Research Group


Kathryn Furlong is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the Université de Montréal and Canada Research Chair in Water and Urbanization. She also acts as co-director of the Ethics and Environment section of the Center for Research on Ethics (CRÉ). She holds a doctorate in human geography (UBC). Her research focuses on the social and environmental consequences of political-economic restructuring for water management and governance, particularly in the context of cities. Her research  brings together the disciplines of economic and urban geography and political ecology while addressing  issues related to the provision of municipal services, socio-technical networks, consumption and the links between practice and ethics. Her research has been supported by SSHRC, the FQRSC, Infrastructure Canada and the Canadian Water Network.


Tatiana Acevedo Guerrero is a geographer with a background in political studies. She is a Lecturer and Researcher in Politics of Sanitation and Wastewater Governance at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. Tatiana's research focuses on the interactions between urban water flows, infrastructure and society in the context of rapid unplanned growth and uneven development in cities of the global south. It documents the ways in which residents of different neighbourhoods make water flow – not only to access potable water, but also to evacuate other waters (human excreta, household wastewater and storm water). People can make water flow through mass demonstrations, legal complaints, or through direct infrastructural interventions. Her work also recognizes the entanglements between different infrastructures such as drainage, water supply, sanitation, and electricity. In the context of southern cities, where many infrastructures are characterized by long term breakdown and poor maintenance, they tend to be deeply interconnected. During the past four years, she has conducted archival and ethnographic research in Colombian cities analyzing the everyday intersections of water legislation and regulations, flash floods, fragile infrastructures, contestation, and inequality. As such, while her work comes under the sub-disciplines of political ecology and water governance, it also examines a broad range of questions related to socio-technical networks, state formation, and citizenship.


Alejandro Camargo As a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Water and Urbanization research group, I study the role of the World Bank in the development of water governance in Colombia from 1950 to 2010. I hold a Ph.D. in geography from Syracuse University where I specialized in political ecology, agrarian studies, and hazards and disasters studies. My research interests include the transformation of rural livelihoods and landscapes, water and land governance, and agrarian relations in a context of abrupt environmental change and uneven development. In recent years, my work has been focused on understanding how concerns over global climate change and disasters translate into specific technologies of governance; and how those technologies are adopted, implemented, negotiated, and transfigured locally. I also study how people manage, transform, and adapt to the changing conditions of floodplains, rivers, and wetlands at the intersection of political and climatic forces. From that perspective, I currently study how the collapse of freshwater fisheries in Colombia intertwine with the global fisheries crisis, the development of agrarian capitalism, and the intensification of climate-related disasters.


Marie-Noëlle Carré is a project manager (Strategies team) in Groupe BC2, a highly-qualified consulting firm located in Montreal and operating in various areas: urbanism, planning, environment, landscape architecture, geomatics. She is a former CRÉ postdoctoral fellow in environmental ethics. She defended her PhD in geography and planning at Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle Paris 3 (France) in October 2013. Her doctoral thesis examined waste management and governance in Buenos Aires. Her postdoctoral research analyzes the future of large and closed sanitary landfills, the most commonly used methods for waste treatment in the world. Marie-Noëlle’s current projects focus on governance at a distance of mining in French Guiana’s remote areas. As such, she contributes to GUYINT, a research project between Americas and Europe coordinated by Pr. François-Michel Le Tourneau (UMiGlobes - University of Arizona).


Denisse Roca Servat: Profesora titular de la Escuela de Ciencias Sociales, e investigadora de la Línea de Alternativas al Desarrollo del Grupo Territorio de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) sede Medellín, Colombia. Denisse realizó su PhD en Estudios de Justicia en la Universidad Estatal de Arizona, y sus estudios de maestría en el Instituto de Estudios Politicos de Burdeos, Francia. Sus investigaciones dialogan con perspectivas teóricas de la ecología política, la geografía crítica, los estudios culturales, así como con teorías críticas del derecho y de la política. Sus últimas investigaciones tratan sobre la “Justicia Hídrica en Perú y Colombia en el contexto de conflictos socio-ambientales por extractivismo minero”, y la “Ecología Política y el Pensamiento Ambiental en América Latina”. Actualmente coordina el equipo de investigación de la UPB del proyecto conjunto con la Universidad de Montreal: “Historizando Urbanismos del Agua en Colombia”. Combina el método etnográfico con la investigación-acción, y otras metodologías cualitativas como la cartografía social, el análisis del discurso, de las narrativas, y expresiones artísticas, Denisse se interesa por abrir sentidos y transcender la mirada disciplinaria moderna del conocimiento. Ella participa como investigadora de la Alianza Internacional Justicia Hídrica, y del Grupo de Trabajo de Ecología Política Abya-Yala de CLACSO, y coordina desde el 2014 el Grupo de Estudio de Ecología Política y Justicia Hídrica (GEEPJH).


Postdoctoral research

Florence Larocque earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and a master’s in Political Science from the Université de Montréal, before pursuing her doctoral studies in Political Science at Columbia University (New York). Her doctoral thesis analyzes water reforms that took place in Latin America between 1980 and 2014. Her postdoctoral research project will analyze the decision-making processes, social dynamics and ethical considerations explaining whether human consumption of drinking water is considered a priority use of water, namely that needs to be satisfied before a drinking-water source is used for other purposes. Her research interests lie in comparative social policy as well as in the political participation and mobilization of citizens, especially in Canada, Latin America and Europe. She also studies the factors influencing the availability and accessibility of data used for research in political science. Her articles have been published in Policy & Politics, the Canadian Journal of Political Science and Politique et Sociétés.


Martine Verdy is finishing her doctoral thesis entitled "Inter-territorial relations, hydroelectric projects and nationalism: the case of Churchill Falls". The construction of the Churchill Falls dam is a history of conflict between the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland-and-Labrador, which still persists in the present. It's a story that has not been told in a way to include both the perspectives of Quebec and of Newfoundland-and-Labrador. The story is often presented in one or the other perspective. This project thus seeks to achieve an inter-territorial analysis of hydro-power development to further understand how these relationships can influence inter-territorial hydroelectric projects. The purpose of this research is to trace the history of the Churchill Falls dam development and the ensuing conflict to understand better inter-territorial relations in the history of major projects between provinces. Few studies on hydroelectric dams have integrated the various relationships that exist across the boundaries affected by these projects.

Doctoral research

Jeimy Alejandra Arias Castaño is a PhD Candidate in Geography. Her project aims to study the connections between the state, the informal settlements and nature during the process of urbanization in Colombian in the 20th century. Using a theoretical framework grounded on science and technology studies, political ecology and the studies of the state, this project aims to build an environmental and social history of the work carried out by the official social housing authority the Territorial Credit Institute. Since 2011 Jeimy has been working for the Water and Urbanization CRC in the production and analysis of a databases that reviews the laws, decrees, resolutions, rulings of the constitutional court, congress’s debates and press review related to the water regulations in Colombia from 1909-2012. Jeimy holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master in Political Studies from the National University of Colombia. She is a former recipient of a scholarship from the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP). The financing for her PhD studies comes from the Colombian’s Department of Science, Technology and Innovation - Beca Colciencias para doctorados en el exterior and from the Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et Culture - Doctoral Research Scholarship (FRQSC).


Alejandra Uribe has Bachelor in Anthropology from Arizona State University and a Masters of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado Denver. Her academic and professional work has focused on human impacts on the environment. Her masters studies focused on fire vulnerability in the Western United States, in particular California. She will be starting her PhD in Geography and joining the CRC in January 2018 and her research will focus on the Colombian paramos and water justice for neighbouring rural communities.


Master's research

Olivia Fernández Pereda is pursuing a M. Sc. in Geography at the University of Montreal from which she holds a Major in Geography. She also holds a (M.Sc) in Environmental Management Water System (Universidad de Cantabria, 2010), and a MA in Ibero-American International Development Cooperation (Universidad de Cantabria, 2010) as well as an undergraduate degree in Biology (Universidad de La Laguna, 2008). In 2010 she upholds her master’s work on Citizen Participation in the Management of a Watershed on the Colca River in Peru. In 2011 she received a government scholarship from the autonomous community of Cantabria to do an internship at the Technical Office of the Spanish agency in Tegucigalpa (Honduras) for International Development Cooperation. Her research focuses on the impact of public-public partnerships (PUPs) on the provision of water services in the city of Quitto, Ecuador.


Camila Patiño Sanchez has a Bachelor degree in Geography from the University of Montreal.  Her honor's research project used a critical approach to analyze the use of water scarcity discourses in the Colombian press to promote urban modernization programs in Bogotá in the 1920’s. Camila is currently doing a Master's in human geography. Her research will focus on the use of risk and environmental discourses in the legitimization of hydroelectrical megaprojects in Colombia in the 1990’s. Since 2015, she has worked as Research Assistant for the Chair focusing on building and coordinating the project databases on Colombia's water development over the course of the 20th century.

Grupo de estudios en ecología política y justicia hídrica -UPB (Medellín)

Juan David Arias Henao: Estudiante del doctorado en Ciencias Sociales perteneciente al grupo de investigación Territorio de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana sede Medellín, Colombia. Magister en Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Interesado en temas relacionados con la ecología política, la historia ambiental y los estudios críticos de la globalización y el desarrollo. Juan David también está interesado en la producción de conocimientos desde los movimientos sociales de Colombia. Su trabajo de investigación doctoral tiene que ver con la Ecología Política de los Ríos desde una visión Latinoamericana. En particular, su interés se centra en estudiar la forma en que se ha construido la colonialidad del saber y del poder en el desarrollo de la matriz hidroenergética colombiana, y las posibilidades de creación de prácticas decoloniales en la relación entre ríos y humanos. Juan David es miembro activo del equipo de investigación en Medellín del proyecto “Historizando Urbanismos del Agua en Colombia”.


María Botero Mesa: Abogada de la Universidad de Antioquia y magíster en Desarrollo de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana sede Medellín en Colombia, con intereses teóricos, investigativos y prácticos relacionados con los conflictos socioambientales, las (in)justicias hídricas, las alternativas al desarrollo, el litigio estratégico de interés público, la sociología jurídica, la ecología política, los estudios socioculturales y las teorías decoloniales. En sus proyectos actuales se concentra en investigar las prácticas de derecho al agua de comunidades organizadas en contextos latinoamericanos y los aportes que significan en la construcción de alternativas al desarrollo. Además, reflexiona sobre la resignificación del derecho humano al agua a partir de las experiencias de autogestión comunitaria del agua. Con sus estudios contribuye al proyecto de investigación coordinado por la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana y la Universidad de Montreal titulado: “Historizando los Urbanismos del Agua en Colombia” en aras de comprender el legado contemporáneo de los debates sobre las tendencias regulatorias del suministro de agua. Actualmente trabaja como asesora jurídica de la Corporación Ecológica y Cultural Penca de Sábila y es parte de la Consultiva Jurídica de la Red Nacional de Acueductos Comunitarios de Colombia.

Elizabeth Restrepo Gutiérrez: Su interés profesional ha estado orientado a la defensa del derecho humano al agua. Académica y profesionalmente Elizabeth ha enfatizado su formación en el conocimiento de la legislación ambiental y el régimen legal de los servicios públicos domiciliarios, especialmente en investigación, gestión y administración del agua y sus interacciones con los ecosistemas, la sociedad y el estado. Tanto en su tesis de maestría en Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, como en el trabajo de grado del pregrado en Derecho de la Universidad de Antioquia, ha investigado sobre el derecho al agua en Colombia, algunas conclusiones de la tesis: “Análisis jurisprudencial del acceso al agua potable para el consumo humano” fueron presentadas en la exposición de la Organización de Naciones Unidas A/HRC/29/NGO/20 del 22 de mayo de 2015; y el trabajo de grado: “La protección judicial del derecho humano al agua a través de la acción de tutela”, fue realizado en el marco del proceso de participación ciudadana de Referendo Constitucional por el agua como derecho fundamental en Colombia. Actualmente hace parte del proyecto coordinado por la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana y la Universidad de Montreal titulado: “Historizando Urbanismos del Agua: el suministro del agua en Colombia y su legado contemporáneo” en donde participa activamente en la línea del análisis socio-jurídico. 

Yesica Pérez Correa: Estudiante de Maestría en Desarrollo y pertenenciente al Grupo de investigación Territorio de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, y abogada de la Universidad de Antioquia de Colombia. Docente de la Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias Políticas e integrante del semillero de investigación Sociología del Derecho y Teorías Jurídicas Críticas de la Universidad de Antioquia. Interesada por las teorías críticas del derecho, la sociología jurídica y, en general, los estudios interdisciplinarios que permiten encontrar relaciones entre el derecho, la sociedad y otras áreas del saber, como la ecología política y las teóricas criticas al desarrollo. Ha realizado un trabajo extracurricular intensivo en diversos espacios académicos, como el Semillero de Biopolítica, y el Semillero de Estudios Contemporáneos de Derecho Privado, ambos de la Universidad de Antioquia. En la actualidad hace parte de proyecto de investigación “Historizando urbanismos del agua en Colombia: el suministro del agua en Colombia y su legado contemporáneo a partir de los casos Cali, Medellín y Bogotá (1910 – 2014)”.

Previous members and research

  • Françoise Bichai (2014-2015) Associated Researcher. Water Operator Partnerships.
  • Jeniffer Szende (2014-2015) CRE Postdoc. Global Environmental Justice.
  • Rodrigo Amado Rohten (2012-2016) Water Flurodation in Canada
  • Catalina Bonilla (2011-2014) Projects to extend public utility services in Medellin, Colombia.
  • Laure Crombé (2013-2014) PBEE scholar:  Political and Scalar Challenges: Access to Water Services in Peripheral neighbourhoods in Khartoom
  • Juan Esteban Santa Z. (2013-2014) ELAP scholar: City, power and governance: access to drinking water in Medellín, 2002-2010
  • Sébastian Caranza (2013) Analysis of the sustainability programs of the water utility Aguas del Occidente in Colombie.
  • Antoine Findeli (2013) Data coordination on boil water advisories in Canada.
  • Nicolas Plante (2012-2013) Public utility regulation in Canada, case study of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB).
  • Kevin Rivol (2013) Drinking water quality problems in the OECD with a focus on boil water advisories in Canada.
  • Findeli, Antoine (2012) Urban revitalisation and cultural development : strategies and impacts of a local participative development. Honors Project. 2012. 
  • Benga, Amad. Effets de la gouvernance dans la gestion de l’eau : le cas des sociétés municipales néerlandaises. Professional Masters. 2012.
  • Tiburcia, A. Indicadores de Gestión del Agua Urbana (Environmental indicators for urban water management). Visiting doctoral student from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) from August-December 2010.