Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado is a human ecologist and geographer specialized in freshwater resources, interested in complex systems analysis and groundwater modelling. Her work involves the development of experimental approaches to real-world problems related to human-environment interactions. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Geography at LMU Munich and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.
She has been visiting researcher at the Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and the Natural Resources Institute–University of Manitoba, Canada. She has received a number of awards, including the Indigenous Biocultural Exchange Fund Award, and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center grant. She was selected as a Young Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria in 2015, and at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden in 2016.
Born and raised in Yucatan, Mexico, she has worked for different NGOs and collaborated with communitarian organizations in Mexico towards groundwater conservation. She has been a delegate at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
(UNPFII) United Nations Headquarters, New York. She is currently a member of the Ramsar Culture Network, the specialist group Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, and the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy (CEESP).
Dissertation project: Groundwater Maya Project (pdf, 86 KB)
- with Fikret Berkes. “Restoring the Environment, Revitalizing The Culture: Cenote Conservation in Yucatan, Mexico.” Ecology and Society 22, no. 4 (2017): 7.
- with Eduardo Batllori-Sampedro, Claudia Binder, and Brian Fath. “Local Groundwater Balance Model: Stakeholders’ Efforts to Address Groundwater Monitoring And Literacy.” Hydrological Sciences Journal 62, no. 14 (2017): 2297–2312.
- “Socio-ecological Transformations within the Mayan Area of Yucatan, Mexico: Past and Present of a Water Oriented Complex Society.” Proceedings of the workshop Transformations of the Earth. International Graduate Workshop in Environmental History. Beijing, China, 18–23 May 2016. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, Germany, and the School of History, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China.
- “Groundwater Common Pool Resources in Yucatan, Mexico: Understanding Commonisation Processes—and Anticipating Decommonisation—in the Cenotes of the Mayan Area.” Proceedings of the International Association of the Study of the Commons 2015 Conference. University of Edmonton, Canada.
- “Towards an Understanding of the Human-Environment System of Mayan Communities: Knowledge, Users, Beliefs and Perception of Groundwater in Yucatan.” The Digital Library of the Commons. Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Indiana University.