Marta Berbes

Caivan Communities Assistant Professor

Photo of Marta Berbes

PhD, Environmental Studies, York University,  Canada, 2015

MES, Environmental Studies, York University, Canada, 2008

B. Sc., Chemistry (Majors), Environment (Minor), McGill University, Canada, 2001

Research Interests

  • Sustainable urban futures
  • Environmental justice
  • Resilience and social-ecological systems
  • Ecosystem services and human wellbeing
  • Design justice
  • Participatory action research

Current Research Projects

  • Making visible the invisible: An art-based Approach to Engaging Community in Air Quality Monitoring in South PhoenixApproach to Engaging Community in Air Quality Monitoring in South Phoenix Making visible the invisible is a collaboration to build an obelisk that will display air quality data in real-time and that will be used as a tool for science engagement and communication with communities in South Phoenix. It intends to elevate the conversation on air quality and health equity to public spaces in the community. 
  • Barrio Innovation 'Barrio innovation' is a participatory action research approach to guide grassroots efforts to imagine innovative solutions to issues in historically underserved communities in Phoenix. 
  • Central Arizona Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER).  The Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) program advances research and education on urban ecology and urban socioecological systems. The Scenarios & Future team leads efforts in co-producing positive urban futures for the Phoeix valley. 
  • SETS Convergence - Converging Social, Ecological, and Technological Infrastructure Systems for Urban Resilience. SETS Convergence accelerates advances in convergent urban systems science capable of providing cities with the knowledge and methods for building integrated SETS resilience strategies to extreme events, supported by cutting-edge modeling, simulation, and visualization of infrastructure systems with a focus in San Juan (PR), Atlanta, New York, and Phoenix.
  • Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) . The UREx SRN focuses on integrating social, ecological, and technical systems to devise, analyze, and support urban infrastructure decisions in the face of climatic uncertainty. Working with an initial 9 UREx network cities — six continental U.S. and three Latin American, home to over 35 million residents – and ultimately an expanded network of cities, we aim to co-create a novel set of decision-support tools that confront resilience challenges and put cities on a path to sustainable futures.
  • NATURA. The Nature-based Solutions for Urban Resilience in the Anthropocene (NATURA) project links networks in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North and Latin America, and globally to enhance connectivity among the world's scholars and practitioners and improve the prospects for global urban sustainability. 
  • Nature-Based Solutions Research in Urban Latin America: International Research Experience for Students (NBS-RULA-IRES)  The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) project supports the training and development of 15 students in cross-cultural and international research approaches that advance a scientific and cultural understanding of the benefits of nature-based solutions in urban areas. The IRES is currently partnering with the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral in Guayaquil (ESPOL), Universidad Mayor in Santiago (UM), Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora in Hermosillo (ITSON), Universidad de LaSalle in Bogotá (ULS), and Universidad de Costa Rica in San José (UCR) to host students. 
  • Biospheres Futures. A global collection of scenarios to strengthen the practice and theory of scenarios as future methodologies.

Recent/key publications

  • Berbés-Blázquez, M., Schoon, M. L, Benessaiah, K., Bennett, E., Peterson, G.D., Ghimire, R. (accepted). Resilience in times of COVID: What the response to the COVID pandemic teaches us about resilience principles. Ecology & Society 
  • Muñoz-Erickson, T., Meerow, S., Hobbins, R., Cook, E.M., Iwaniec, D.M., Berbés-Blázquez, M., Grimm, N.B., Barnett, A., Cordero, J., Miller, T.R., Tandazo-Bustamante, F., Robles-Morua, A. (2021). Beyond bouncing back? Comparing and contesting urban resilience in US and Latin American contexts. Landscape and Urban Planning, 214. 
  • Brisbois, B., Feagan, M., Stime, B., Paz-Kukoc, I., Berbés-Blázquez, M., Gaibor, J., Cole, D., Di Ruggiero, E., Hanson, L., Janes, C., Plamondon, K., Spiegel, J., Yassi, A. (2021). Mining, colonial legacies and neoliberalism: A political ecology of health knowledge. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy. 
  • Dou, Y., Deadman, P.J., Berbés-Blázquez, M., Vogt, N, Almeida, O. (2020). Pathways out of poverty through the lens of development resilience: an agent-based simulation. Ecology and Society, 25(4):3. 
  • Iwaniec, D.M., Cook, E.M., Davidson, M., Berbés-Blázquez, M., Grimm, N.B. (2020). Integrating existing climate adaptation planning into future visions: a strategic scenario for the Central Arizona-Phoenix region. Landscape and Urban Planning, 200. 
  • Iwaniec, D.M., Cook, E.M., Davidson, M., Berbés-Blázquez, M., Georgescu, M., Krayenhoff, E.S., Middel, A., Sampson, D.A., Grimm, N.B. (2020). The co-production of sustainable future scenarios. Landscape and Urban Planning, 197. 
  • Berbés-Blázquez, M., Bunch, M.J., Mulvihill, P.R., Peterson, G.D., van Wendel de Joode, B., (2017). Understanding how access shapes the transformation of ecosystem services to human well-being with an example from Costa Rica. Ecosystem Services 28: 320-327. 
  • Burch, S.L., Mitchell, C.L., Berbés-Blázquez, M., Wandel, J. (2017). Tipping toward transformation: Progress, patterns and potential for climate change adaptation in the global South. Journal of Extreme Events, 4(1).
  •  Berbés-Blázquez, M., Mitchell, C.L., Burch, S.L., Wandel, J. (2017). Understanding climate change and resilience: Assessing strengths and opportunities for adaptation in the global South. Climatic Change. 141(2):227-241.doi:10.1007/s10584-017-1897-0 
  • Berbés-Blázquez, M., González, J. A., Pascual, U. (2016). Towards an ecosystem services approach that addresses social power relations. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 19: 134-143. doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2016.02.003 
  • Quinlan, A., Berbés-Blázquez, M., Haider, L.J., Peterson, G.D. (2015). Measuring & assessing resilience in practice: Broadening understanding with multiple disciplinary perspectives. Journal of Applied Ecology, 53: 677-687. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12550