Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Introducing... Dr Adriana Suárez Delucchi

17 April 2023

Dr Adriana Suárez Delucchi is an IAS /UCL Anthropocene Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Indigenous Ecologies and Environmental Crisis

Dr Adriana Suárez Delucchi

Adriana is a geographer (PUC, Chile) and holds a Master’s in Environmental Management (Macquarie University, Australia) and a PhD in Sustainable Futures (University of Bristol). 

Her research focuses on natural resource management institutions at different scales (projects, communities, nation state and transnational organisations) in contested environments and her work seeks to identify, address and challenge the marginalisation of rural and indigenous groups from dominant management arrangements.

Although Adriana was trained on quantitative and spatial research methods, she has moved towards using qualitative approaches to research, specifically Institutional Ethnography (IE), and is currently thinking with postcolonial and decolonial studies to analyse environmental governance scale dynamics as relational processes. 

In her PhD research, she worked closely with rural communities in Chile as they navigated the complex dynamics associated with water rights. Using institutional ethnography, an ontology that is specifically designed to explicate the ways in which people’s lives are organised by global governance and power dynamics, she mapped the ways in which local communities negotiate access to drinking water and demonstrated the ways in which their work intersected in important ways with translocal governance frameworks. 

Subsequently, she used IE in her postdoctoral position with the BioSmart Amazonia project where her role was to map the discourses organised by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly as these shape the lives of campesinos in the Amazon. The larger discursive framework, called the 'project economy', has clear material consequences for the farmers and ultimately for forest conservation.

Through her research and career thus far, Adriana has developed meaningful and long-standing networks with institutional ethnographers across the globe and is currently actively involved in facilitating training workshops on IE. In 2020, she was elected as a board member for the International Sociological Association Working Group on Institutional Ethnography and in 2022, with three other colleagues they launched the UK & Ireland Institutional Ethnography Network.

Together with colleague Dr Olivia Arigho-Stiles, Adriana will help develop a research cluster that will bring together interdisciplinary research being conducted on Indigenous Ecologies and Environmental Crisis within the IAS, UCL Anthropocene and beyond.

Adriana's research project at the IAS focuses on the experiences of Indigenous leaders who are actively participating in the process of socio-environmental transformation in Chile. This study particularly focuses on attempts to write a constitution with Indigenous values at its centre.