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Painting by Paul Gaugin

Carlos Garcia-Quijano

Carlos Garcia-Quijano


Associate Professor


Ph.D., University of Georgia

Ecological Anthropology, Human Ecology

In his research and teaching, Professor Garcia-Quijano strives to understand the dynamic and evolving relationship between people and the ecosystems they form a part of. He has a special interest in how human cognition, culture, and society influence the interaction between people and the non-human environment, as well as who bears the impacts and the responsibility for environmental problems. His applied goal is to help prevent environmental degradation and its differential impacts on the less powerful sectors of society. Towards these purposes he uses the tools of Anthropology together with those of disciplines such as Ecology and Ecological Economics.

At the moment, Dr. Garcia-Quijano is working on three lines of research. One of these consists of studying how small-scale coastal resource users, such as fishers and land crab hunters, use their knowledge of social-ecological systems to succeed in their enterprises. His doctoral work on this topic was profiled in the NOAA-National Estuarine Research Reserves Fellowships 10-year memoir. A closely related research interest is the development of conceptual frameworks to account for the goods and services provided by small-scale resource users' local ecological knowledge to greater society, and the contribution of social/cultural diversity to sustainability. He is currently starting work (in collaboration with John J. Poggie and Ana Pitchon) on a 2-year, UPR Sea Grant funded project studying the effect that coastal resource use has on the well-being, quality of life, and resilience of coastal communities in Southeastern Puerto Rico.

His other current line of research is the study of the relationship between human societies and introduced species in coastal areas, an important topic that will only become more so as globalization and climate foster conditions for new species' introductions by humans and for biological migrations. The common theme of his research is the study of the configuration of social-ecological systems in response to change, with an emphasis on the human components of these systems. His research has taken place in the Greater Caribbean and the South and Mid-Atlantic United States.

Carlos Garcia-Quijano's C.V., publications, and other relevant information can be found on his personal website at:

News & Announcements


Donna Hughes, Carlson Professor of Gender and Women's Studies has accepted a joint appointment as Professor of Sociology. Professor Hughes is a leading international researcher on human trafficking. She has completed research on the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Korea and also does research and writing on women's rights.


Dr. Pravin Patkar, a Fulbright Scholar from India will be in residence in Sociology and Anthropology during the 2015-16 academic year. The founder of Prerana, a center for women and children in Kamathipura - the largest red-light district in the world -- he written extensively on the topic of human trafficking. He has worked with victims of bonded labor (modern-day slavery) and prostitution and sex trafficking, and is an advocate for laws and policy that protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Dr. Patkar will be doing research and co-teaching courses with Professor Donna Hughes.


Julie Keller Julie C. Keller has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to URI, Professor Keller was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Oberlin College.


Rosaria Pisa has been appointed director of the Gender and Women's Studies program. Professor Pisa has conducted in-depth fieldwork in rural and urban Mexico since 1993. Her research has evolved from studying the impact of the privatization of communal land on community life to her current focus on the gender dynamics of local and organic farming.


URI Anthropology & History student, Morgan Breene, earns prestigious international award to continue her studies of underwater archaeological sites. For full article click here



For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award.

Associate Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!

Department contacts

Department Chair
Leo Carroll,

Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
Professor Leo Carroll,

Administrative Assistant
Theresa Nobile,