Marvin Joseph Montefrio

Social Sciences (Environmental Studies)

Assistant Professor


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Assistant Professor Marvin Joseph Montefrio obtained a concurrent PhD and MPA degree in Environmental Policy and Public Administration from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University in 2014. Prior to that, he did graduate work in environmental engineering and management at the National University of Singapore.

As an interdisciplinary scholar, Asst Prof Montefrio employs diverse methodological approaches (ethnographic, quantitative, and historical) and draws from multiple theories from political ecology, environmental policy and politics, STS, environmental and rural sociology, environmental anthropology, human geography, ecological economics, environmental science, and more recently cultural studies and environmental history. He also has a broad professional background, having practised engineering, management, consulting, policy and academic work in the Philippines, Singapore and the United States. He has been an environmental scholar, professional and advocate for more than 15 years.

Asst Prof Montefrio’s broad research agenda explores the political ecology and cultural politics of historical and contemporary agrarian and food issues, particularly at the intersections of globalisation and sustainability. His approach examines multiple levels and units of analysis, with particular attention to the space and time where the ‘global’ meets the ‘local’. His most recent research project examines the cultural politics of sustainable food (organic food production, locavorism, agritourism, and urban agriculture) in the Philippines and Singapore. His previous works focused on food security in the context of green economy developments in the rural Philippines.

Refereed Journal Articles:

Montefrio, M.J.F. Cosmopolitan translations of food and the case of alternative eating in Manila, the Philippines. Agriculture and Human Values (forthcoming)

Montefrio, M.J.F., Wilk, R. Transecting “Healthy” & “Sustainable” Food in Asia and the Pacific. Food, Culture & Society (forthcoming)

Montefrio, M.J.F., De Chavez, J., Contreras, A. & Erasga, D. Hybridities and awkward constructions in Philippine locavorism: Reframing global-local dynamics through assemblage thinking. Food, Culture & Society (forthcoming)

Padfield, R., Hansen, S., Davies, Z.G., … Montefrio, M.J.F. … Struebig, M.J. (2019). Co-producing a research agenda for sustainable palm oil. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 2(13), 1-17.

Montefrio, M.J.F., Dressler, W. (2019). Declining food security in a Philippine oil palm frontier: The changing role of cooperatives. Development and Change, 50(5), 1342-1372.

Montefrio, M.J.F., and Sin, H.L. (2019) Elite governance of agritourism in the Philippines. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27(9), 1338-1354.

Montefrio, M.J.F. & Johnson, A.T.* (2019). Politics in participatory guarantee systems for organic food production. Journal of Rural Studies, 65, 1-11.

Dressler, W., Smith, W, & Montefrio, M.J.F. (2018). Ungovernable? The vital natures of swidden assemblages in an upland frontier. Journal of Rural Studies, 61, 343-354.

Montefrio, M.J.F. (2017). Social-ecological transformations and land control in a growing oil palm landscape in the Philippines. Journal of Peasant Studies, 44(4), 796-816.

Dressler, W., de Koning, J., & Montefrio, M.J.F. (2016). Land sharing not sparing in the “green economy”: The role of livelihood bricolage in conservation and development in the Philippines. Geoforum, 76, 75-89.

Montefrio, M.J.F. (2016). Cooperation and resistance: Negotiating rubber in upland Philippines. Journal of Rural Studies, 46, 111-120.

Montefrio, M.J.F., Dressler, W.H. (2016). The green economy and constructions of the “idle” and “unproductive” uplands in the Philippines. World Development, 79, 114-126.

Montefrio, M.J.F., Luzadis, V.A., & Sonnenfeld, D.A. (2015). Social construction of the environment and farmer intentions to cooperate in biofuels and rubber production in upland Palawan, the Philippines. Ecological Economics, 116, 70-77.

Feola, G., Lerner, A., Montefrio, M.J.F., Jain, M. & Nicholas, K.A. (2015). Farmers responses to multiple stresses in the face of global change: Assessing five case studies to enhance adaptation. Journal of Rural Studies, 39, 48-78.

Montefrio, M.J.F. (2014). State versus indigenous peoples rights: Analysis of stable system parameters, policy constraints and the process of delegitimation. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 16(4), 335-355.

Montefrio, M.J.F., Ortiga, Y.Y., & Josol, M.R.C*. (2014). Inducing development: Social remittances and the expansion of oil palm. International Migration Review, 48(1), 216-242.

Montefrio, M.J.F. (2013). The green economy and land conflicts. Peace Review, 25(4), 502-509.

Josol, M.R.C.*, & Montefrio, M.J.F. (2013). Understanding the resilience of swidden agro-ecosystems interacting with rubber and oil palm production regimes in the Philippines. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 37(7), 812-833.

Montefrio, M.J.F., & Sonnenfeld, D.A. (2012). Global-local tensions in contract farming of biofuels involving indigenous communities in the Philippines. Society & Natural Resources, 26(3), 239-253.

Montefrio, M.J.F. (2012). Privileged biofuels, marginalized indigenous peoples: the co-evolution of biofuels development in the tropics. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 32(1), 41-55.

Montefrio, M.J.F., & Sonnenfeld, D.A. (2011). Forest, fuel, or food? Competing coalitions and biofuels policymaking in the Philippines. Journal of Environment and Development, 20(1), 27-49.

Montefrio M.J.F., & Obbard J.P. (2010). Economics of biodiesel derived from waste cooking oil in the Philippines. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning and Policy, 5(4), 337-347.

Montefrio, M.J.F., & Obbard, J.P. (2010) Recovery and pretreatment of fats, oil and grease from grease interceptor for biodiesel production. Applied Energy, 87(10), 3155-3161.

Montefrio, M.J.F., Ng, K.S., Lee, Y.K., Torio, E., Chua, M.H., de Sales-Papa, L., & Obbard, J.P. (2007). A sustainable approach to the remediation of the Payatas Disposal Facility in Metro Manila, Philippines. The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 2(7), 41-52.

Book Chapters:

Montefrio, M.J.F. (2016). Confronting the “unproductive” upland discourses in biofuels development. In: Le Bouthillier, Y., Cowie, A., Martin, P., McLeod-Kilmurray, H. (Eds.), The law and policy biofuels, pp. 59-80. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Montefrio, M.J.F., & Obbard, J.P. (2011). Production and utilisation of biodiesel derived from waste cooking oil: A feasibility study of its application in Marikina City, Philippines. In: Lye L.H. et al (eds.), Sustainability matters: challenges and opportunities in environmental management in Asia, pp. 1-36. Singapore, Singapore: Pearson Education South Asia.

* Student

Comparative Social Inquiry
Social Theory and Environment
Agrarian Change and Environmental Transformations
Ecological Economics
Environmental Conflict and Collaboration
Applied Environmental Research