School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


Margherita Scazza

Political ecology, Social movements studies, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), Decoloniality

PhD research: Resisting extractivism and deforestation in the Ecuadorian Amazon - technological interventions to protect Waorani’s ancestral lands

I am a 2nd year PhD student in the School of GeoSciences, researching innovative strategies of resistance towards deforestation and extractivism adopted by Waorani communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. I am particularly interested in exploring new forms of political organisation and the use of monitoring and mapping technologies as potential means of resistance and empowerment, as well as devices for the creation of new environmental subjectivities. The overarching framework of my project is one inspired by Participatory Action Research (PAR), although I will also be conducting an ethnography. In Ecuador, I work in collaboration with Alianza Ceibo, Amazon Frontlines and CONCONAWEP.

I am originally from Milan, Italy, where I studied Political Science and International Relations. I later moved to the Netherlands, where I graduated at Utrecht University with an MSc in Sustainable Development. At the department of International Development Studies, I developed an interest in environmental justice, natural resources grabbing, and indigenous struggles, conducting research in Rwanda and Ecuador. While studying, I also worked as a junior consultant for Context, International Cooperation, focusing on social entrepreneurship, international trade agreements and investments, and sustainable value chain development. From 2016 to 2018, I worked with Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples' rights, taking part in two campaigns, on conservation and uncontacted tribes’ rights. At the University of Edinburgh, I am supervised and inspired by Clare Barnes, Sam Spiegel and Casey High.

Scholarships and grants

Principal Career Development PhD Scholarship, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

Elizabeth Sinclair Irvine Bequest and Centenary Agroforestry 89 Fund

1st Rufford Small Grant, Rufford Foundation



Twitter: @marghesca

Linkedin: Margherita Scazza

“En 1492, los nativos descubrieron que eran indios, descubrieron que vivían en América, descubrieron que estaban desnudos, descubrieron que existía el pecado, descubrieron que debían obediencia a un rey y a una reina de otro mundo y a un dios de otro cielo, y que ese dios había inventado la culpa y el vestido y había mandado que fuera quemado vivo quien adorara al sol y a la luna y a la tierra y a la lluvia que la moja.”

― Eduardo Galeano, Los hijos de los días