• 6 Citations
  • 2 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


My academic background is in philosophy, sociology and anthropology.

Since 2005 I have been working in the Amazon, where (as of 2019) I have conducted 31 months field work with Kichwa communities and federations in the Upper Napo. I also maintain relations with Shipibo community leaders in the Ucayali, Peru and have worked in Latin America and Europe as a consultant to indigenous federations, NGOs, and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. I wrote my PhD on 'The Protection of Traditional Knowledge in the Ecuadorian Amazon: A Critical Ethnography of Capital Expansion ' (2010).

I was awarded two fellowships – Independent Social Research Foundation Fellow in the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford (2016-2017); and Marie Curie Research Fellow in the School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester (2017-2019) – before I joined CAWR in October 2019.

Additionally, I am passionate about herbalism, permaculture, nature-based education for children, and have been involved in a variety of social, cultural and political movements since the 1990s. I’m on the Advisory Board of the embryonic Real Food Campaign in the UK and on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Political Ecology. I am also a Research Associate at Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Sometimes I tweet; my current research focus can be found here: subsistencematters.net

Research Interests

I will consider both desk or field based PhD projects in a wide range oftransdisciplinary approaches to agroecology, food systems and environmental challenges, and particularly welcome projects in my (current) areas of research, which are not necessarily limited to:

#politics and philosophy of agroecology/food systems/health;

#biogenetic resource politics (especially seeds);

#subsistence livelihoods and agrarian change (especially in the Amazon);

#climate and development finance;

#uneven effects of sustainability/green transitions;

#'local' complexities of 'global' socio-ecological change;

#commoning and other property relations;

#epistemic colonialism;

#plant intelligence, plant medicine and shamanism;

#any other area of study related to Political Ecology and People's Knowledge.

Vision Statement

In all my work I am driven by a desire for fundamental change in social, cultural and environmental systems of organisation. That begins by listening and taking other points of view seriously. Everyone has got something to say that can enrich our perspectives.

I understand subsistence as positive acts of life making, community building and habitat creation without romanticising it and I approach all matters irreverent of disciplinary boundaries.

Bringing nature and culture back together, reclaiming blood and soil from the fearful and developing a conceptually sound and comprehensive platform for public policies that can deliver more-than-sustainable systems of human reproduction is my hope.

Education/Academic qualification

Independent Studies/Philosophy, Degree, Lancaster University


The Protection of Traditional Knowledge in the Ecuadorian Amazon: A Critical Ethnography of Capital Expansion, Doctorate


Genetics and Society, MA, Lancaster University


Philosophy (MRes), MSc, University of Edinburgh



  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • International Development
  • Political Ecology
  • Interconnected Inequalities
  • Sustainability
  • GN Anthropology
  • Amazon
  • Ecuador
  • Intellectual Property
  • Ethnography
  • Green Transition
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Knowledge
  • Property
  • Ethics

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Research Output

  • Absent Agroecology Aid: On UK Agricultural Development Assistance Since 2010

    Pimbert, M. & Moeller, N., 13 Feb 2018, In : Sustainability. 10, 2, 10 p., 505.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)
    58 Downloads (Pure)

    Haphazard knowledge production: thoughts on ethnography and mess in the urbanising Ecuadorian Amazon

    Moeller, N. I., Apr 2018, Messy Ethnographies in Action. Plows, A. (ed.). 1 ed. Vernon Press, p. 33-43 10 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Open Source Seed Networking: Towards a global community of seed commons

    Moeller, N. I. & Pedersen, M., 2018, HIVOS. 36 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Open Access