Vivian Argüelles, Ph.D. Student

BSc Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); MSc Applied Animal Behavior and Animal Welfare, University of Edinburgh, UK.



Interests: Sustainability transitions, agroecology, sustainable livestock systems, animal welfare


Research Summary:

Sustainability transitions in the livestock sector: The case of silvopastoral systems in Latin America.

Livestock production continues to grow rapidly in Latin America, but its unplanned expansion has had detrimental effects on the environment as conversion to agricultural land has increased deforestation, amplified anthropogenic CO2 emissions, reduced water quality and led to soil degradation and loss of biodiversity.

As an alternative to alleviate the negative impacts caused by extensive livestock farming and preserve environmental services, integrated farming-livestock-forestry systems, also known as silvopastoral systems (SPS), have been studied and promoted in Latin America for over 20 years, yet large-scale adoption remains low. Because of the livestock sector’s role in global challenges such as poverty, food provision and GHG emissions, and its implications for countries of the global south, there is a clear need to assess innovation and transition processes towards sustainable food systems, so that best practices can be identified, characterized, promoted and adopted in the field, as well as to contribute to the theoretical understanding of these multidimensional processes.

In this research project I will use the Multi Level Perspective, Strategic Niche Management and Transition Management frameworks to explore and compare the dynamics of the innovation and transition processes towards a generalized shift to SPS in selected regions in Mexico and other Latin American countries, and promote interaction between different stakeholders, capture their visions of the mechanisms that can support the transition towards SPS and encourage the collaborative development of concrete strategies.


Awards and Scholarships:

Graduate Excellence Award, McGill University, 2020

CONACyT Scholarship for Doctoral Studies Abroad, National Council of Science and Technology (Mexico), 2020



Still to come.