Research Associate

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Skype: majorestre

ResearchGate profile
Training Maria studied biology at the ‘Universidad de Los Andes’ in Colombia, specialized in environmental education early in her career and worked with local communities in the Colombian Amazon and Andean Highlands. During her MSc studies in Sustainable International Agriculture at the Universities of Kassel and Göttingen, Germany, she gained experience in participatory learning and action research working with agropastoralists in Mozambique. From 2013 to 2017, she developed and implemented a collaborative learning approach with small-scale dairy producer groups in Kenya to reduce post-harvest losses and support local innovation. This work formed the basis of her Ph.D. thesis, which she defended in May 2017 at the University of Hohenheim, Germany.
Career Maria worked as researcher and consultant on interdisciplinary projects related to environmental education, participation and the sustainable use and management of strategic ecosystems in Colombia. Maria joined DITSL in 2009 with a “work and study grant” from the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) of the University of Kassel. Thereafter she worked as a research assistant, conducted her Master thesis research and continued with her Ph.D.
Research Maria’s research interests include transdisciplinary and actor-oriented approaches to studying linkages between human activities and sustainability of social-ecological systems, with the aim of improving resilience and supporting self-driven change that is based on fair relationships among the actors.
Experience abroad Maria has extensive fieldwork experience in remote areas of Colombia (Amazonia and Paramos), Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania