Personal profile

Research interests

Luisa Cortesi is an environmental anthropologist who studies water disasters and climate change, environmental knowledge and technologies, environmental justice and sustainable development. She is currently Assistant Professor of Water, Disasters, and Environmental Justice at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands. She is also Marie S. Curie Junior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies, Germany and Visiting Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Cornell University, USA.   Dr. Cortesi holds a dual Ph.D. with distinction in Anthropology and in Environmental Sciences from Yale University. In 2018-2020, she was the Stanford H. Taylor Postdoctoral Fellow in Science and Technology Studies and Anthropology at Cornell University, and Fellow at the Atkinson Centre of Sustainability.  Recently, her work has received the 2019 Field Prize for “poetic and literary” scholarship, the highest honor for graduate dissertations at Yale University; the Josephine de Karman fellowship (2017-2018) for “high academic standards” based on a national competition amongst graduate students of any discipline in the U.S.; the 2017 Eric Wolf Prize by the Political Ecology Society for “advancing the field of political ecology”; the 2017-2018 biennial PRAXIS Applied Anthropology Award for “outstanding achievement in translating anthropological knowledge into action”; and the 2016 Curl Prize by the Royal Anthropological Institute for “the best paper relating to the results or analysis of anthropological work”. Both the PRAXIS and the Curl Prize are open rank competitions.  Dr. Cortesi’s recent work has been supported by the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (Engaged Grant, Dissertation Grant, Osmundsen Initiative), the Social Sciences Research Council, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Fulbright-IIE Fellowship, the Atkinson Centre for Sustainability, Engaged Cornell, the MacMillan Centre, the YIBS Institute for Biospheric Studies, the Tropical Resources Institute, the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale, the South Asian Studies Council, the de Karman Fellowship, the Alice Bloomfield Scholarship, and the United Nations Fellowship.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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