Anastasia Quintana


Anastasia is a critical commons scholar. She studies community-based fisheries management and conservation in the global South using common-pool resource theory, political ecology, fisheries anthropology, and social-ecological systems science.

She conducts research at two scales: hyper-local and global. At the hyper-local scale, she uses ethnographic methods to study collective action in fishing towns in the Gulf of California, Mexico. This work is part of a NSF Coupled Natural-Human Systems Grant studying resilience in small-scale fisheries. At the global scale, she is part of a team funded by SESYNC to examine how cooperativism by fishers can protect local fish stocks from collapse driven by international trade.

She is currently a 5th year PhD student at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She is part of the Coasts and Commons Co-Laboratory , advised by Dr. Xavier Basurto , a student of Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom.

Anastasia's dissertation examines a novel fisheries policy experiment in Mexico: Fish Refuges (Zonas de Refugio Pesquero). Fish Refuges are marine reserves generally designed by fishers for the purpose of fisheries management. The use of marine reserves for fisheries management is highly contested in the academic literature. However, the implementation of Fish Refuges in Mexico is explosively expanding (from 0 in 2011 to 38 in 2018) and is profoundly restructuring how fisheries officials interact with small-scale fishers. In three parts, Anastasia's dissertation documents the implications of fishers designing marine reserves for fisheries management.

Anastasia is personally an advocate of social and environmental justice, gender equality including transgender rights, resisting racism and Islamophobia, and conservation.

As she wraps up her dissertation and related projects, Anastasia is currently on the job market. Please feel free to contact her at or to explore her website at .

Current Research Interests

Collective action around resource management and resource dilemmas

Small-scale fisheries interactions with marine conservation

Social-ecological systems in the Global South

Common pool resource theory

Fisheries anthropology

Political ecology

Mixed social science methods

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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