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The Socioecologies & Economies of Migration Collective emerged from informal conversations about our shared interests in the experiences of Latin American migrants in Canada. Our own positionalities as Latin American migrants and our commitments to community-based research moved us to create a new space to ask and solve questions about processes of migration and settlement. We believe in incorporating the important contributions of activists, artists, and students to the design and development of intentional, collaborative participatory research and social critique. 

Columba Gonzalez Duarte

Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology & Anthropology of Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax NS. 

Columba holds a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Toronto with a joint degree at the School of Environment.  Her research interests are related to monarch butterfly tri-national conservation dynamics exploring the connections between NAFTA’s agri-food industry, labour migration, and monarch decline. She has also worked with scientific and Indigenous communities that co-habit with this butterfly across Canada, the United States and Mexico, documenting their knowledge and forms of relating with the migratory insect. Columba is currently working on her research project, “Convergent Migrations,”

Columba brings her decade of expertise working in the three North American countries researching themes of convergent migrations with an emphasis on environment. She will host this event, coordinate the theme on environment and migration.


Gloria C. Pérez-Rivera is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at Vanderbilt University in the United States. She trained as a doctor in Colombia and practiced for ten years before immigrating. Upon moving to Canada, she earned a B.A. in sociocultural anthropology and an M.A. in medical anthropology from the University of Toronto. She will join the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto Scarborough as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2021.


Gloria’s current research focuses on relations of credit and debt in the lives of people
internally displaced during the Colombian conflict from rural regions to cities. This research examines credit and debt relations through histories of para-militarism, left-wing guerrilla insurgencies, state violence, drug trafficking and money laundering in Colombia to show how conflict-driven class reconfigurations and systematic land dispossession create the conditions for capital accumulation through credit to poor populations. Gloria’s next project focuses on the innovative informal financial schemes Latin American migrants use and develop to support their migration to and subsistence in Canada. It follows transnational and local debt to examine the entanglements of migrants in illicit and licit global flows of capital, and formal and informal
labour relations.

Gloria will direct the theme on credit and debt relations in the lives of Latin American migrants to Canada with the applied anthropologist Maka Suarez, and coordinate podcast production with students.

Rivas - Sánchez

Eloy Rivas-Sánchez holds a PhD in Sociology with Specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada).

He is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Athabasca University (Alberta, Canada) and Adjunct Research Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada).

He has 10 years of experience co-conducting with scholars and organizations from Canada, Mexico and the United States research on transnational migration, including temporary and undocumented migration to Canada, with emphasis on labour, deportability and health.

He has also conducted reseach on counter hegemonic masculinities, sex work, AIDS and human rights, and sexual conservativism. On those topics, he has published, solo and in collaboration, books, peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, policy papers, and public opinion articles in three languages (English, Spanish and French). He is also a regular public opinion commentator on topics linked to migration in the Canadian news. He is member of the UNESCO Chair on Democracy, Global Citizenship and Transformative Education; member of the research collective (Im)Mobilities in the Americas (Canadian Chapter), and also member of Solidarité sans frontiéres, an advocacy, migrant justice organization based in Montreal, Québec. He also collaborates with the Laboratório de Estudos Panamazônicos – Práticas de Pesquisa e Intervenção Social – of the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (Brazil). His current research is a social justice, community-based collaborative ethnography exploring the impact of COVID-19 on precarious status migrants in three Canadian cities, and the responses that the affected migrant populations, in conjunction with migrant justice organizations, enact to survive, contest, and overcome those challenges.

Eloy brings extensive expertise with Latin American activists, migrants and social justice actions. Eloy will coordinate the theme on Northern Precarity


Through social art, Melanie Schambach invites the public to challenge the narratives of identity, belonging, and social change through participatory painting. As an Artivist Melanie  acts against injustice and oppression by raising social and environmental awareness through creative expression. Pushing new edges of our imagination, the art of Melanie mirrors what transformation is possible. 

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Melanie brings creativity and social justice commitment to this project.

Melanie will use an art process to engage participants in self-discovering, research design, community building, and activism through play, theatre, song, and visual arts. Melanie will direct the final creation of a digital image that tells a story to a wider public. The image will be shared through social media, where storytelling, learning and celebration take place.

Research Assistants

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Renaj' holds a BscH in Biology and Psychology from Acadia University (Wolfville, Canada).

He is a 3rd-year student at Mount Saint Vincent University where he majors in Sociology & Anthropology and minors in Philosophy.

He is originally from the Bahamas and immigrated to Canada in 2006 to study. 

Renaj’brings a mix of tech savvy-ness and an upbeat attitude to foster student engagement.

He is our social media person! 

Ana JuliaBlur Background_edited_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Ana Julia is a 2nd year student at Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax, Canada) where she majors in Psychology and minors in Neuroscience. She was born and raised in Brazil, and will soon immigrate to Canada to continue her studies in-person at the Mount. Ana will be volunteering to mainly help students with unresolved questions related to the course content. 

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