Christian Abizaid, Associate Professor


Home Campus:
U of T St. George

McGill University

Other Degrees:
MA McGill University
Licenciatura (Honors Equivalent), Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico)

Cross Appointments:
With School of the Environment
Also affiliated with Latin American Studies (LAS)

Honours & Awards:
Board of Directors, Conference of Latin American Geographers (CLAG), 2014-2020

Contact Information:

Joint Appointment with School of the Environment
Department of Geography and Planning | Room 5055, Sidney Smith Hall (100 St. George Street) |
Toronto ON, M5S 3G3 | Tel: 416.978.3373 | Fax: 416.946.3886 |


Personal Website:

Research Interests:

  • Environment and development
  • Indigenous and peasant livelihoods and resource use in Latin America
  • Vulnerability and resilience
  • Rural poverty
  • Forest and biodiversity conservation
  • Social networks
  • Neotropical forests; mainly Amazonia and Mexico


Teaching This Academic Year:

Fall 2020

GGR 341: Changing geography of Latin America

JGE 321: Multicultural perspectives on environment




Current Students:

Kat Dervenis, TBD, MA (co-supervised with R. Isakson) (Starting September 2020)

Juan Carlos Jimenez, The impacts of socio-political instability and climate change on small-scale farmers in Nicaragua, PhD (Geography) (co-supervised with Ryan Isakson) (September 2019-to date)

Dena Coffman, Rural-urban linkages in the Peruvian Amazon, MA (Geography & Environmental Studies) (September 2018-to date)

Past students:

Sabrina Musto, Ecotourism in Havana: the importance of context, MScPl (2020)

Jennifer Langill, “Differential experiences of climate change: local knowledge and perspectives of severe flooding in the Peruvian Amazon”, MA (Geography & Environmental Studies) (co-supervised with R. Isakson) (2018)

Laura Bryson, “Spatial patterns of natural resource depletion among rain forest communities in the Peruvian Amazon: the role of protected areas and indigenous territories in the conservation of key species”, MSc (Geography & Environmental Studies) (2016)

Alyssa Scott, “Participation of Aboriginal peoples in management of uranium mining in Northern Saskatchewan” MA (Geography & Environmental Studies) (2016)

Marie-Line Sarrazin, “Land invasions and indigenous rights struggles: Challenges for Community-Based Resource Management in the Collective Land of Arimae in the Darién, Panama”, MA (Geography & Environmental Studies) (2015)

Jeanine McManus, “Amazonian fisheries: ecology, management and the problem of by-catch”, MES (2012)

Selected Publications:

Coomes, O.T., C. Abizaid and Y. Takasaki. 2020. “The Lower Ucayali river in prehistory: Cultural chronology, archeological evidence and a recently discovered Pre-Columbian site” The Geographical Review (in press).

Abizaid, C., Collado Panduro, L.A, and S. Gonzales Egusquiza 2020. Pobreza y Medios de Subsistencia en la Amazonía Peruana en Tiempos del COVID-19. Journal of Latín American Geography 19(3): 202-215.

Coomes, O.T., Y. Takasaki, and C. Abizaid 2020. Impoverishment of local wild resources in western Amazonia: a large-scale community survey of local ecological knowledge. Environmental Research Letters. 15(7).

Langill, J. and C. Abizaid. 2020. What is a bad flood? Local perspectives of extreme floods in the Peruvian Amazon. Ambio 49:1423–1436. 

Abizaid, C., O.T. Coomes, Y. Takasaki and J. P. Arroyo-Mora. 2018. Rural social networks along Amazonian rivers: seeds, labor and soccer among rural communities on the Napo River, Peru, The Geographical Review 108(1): 92-119. DOI: 10.1111/gere.12244
• Selected as the 2018 Best Paper Award published by The Geographical Review.

Abizaid, C., O.T. Coomes, and M. Perrault-Archambault. 2016. Seed sharing in Amazonian indigenous rain forest communities: a social network analysis in three Achuar villages, Peru. Human Ecology 44(5): 577-594. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-016-9852-7

Coomes, O.T., Y. Takasaki, C. Abizaid and J.P. Arroyo-Mora. 2016. Environmental and market determinants of economic orientation among rain forest communities: evidence from a large-scale survey in western Amazonia, Ecological Economics 129: 260-271.

Webster, K., J.P. Arroyo-Mora, O.T. Coomes, Y. Takasaki and C. Abizaid. 2016. A cost path and network analysis methodology to calculate distances along a complex river network in the Peruvian Amazon, Applied Geography 73:13-25.

Abizaid, C., O.T. Coomes, Y. Takasaki, and S. Brisson. 2015. Social network analysis and peasant agriculture: cooperative labor as gendered relational networks. The Professional Geographer 67(3): 447-463.

Takasaki, Y., O.T. Coomes, C. Abizaid, and S. Brisson. 2014. An efficient nonmarket institution under imperfect markets: labor sharing for tropical forest clearing. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 96(3): 711-732. Also included in AJAE Virtual Issue: Development Economics.

Coomes, O.T., Y. Takasaki, C. Abizaid and B. Barham. 2010. Floodplain fisheries as natural insurance for the rural poor in tropical forest environments: evidence from Amazonia. Fisheries Management and Ecology 17: 513-521.

Coomes, O.T., C. Abizaid and M. Lapointe. 2009. Human modification of a large meandering Amazonian river: genesis, ecological and economic consequences of the Masisea cutoff on the central Ucayali, Peru. Ambio 38(3): 130-34.

Abizaid, C. 2005. An anthropogenic meander cutoff along the Ucayali River, Peruvian Amazon. The Geographical Review 95(1): 122-134.

Abizaid, C. and O.T. Coomes. 2004. Land use and forest fallowing dynamics in seasonally dry tropical forest in the southern Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Land Use Policy 21(1): 71-84.



Research Clusters:
Nature, Society and Environmental Change