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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Eduardo S. Brondizio « Committee on NAIS

Picture of Eduardo S. Brondizio

Professor of Anthropology

Office: Student Building 236
Phone: (812) 856-2555
E-mail: ebrondiz at


I am motivated by the study of rural populations and small farmers in Brazil and Latin America, their ways of life and livelihoods, their social and economic identities, and their importance to the larger society. I see my work contributing to unveil local heterogeneity and the reality of people hidden within regional and global levels of analysis, subsumed or de-contextualized under macro-level explanations of social and environmental change such as common for regions as the Amazon. My own research trajectory has evolved towards understanding interactions between household and community-level processes and larger social, political, and economic systems. My research approach seeks to integrate ethnographic and historical investigation, household surveys, ethnobotanical methods, and tools such as remote sensing, GIS, network analysis, and diverse modeling techniques to study socioeconomic, demographic, and land use change at multiple levels of analysis. My current research is focused on understanding the role of household and community level decisions on the formation of regional social-ecological complexity in the Amazon. Since the late 1980s, I have centered my work in the Amazon region studying the formation and transformation of rural families and communities as they interact with government policies and development programs, regional and global commodity markets, demographic and environmental change, and it is concerned with the local and regional social and environmental implications of these processes, including issues of poverty, deforestation, and the emergence of regional rural-urban network systems. I have maintained a systematic and cumulative, field-based research program in the Amazon focused on the region's historical peasantry, riverine caboclos of the Amazon estuary, colonist farmers settled along the region's highways (e.g., Trans-Amazon, and Br-163), and more recently, rural-urban networks studied in collaboration with colleagues and programs examining human dimensions of global climate change and sustainable development, sociocultural dimensions of ecosystem services programs, and efforts to develop collaborative frameworks for socio-ecological systems research. These include involvement with the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Program (IHDP), and several collaborative research networks. The sample of publications listed below illustrate well these concerns and approaches.

Relevant Courses

  • E105 Culture and Society
  • E322 Peoples of Brazil
  • E105 Native Amazonians
  • E600 Peoples and Plants: a graduate seminar in Ethnobotany
  • E600 The Human Footprint: The Study of Land Use Systems

Publication Highlights

Dr. Brondizio full list of 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 The New York Botanical Garden Press: 362 pp.

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. 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; Runner up: The 2010 Julian Steward Award for best book in Environmental Anthropology 2006-2009. Anthropology & Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association]

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 363:1803–09.

Pedrosa, R. P. F. and E. S. Brondizio. 2007 (published 2008). The Risks of Commodifying Poverty: Rural Communities, Quilombola Identity, and Nature Conservation in Brazil. Habitus Pedrosa and Brondizio Habitus 5/2:355-73.

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]

VanWey, L., A. O. D. Antona, and E.S. Brondizio. 2007. Household Demographic Change and Land Use/Land Cover Change in the Brazilian Amazon. Population and Environment 28:163-85.

Brondizio, E. S. 2006. Landscapes of the Past, Footprints of the Future: Historical Ecology and the Analysis of Land Use Change in the Amazon. In Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands, ed. W. Balée and C. Erikson, 365-405. New York: Columbia University Press.

DeCastro, F., A.D. Siqueira, E.S. Brondizio, and L.C. Ferreira. 2006. The Use and Misuse of the ‘Traditional’ Concept in Environmental Conservation in the Ribeira Valley, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ambiente e Sociedade 9/1 (Jan./June):23-39.

Duraiappah, A., F. T. Comin, T. Oliveira, Joyeeta Gupta, P. Kumar, M. Pyoos, M. Spierenburg, D. Barkin, E. S. Brondizio, and R. Tsutsumi. 2005. Consequences of Ecosystems Services for Poverty Reduction and Human Well-Being. In Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Policy Responses. Findings of the Responses Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, ed. Kanchan Chopra et al., chapter 17, 487-526. London: Island Press.

Brondizio, E. S. 2004. Agriculture Intensification, Economic Identity, and Shared Invisibility in Amazonian Peasantry: Caboclos and Colonists in Comparative Perspective. Culture and Agriculture 26/1-2:1-24.

Brondizio, E, Spierenburg, M.J. and Traverse, M. 2004. Cultural Perceptions, Responses and Services Relating to Ecosystems. In Issues and Themes in Anthropology, ed. Vinay Kumar Srivastava and Manoj Kumar Singh, chapter 27, 557-600. Published by Kamal Kishore for Palaka Prakashan.

Brondizio, E. S. 2004. From Staple to Fashion Food:  Shifting Cycles, Shifting Opportunities in the Development of the Açaí fruit (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) Economy in the Amazon Estuary. In Working Forests in the American Tropics: Conservation through Sustainable Management? Ed. D. Zarin et al., 348-61.  New York: Columbia University Press.