PhD Seminar

The PhD seminar is a group of PhD candidates at UBC who meet for monthly meetings where they share research. All PhD candidates at UBC are welcome to join. They can do so by writing to the chair of the program, Dr. Benjamin Bryce (, or one of the leaders of the group, Ricardo García Martínez (

Participants in the PhD seminar, 2022-23

Peter de Montmollin is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. His research explores the comparative history of water and science in Chile and Canada during the twentieth century. He received his BA from Syracuse University and his MA from UBC.

Lorenia Salgado-Leos is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies in the Department of FHIS. Her dissertation, Infrastructures of Mobility, explores 21st century migrancy across the Americas. She focuses on movements from Haiti, Central America, Mexico, and the United States. Her research interests include Borders, (Post)Migration, and (Im)Mobility Studies; Latin American Literature, Culture, and Politics; and Philosophy. Learn more about Lorenia’s research at Notes on infra-structures and mobilities

Daniel P. Gámez is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. His dissertation deals with the making of Indigenous autonomy and self-government in Xochimilco, Mexico City from the seventeenth century to the present. His research interests include critical race theory, anticolonialism, critical ethnic studies, political geography and ethnohistory.

Paolo Sosa-Villagarcia is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science. His dissertation uses a multi-method approach to explore the link between authoritarian legacies and the mainstreaming of the far-right in Andean countries. His research interests include political regimes, electoral politics, social movements, and political ideologies. He is a principal researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP). He was the country coordinator for Peru at the V-Dem Institute and a Fox International Fellow at Yale University (2019-20).

Ricardo García Martínez is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies. His dissertation explores accumulation, value, literature, and the role of the intellectual in Latin America from the Conquest to the present. He focuses on authors from the North American Corridor (Central America-United States) as well as the Southern Cone (Uruguay and Argentina). His research interests include Latin American Literature and Culture; Spanish and Novohispanic Baroque; Film Studies; Posthegemony; and Marxism.

Francisco Eslava is a PhD candidate in Economics at the Vancouver School of Economics. His dissertation studies the long-run determinants of economic development in Latin America, with emphasis on the role that gender relations have in the region. In particular, his research includes work on Colombian conflict studying how female leaderships have helped in de-escalating violence; as well as work on the colonial legacy of the Spanish empire in Mexico, and on the way that Catholic indoctrination shaped modern gender relationships within households in the southern highlands.

Inari Sosa-Aranda is a PhD candidate in Human Geography. Her  dissertation explores the entanglements between environmental protection efforts and racial segregation in Mexico, using  the case study of a small beach town in the Riviera Maya. Her project uses the frameworks of Blanquitud and internal colonialism to understand  how the connection between the production of environmental and racialized subjects plays a significant role in facilitating segregation, dispossession, and extractivism. Inari has a background in biology with Bachelor and M.Sc. degrees in this discipline from the National Autnomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Debbie Pierce is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Forestry. Her research examines the relationships between land markets, land access, deforestation and gender in the Colombian Amazon. She finds inspiration from the fields of feminist political ecology, political geography, and ecological economics. She has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Romina Tantaleán-Castañeda is a PhD student in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. Working collaboratively with an Indigenous women’s grassroots federation of the Peruvian Amazon, her dissertation focuses on the Rights of Mother Nature from a strongly pluralist paradigm while centering and prioritizing Indigenous women’s leadership, knowledge, voices, and context. Romina is a lawyer from Peru focused on the defense of human rights. Her work has also focused on advocacy and oversight of Indigenous peoples’ rights and giving advice to grassroots and local organizations on a range of issues. She received her MA from UBC.

Patricio Robles is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies. His dissertation examines texts about  nature in the Southern Cone (Patagonia and Pampas). Focusing on the intersection of Affective theory and Ecocritical analysis, Patricio investigates how nature and culture have been perceived in post-Independence travel writing, gauchesca literature, and contemporary novels. He  studied Anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires and Environmental Studies at FLACSO (Latin American Social Sciences Institute).