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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Mariaelena Huambachano

Mariaelena Huambachano portrait

Assistant Professor


Native American and Indigenous Studies


A native Peruvian Indigenous scholar, Dr. Mariaelena Huambachano, Assistant Professor, is joining the faculty of the department of Religion and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences in the 2021-22 academic year. She will be teaching courses on Indigenous research methodologies and Indigenous food cosmologies in Spring 2022.


Ph.D. - The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Master of Management & International Business, Massey University, New Zealand

Professional Experience

2019-2021 - Assistant Professor, Civil Society & Community Studies, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Fall 2018 – Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies and Sustainability Studies, California State University, Northridge

2016-18 – Presidential Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University

Research Interests

Dr. Huambachano’s research and teaching are rooted in an interdisciplinary approach to Indigenous Studies, Environmental Studies, and Sustainable Development.  These areas encompass food and climate justice, environmental governance, agroecology, public policy, community-driven development, traditional ecological knowledge and decolonizing methodologies.

Her current book manuscript Recovering our Ancestors’ Foodways:  Indigenous Traditions as a Recipe for Living Well. The work is a cross-cultural study of two Indigenous knowledge systems:  Maori of Aotearoa-New Zealand and the Quechua people of Peru.

Funded Research

2020 – Fall Research Competition – University of Wisconsin -Madison; Research Project:  Indigenous Knowledge, Biodiversity, and Regenerative Food Systems

2020 – Global Health Institute – University of Wisconsin – Madison; Research Project:  Living Well: Indigenous Philosophies for Global Resilient Food Systems

2017 – Social Science New Zealand Research Foundation Grant

2018 – New Zealand Embassy Research Grant

Awards & Professional Honors

Additional Awards:  Nelly McNally Fellowship (UW-Madison); Doctoral Publication Award (University of Auckland)

Member:  Human Development & Capability Association; American Food Sovereignty Network; Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society; Native American Indigenous Studies Association