Mirella Gavidia

Urban Scholar

  • Ethnography and applied participatory research
  • Sustainable development
  • Large development projects and natural resource management

Dr Mirella Cobeleanschi Gavidia has a background in Law and a PhD in Anthropology, Sociology and Social Change. She is currently part of the School of Global, Urban, and Social Studies at RMIT, Melbourne.

She has experience doing ethnographic and participatory research in traditional communities in the Brazilian Amazon. Her research is interdisciplinary, and she has explored a variety of topics related to development, sustainability, and natural resources management in that part of the world. She has also participated in numerous research projects related to the social impacts of mining activities, corporate social responsibility, involuntary resettlement, and social justice in Latin America, Asia and Africa. She has experience working for the Brazilian government, Australian universities, private corporations, NGO’s, and international consulting.

Mirella is interested in how communities can be better prepared to handle changes in their physical and political contexts in order to create better opportunities for a sustainable future. Her research interests include the development and resilience of vulnerable and traditional communities, the application of participatory and ethnographic methodologies, the use of capacity-building and empowerment techniques, and addressing challenges relating to the urbanization of socially and environmentally sensitive ecosystems.