. F. Moran, M. Batistella, and T. Ludewigs. 2013. Pequenos produtores e desmatamento na Amazonia. In Keller, M., M. Bustamante, J. Gash, and P. Silva Dias (Eds.) Amazonia e Mudancas Globais, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 186, 565 pp., AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/GM186. [translated from Brondizio et al 2009

Kumar, P., E. Brondizio, F. Gatzweiler, J. Gowdy, D. de Groot, U. Pascual, B. Reyers, P. Sukhdev. 2013. The economics of ecosystem services: from local analysis to national policies. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

Brondizio, E. S. and E. F. Moran. 2012. Level-dependent deforestation trajectories in the Amazon: 1970-2001. Population and Environment. DOI 10.1007/s11111-011-0159-8 [electronic version December 2011].

Brondizio, E. S. 2012. Institutional crafting and the vitality of rural areas in an urban world: Perspectives from a Japanse community in the Amazon. Global Environmental Research 16(2): 145-152

Guedes, G., E. S. Brondizio, A. Resende, R. P. Penna-Firme, and I. Cavallini. 2012. Poverty Dynamics and Income Inequality in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon – A Multidimensional Approach. Human EcologyDOI: 10.1007/s10745-011-9444-5.

Brondizio, E. S., F. Gatzweiler, C. Zagrafos, M. Kumar. 2010. Socio-cultural context of ecosystem and biodiversity valuation.(Chapter 4) In P. Kumar (ed.) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). United Nations Environmental Programme and the European Commission. London, UK: Earthscan Press. Pp. 150-181.

Brondizio, E. S. 2011. Forest Resources, Family Networks and the Municipal Disconnect: Examining Recurrent Underdevelopment in the Amazon Estuary. In M. Pinedo-Vasquez, M., M. Ruffino, C. Padoch,. E. S. Brondizio (eds.) The Amazonian Várzea: the decade past and the decade ahead. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Publishers co-publication with The New York Botanical Garden Press. Pg. 207-232.

Brondizio, E. S., E. Ostrom, O. Young. 2009. Connectivity and the Governance of Multilevel Socio-ecological Systems: The Role of Social Capital. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 34:253–78

Brondizio, E. S., A. Cak, M. Caldas, C. Mena; R. Bilsborrow, C. T. Futemma, E. F. Moran, M. Batistella, and T. Ludewigs. 2009. Small Farmers and Deforestation in Amazônia. In M. Keller, M. Bustamante, J. Gash, and P. Silva Dias (eds.) Amazônia and Global Change: A Synthesis of LBA Research. World Scientific Publishing (American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph Series 186). Pp. 117-143.

Guedes, G., S. M. Costa, and E. S. Brondizio. 2009. Revisiting the Hierarchy of Urban Areas in the Brazilian Amazon: a multilevel model using multivariate fuzzy cluster methodology. Population and Environment 30(4):159-DOI 10.1007/s11111-009-0083-3

Ludewigs, T., D’antona, A. de O., Brondízio, E.S., Hetrick, S. 2009. Agrarian Structure and Land Use Change along the Lifespan of Three Colonization Areas in the Brazilian Amazon. World Development (2009), 37(10) doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2008.08.018.

Padoch, C., E.S. Brondizio, S. Costa, M.Pinedo-Vasquez, R. Sears and A. Siqueira. 2008. Urban Forest and Rural Cities: Multi-sited Households, Consumption Patterns, and Forest Resources in Amazonia. Ecology and Society 13(2): 2 [online] URL:

Brondizio, E. S. and E. F. Moran.2008. Human Dimensions of Climate Change: The vulnerability of small farmers in the Amazon. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 363, 1803–1809.