Laura Rival

Oxford Department of International Development
Queen Elizabeth House
3 Mansfield Road

University Lecturer in Anthropology and Development

Laura Rival’s research interests include issues in Amerindian conceptualizations of nature and society, historical ecology, the impact of national development policies on indigenous peoples, learning and knowledge acquisition, and Latin American identity politics.

Her research that has the most relevance to the food system is a project called “Food Systems for the 21st Century: Towards a resilience-based approach to agriculture and food systems”. This is developing a new transdisciplinary conceptual framework, informed by anthropology and ethnobiology, with the view to inform the integration of agriculture and food policies in the Latin American context.

Laura works across several departments, including the Oxford Department of International Development, the School of Anthopology, the Latin American Centre and the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests.

Her CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)-Oxford link project "Ecological and Anthropological Approaches to Agrobiodiversity and Food Systems" has been selected out of 45 proposals for funding, and will be organising a workshop on this topic later in 2012.


Recent Relevant Publications: 

2008. Domestication and diversity in manioc (Manihot esculenta Crantz ssp. esculenta, Euphorbiaceae ). Current Anthropology 49(6): 1119-28.

2009. Domestication of peach palm (Bactris Gasipaes Kunth): the roles of human mobility and migration [written with Charles R. Clement and David M. Cole, I am the second author]. In The ethnobiology of mobility, displacement and migration in indigenous lowland South America (ed.) Miguel Alexiades, 117-140. Oxford: Berghahn Books.

2012. Biodiversity and Development. In The ASA Handbook of Social Anthropology (eds) R. Fardon and J. Gledhill. My chapter is in Part IV on Futures, edited by Trevor Marchand. Pp. 282-292. London: Sage.

2012. Animism and the meaning of life: Towards an understanding of manioc domestication. In Shamanism in Rainforest and Tundra: Personhood in the Shamanic Ecologies of Contemporary Amazonia and Siberia (Eds) Olga Ulturgasheva, Marc Brightman and Vanessa Elisa Grotti. Pp.119-141. Oxford: Berghahn.

2012. Sustainable Development through Policy Integration in Latin America: A Comparative Approach. Development (Special Issue on Greening the Economy) 55(1): 63-70.