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María Soledad Castro Vargas

María Soledad Castro Vargas


María Soledad Castro Vargas is a PhD Candidate at Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB). The roots of my research are in agrarian social movements in Costa Rica, particularly the movement against the expansion of pineapple production, in which she have actively participated since 2007. Costa Rica is the first global pineapple exporter and one of the most pesticide-intensive countries worldwide. Hence, there is a constant concern about socio-environmental exposure to pesticides through different means, such as the contamination of water for human consumption. However, little is known about how Costa Rican agriculture reached such a high dependence on pesticide use. Therefore, she research delves into this, by analyzing the relationship between chemicals and socio-natures. My aim is to comprehend why and how pesticide-contaminated waterscapes are being historically and geographically produced in Costa Rica in relation to the global pesticide complex. Combining approaches from political ecology, critical agrarian studies and environmental sciences, my doctoral thesis is grounded in the case of the pesticide-contaminated wetland Térraba-Sierpe in Costa Rica.


She holds a BSc on Natural Resources Management and a MSc in Water and Coastal Management, specialized in marine ecotoxicology of contaminants of emerging concern, i.e. UV filters. Other research interests include feminist studies and combined approaches of arts & political ecology.