Eduardo S. Brondizio

Eduardo S. Brondizio

Professor, Anthropology

Adjunct Professor, Geography

Adjunct Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Adjunct Professor, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Adjunct Professor, Native Studies Program

Adjunct Professor, Individualized Major Program

Adjunct Professor, Food Studies Program

External Professor, NEPAM-University of Campinas

External Professor, National Institute for Space Research, Brazil

Director, Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes

Co-Chair, Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (2016-2019)

Faculty Associate and Internal Board of Directors, Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis

Science Committee member, Future Earth program

Co-Editor-in-Chief, Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability (COSUST), Elsevier

Geographical areas of specialization
Amazon; Brazil; Latin America

Research Interests
environmental and economic anthropology; land use and landscape history; institutions and collective action; household economy and demographics; livelihoods and poverty; local ecological knowledge; people-forest interaction; social-ecological complex systems analysis; global environmental and climate change; sustainability sciences; integrative methodologies

About Eduardo S. Brondizio

At Indiana University Bloomington, I have developed a research program in Environmental Anthropology that is collaborative and international, interdisciplinary and problem-oriented, and, perhaps foremost, dedicated to understanding rural and urban populations and landscapes in the Amazon. For most of my career, I have studied small farmers and rural households in Eastern Amazonia as they have interacted with commodity markets, development programs and policies, social movements, and environmental-climate change. For the past decade, my research has extended to the analysis of rural-urban household networks, urbanization and urban problems, and the governance of indigenous areas and conservation units in the region. As a microcosm of global predicaments and diversity, marked by development contradictions, social inequalities, and accelerated environmental change, the Amazon has provided me an entry point to engage on collaborative research focusing on global change and sustainability. I have strived to maintain a field-based, comparative and longitudinal research program that combines ethnography, survey, institutional analysis, geospatial methods, ecological assessments, and historical investigation, grounded in a belief that empirical analysis, theory and methodological development are inter-dependent. Brought together, I see my research as contributing to a ‘grounded complex systems perspective’ to the study of regional and global change. This implies examining regions such as the Amazon as dynamic social-ecological-political-historical landscapes emerging from interacting local, regional, and global processes, and defying simplistic interpretations and one-size-fits-all solutions and policies.

As expressed in various publications and research projects, I cherish opportunities to work together with colleagues and students in Anthropology, as well as across the social and natural sciences, the humanities, and with local collaborators. I value disciplinary expertise, but also see my work contributing to the breaking down of barriers across disciplines and knowledge systems and advancing problem-based conceptual frameworks and approaches to the study of human-environment interactions, development and inequality, environmental governance and sustainability. I feel privileged to work on these issues with colleagues and students in the Department of Anthropology, the Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes (CASEL), the Ostrom Workshop, and other communities at Indiana University and beyond.

I have also been fortunate to work closely with international global change research programs, in particular, the International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP), now part of the Future Earth program of which I am a member of the Science Committee []. I have also had the privilege of contributing to regional, national, and global assessments such as the first assessment of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, UNEP's Global Environmental Outlook (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], among others.

I am currently the Co-Chair (with Sandra Diaz and Josef Settele) of the Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Inter-governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The Global Assessment (2016-2019) includes 140+ authors from around the world and will contribute to inform the current (2011-2020) and next (2020-2030) Global Biodiversity Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals.

I am the co-Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability [Elsevier], an interdisciplinary journal with a broad international readership dedicated to publishing short reviews of recent literature on issues that carry broad relevance in environmental sustainability and global change.


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
  • E101: Sustainability and Society
  • E322: Peoples of Brazil
  • I375: Brazilian and Amazonian history
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

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]


The Multiple Evidence Base as a framework for connecting diverse knowledge systems in ecosystems and biodiversity assessment. Collaborative writing with M. Tengö, P. Malmer, T. Elmqvist, Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), Stockholm Univ., M. Spierenburg (Free Univ. Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Support SwedBio-SIDA.


People And Reforestation in the Tropics: a Network for Education, Research, and Synthesis. Research Coordination Network funded by the National Science Foundation Lead PI: Robin Chazdon, University of Connecticut, USA. [Core participant, collaborating scientist]

Selected Publications

Sample Volumes and Journal Issues:

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]

Brondizio, E. S. and J. Syvitski (Guest Editors). 2016. The Anthropocene. Special issue of Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions. Special issue organized on behalf of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Program (IHDP). Editorial and 4 articles. Volume 39.

Brondizio, E. S., Solecki, W., and R. Leemans. 2015. Climate change: A virtual special issue with commentary for COP21. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability. 29 articles.

Solecki, W., and R. Leemans, E. S. Brondizio. 2015. Open Issue Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability. Vol. 14. Pages 1-266 (June 2015), 30 Articles.

Sample Research Articles:

Brondizio, E. S. and F. M Le Tourneau. 2016. Environmental Governance for All. Science 352(6291):1272-1273.

Brondizio, E. S., K. O’Brien, X. Bai, F. Biermann, W. Steffen, F. Berkhout, C. Cudennec, M. C. Lemos, A. Wolfe, J. Palma-Oliveira, C-T. Arthur Chen. 2016. Re-conceptualizing the Anthropocene: A Call for Collaboration. Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions.

Brondizio, E. S., A. C. B. de Lima, S. Schramski C. Adams. 2016. Social and Health Dimensions of Climate Change in the Amazon: A Review. Annals of Human Biology.

Brondizio, E. S., N. Vogt, A. Mansur, S. Costa, E. Anthony, S. Hetrick. 2016. A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Deltas as Coupled Social Ecological Systems: An example from the Amazon River Delta and Estuary. Sustainability Sciences. Vol :1-19. DoI: 10.1007/s11625-016-0368-2

Brondizio, E. S. 2016. Entangled Futures: Anthropology’s engagement with global change research. In S. Crate and M. Nuttall (eds.) 2015. Anthropology and Climate change: From encounters to action. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. 2nd. Edition.

Brondizio, E. S., S. Fiorini, and R. Adams. 2016. History and Scope of Environmental Anthropology. In Helen Kopninaand Eleanor Shoreman-Ouimet the International Handbook in Environmental Anthropology. New York: Routledge Publishers. Pp. 10-30.

Mansur, A. V., E. S. Brondízio, S. Roy, S. Hetrick, N. Vogh, A. Newton. 2016. An Assessment of Urban Vulnerability in the Amazon Delta and Estuary: A multi-Criterion Index of Flood Exposure, Socio-Economic Conditions and Infrastructure. Sustainability Sciences Pp: 1-16; doi:10. 1007/ s11625-016-0355-7.

[Forthcoming] Brondizio, E. S. 2016. Commentary: Conditional Cash Transfers, Food Security and Health: biocultural insights for poverty alleviation policy from the Brazilian Amazon (Piperata et al.). Current Anthropology.

[Forthcoming] Perez, R. and E. S. Brondizio. l'Ecole de Bloomington. In M. Cornu, F. Orsi, and J. Rochfeld. Dictionnaire Critique des Communs.

Szabo, S., E. s. Brondizio, S. Hetrick, Z. Matthews, F. Renaud, Z. Sebesvari, R. J. Nicholls, S. Costa, J. A. Dearing, E. Foufoula-Georgiou.2016. Population dynamics in the context of environmental vulnerability: Comparison of the Mekong, Ganges-Brahmaputra and Amazon delta regions. Sustainability Sciences 2016 19: 1-16. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-016-0372-6.

Brondizio, E.S., E. Foufoula-Georgiou, S. Szabo, N. Vogt, Z. Sebesvari, F. G. Renaud, A. Newton, E. Anthony, A. V. Mansur, Z. Matthews, S. Hetrick, S. M. Costa, Z. Tessler, A. Tejedor, A. Longjas, John Dearing. 2016. Catalyzing action towards the sustainability of Deltas. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability 2016 19:182-194.

Brondizio, E. S. 2016. Les defies d’une COP21 reussie. Fellows. N. 7: May 1, 2016. Dossier: COP21 et Changement Climatique. Revu du Réseau français des instituts d’études avancées.

Brondizio, E. S. 2016. The elephant in the room: Amazonian cities deserve more attention in climate change and sustainability discussions. ClimaCom Cultura Científica. ANO 02 – N.2 – Special issue "Vulnerabilidade" ISSN 2359-4705. [based on Brondizio 2016 in The Nature of Cities]

Szabo, S., E. s. Brondizio, S. Hetrick, Z. Matthews, F. Renaud, R. J. Nicholls, Z. Sebesvari, S. Costa, J. A. Dearing, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, A. Tejedor, Z. Tessler.2016. Population dynamics in the context of environmental vulnerability: Comparison of the Mekong, Ganges-Brahmaputra and Amazon delta regions. ESRC Centre for Population Change. Working Paper 74. January 2016. ISSN 2042-4116. 31 pp.

Sebesvari, Z., E. Foufoula-Georgiou, I. Harrison, E. S. Brondizio, T. Bucx, J. A. Dearing, D. Ganguly, T. Ghosh, S. L. Goodbred, M. Hagenlocher, R. Hajra, C. Kuenzer, A. V. Mansur, Z. Matthews, R. J. Nicholls, K. Nielsen, I. Overeem, R. Purvaja, Md. M. Rahman, R. Ramesh, F. G. Renaud, R.S. Robin, B. Subba Reddy, G. Singh, S. Szabo, Z. D. Tessler, C. van de Guchte, N. Vogt, C. A. Wilson. 2016. Imperatives for sustainable delta futures. Policy Brief available at UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

Brondizio, E. S. 2016. The elephant in the room: Amazonian cities deserve more attention in climate change and sustainability discussions. Collective Blog: ’The Nature of Cities’.

Brondizio, E. S., Solecki, W., and R. Leemans (eds.) 2015. Editorial: Climate change: A virtual special issue with commentary for COP21. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability. 29 articles.

Vogt, N. , M. A. Pinedo-Vasquez, E. S. Brondìzio, F. Rabelo, K. Fernandes, O. Almeida, R. Rivero, P. Deadman, and Y. Dou. 2016.Local Ecological Knowledge and Incremental Adaptation to Changing Flood Patterns in the Amazon Delta. Sustainability Sciences DOI: 10.1007/s11625-015-0352-2 [Special Issue: Sustainable Deltas: Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services, and Policy Implications].

Solecki, W., E. S. Brondizio. and R. Leemans, 2015. Editorial: Sustainability from theory to practice. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability. Vol. 14:v–vii doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2015.10.001

Bai, X., S. van der Leeuw, K. O’Brien, F. Berkhout, F. Biermann, W. Broadgate, E. S. Brondizio, C. Cudennec, J. Dearing, A. Duraiappah, M. Glaser, A. Revkin, W. Steffen, and J. Syvitski. 2015. Plausible and Desirable Futures in the Anthropocene: A New Research Agenda Submitted. Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.017

Siqueira, A. D. and E. S. Brondizio. Forthcoming 2015. Mudancas e Continuidades: economia florestal, serviços urbanos e unidades domésticas no Estuário Amazônico. Revista Pós Ciências Sociais. [Universidade Federal do Maranhao, Brasil] 11(22): 181-194

Vogt, N., M. Pinedo-Vasquez, E. S. Brondizio, O. Almeida, and S. Ribero. 2015. Mosaic Production Landscapes in the Amazon Estuary: Smallholder Land Use Systems, Flexibility in Land-Use Decisions and Forest Transition from WWII to Present. Society and Natural Resources An International Journal (pg.1-16)

Alessa, L., A. Kliskey, M. Barton, M. Altaweel, J. Ozik, T. Park, W. Rand, D. Brown, J. Liu, S. Bankes, S. Wang, E. Moran, E. Bondizio, J. Feddema. 2015. Best Practices for Integrating Social Sciences into Social Ecological Systems Science: Future Directions for Building a More Resilient America. A report to the US National Science Foundation. Center for Resilient Communities, University of Idaho. 53pp.

Díaz, Sandra, Sebsebe Demissew, Julia Carabias, Carlos Joly, Mark Lonsdale, Neville Ash, Anne Larigauderie, Jay Ram Adhikari, Salvatore Arico, András Báldi, Ann Bartuska, Ivar Andreas Baste, Adem Bilgin, Eduardo Brondizio et alli [71 co-authors]. 2015. The IPBES Conceptual Framework — connecting nature and people, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 14, June 2015, Pages 1-16, ISSN 1877-3435,

Brondizio, E. S. 2014. 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.

Tallis, H., J. Lubchenco et alli [238 co-authors]. 2014. Working together: A call for inclusive conservation. Nature 515 (7525): 27-28.

Brondizio, E. S. and K. Andersson. 2014. Report: Conceptual and Methodological Framework for Evaluating the Contribution of Collective Action to Biodiversity Conservation. UN-Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD): UNEP/CBD/COP/12/13/Add.5; COP-12-inf-07-en-1.doc.

*Eloy, L., E. S. Brondizio, and R. Pateo. 2014. New perspectives on mobility, urbanisation, and resource management in Amazônia. Bolletim of Latin American Research (BLAR). 2014: 1-16 DOI:10.1111/blar.1226

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

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

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 Ecology DOI: 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.

For a complete publication list, please contact Prof. Brondizio.