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Dr Maria Escobar

Dr Maria Paula Escobar

Skype: mapiripaula

Department of Geography 
King's College London
Strand Campus 
WC2R 2LS   

Research Interests

  • Environmental Governance
  • Social Science in Public Policy
  • Cultural Politics of the Environment
  • Livestock Farming, Risk and Regulation
  • Anti-Microbial Resistance in the North and South
  • Human-Animal Relations, Place and Space


María Paula is a cultural and environmental geographer with a multidisciplinary background and a strong interest in visual narratives and in innovative research methodologies, particularly the use of video and photography, as well as other interactive strategies to relate research processes and outcomes.

Originally trained as a Political Scientist, Maria Paula has a MA in Environment, Politics and Globalisation and a PhD in Geography from King's College London. 

María Paula worked as a Research Assitant in KULTURisk, an EU-funded research project seeking to contribute to the implementation of a culture of environmental risk prevention, with a special interest on water-related risks, particularly floods.  She focused on how flood risk is framed and represented in the media. 

In October 2012 María Paula secured a competitive Fellowship to join the Social Science Group in DEFRA (Department Environment, Food and Regional Affairs) to review the social science evidence in animal health and welfare, identify gaps and produce a framework for further research and intervention options.

A second Fellowship explored regulatory tensions in the governance of livestock farming practices. Building on her growing expertise at the interface between social science and policy-making, a further Fellowship at Defra contributed to the assessment and development of a social science research agenda for the Department's Flood and Water Management Team.

Maria Paula then moved on to work as a Research Associate for SINATRA, a NERC funded project seeking to understand the impacts of flooding from intense rainfall. Collaborating with government scientists from the Met Office, the Flood Forecasting Centre, and the Health & Safety Laboratory her task was to build a media-based inventory of flood impacts that helped them validate innovative models designed to provide impact-based warnings and forecasts. Her work helped to refine the definition, classification and scoring of impacts by developing a standard methodology for impact searches and a protocol for impact scoring.

In 2016 María Paula helped secure an ESRC grant on Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance (Theme 4 on Behaviour). The marked growth in livestock production in low and middle income countries in order to respond to increases in the demand for food of animal origin has come hand in hand with an increase in the use of veterinary medicines (VM). Increased and inappropriate use of VM has been associated with the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Her work as the Lead Investigator for the Project focuses on understanding the use, prescription and control of veterinary medicines in Colombia's dairy sector.

Research Publications:

Paperwork and the decoupling of audit and animal welfare: The challenges of materiality for better regulation
Escobar-Tello, M. P. & Demeritt, D. B. 2 May 2016 In : Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy.


Perceptions and practices of farm record-keeping and their implications for animal welfare and regulation, Escobar-Tello, M.P. Oct 2015, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom.

Projecting Social Science into Defra’s Animal Welfare Evidence Base: A review of current research and evidence gaps on the issue of farmer behaviour with respect to animal welfare
Escobar-Tello, M. P. & Buller, H. Aug 2014 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom.

The power of (dis)placement: pigeons and urban regeneration in Trafalgar Square
Escobar-Tello, M. P. Jul 2014 In : CULTURAL GEOGRAPHIES. 21, 3, p. 363-387

Flooding and the framing of risk in British broadsheets, 1985-2010
Escobar-Tello, M. & Demeritt, D. May 2014 In : PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE. 23, 4, p. 454-471

Who Speaks for the Climate, Book Review
Escobar-Tello, M. P. 2012 In : Environment and Planning A. 44

Davies, GF. (2016) PLOS ONE "Developing a collaborative agenda for humanities and social scientific research on laboratory animal welfare" (IF. 3.234)

research profiledr maria paula escobar
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