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Julie Velásquez Runk

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Associate Professor of Anthropology

My research uses integrative (or interdisciplinary) approaches to how people use and manage their landscapes, how that relates to science, conservation, indigenous knowledge, and policy, and how people cope with variability and change. I ground this work in political ecology, science and technology studies, human geography, and collaboration. My investigations contribute to three key areas of understanding for human – environment relations and cultural anthropology: 1) how to conserve and govern environments in culturally sensitive ways; 2) how indigenous populations maintain their identity and advocate for their rights in spite of tremendous change; 3) and how to make science more collaborative, via processes that build theory and incorporate multiple voices. I use my background in ecology and conservation practice to build work that is conversant in natural and social sciences, and that is relevant to local communities and conservation practitioners.


Ph.D. in Anthropology and Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University and Economic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden

M.E.M. in Resource Ecology, with graduate certificate in Latin American Studies, Duke University

B.A. in Biology, with certificate (minor) in Latin American Studies, Grinnell College

Research Areas:
Selected Publications:

Velásquez Runk, J. In press. Crafting Wounaan Landscapes: Identity, Art, and Environmental Governance in Panama’s Darién. University of Arizona Press.


Dyer, J. L., S. Tanner, J. Velasquez Runk, C. Mertzlufft, N. Gottdenker. 2016. Deforestation, dogs, and zoonotic disease. Anthropology News. July.


Velásquez Runk, J. 2015. Creating wild Darién: Centuries of Darién’s imaginative geography and its lasting effects. Journal of Latin American Geography 14(3): 127-156.


Velásquez Runk, J. 2014. Enriching indigenous knowledge scholarship via collaborative methodologies: Beyond the high tide’s few hours. Ecology and Society. 19(4): 37.


Velásquez Runk, J. 2012. Indigenous land and environmental conflicts in Panama: Neoliberal multiculturalism, changing legislation, and human rights. Journal of Latin American Geography 11: 21-47.


Velásquez Runk, Julia, Mònica Martínez Mauri, Blas Quinter Sánchez, Jorge Sarsaneda del Cid. 2011. Pueblos Indígenas en Panamá: Una Bibliografía. Panamá: Acción Cultural Ngöbe.


Velásquez Runk, Julia, Mònica Martínez Mauri, Blas Quinter Sánchez, Jorge Sarsaneda del Cid. 2011. Introducción: Los documentos sobre los pueblos indígenas de Panamá. Pueblos Indígenas en Panamá: Una Bibliografía. Panamá: Acción Cultural Ngöbe: 7-53.


Velásquez Runk, J., G. Ortíz Negría, L. Peña Conquista, G. Mejía Peña, F. Peña Cheucarama, and Y. Cheucarama Chiripua. 2010. Landscapes, legibility, and conservation planning: Multiple representations of forest use in Panama. Conservation Letters 3: 167-176.


Velásquez Runk, J. 2009. Social and river networks for the trees: Wounaan’s riverine rhizomic cosmos and arboreal environmental conservation. American Anthropologist 111(4): 456-467.


Reynertson, Kurt, Julie Velásquez Runk, and Nat Bletter. 2008. Artificae plantae: The taxonomy, ecology, and ethnobotany of the Simulacraceae. Annals of Improbable Research, 14(1): 6-10.


Velásquez Runk, J., Gervacio Ortíz Negría, Wilio Quintero García, and Cristobalino Quiróz Ismare. 2007. Political economic history, culture, and Wounaan livelihood diversity in eastern Panama. Agriculture and Human Values. 24: 93-106.


Bletter, Nat, Kurt Reynertson, and Julie Velásquez Runk. 2007. Artificae plantae: Taxonomy, ecology, and ethnobotany of the Simulacraceae. Ethnobotany Research and Applications. 5: 159-177.


Velásquez Runk, J., Floriselda Peña, and Pinel Mepaquito. 2004. Artisanal non-timber forest products in Darién Province, Panamá: The importance of context. Conservation and Society, 2(2):217-234.


Velásquez Runk, Julia and James Dalling. 2001. La artesanía de la tagua y el cocobolo en las comunidades Wounaan y Emberá de Darién. In Stanley Heckadon-Moreno, ed. Panamá: Puente Biológico. Panamá, Panamá, Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales: 187-192.


Velásquez Runk, J. 2001. An interesting population of Phytelephas from Panamá. Palms, 45(4): 196-199.


Velásquez Runk, J. 2001. Wounaan and Emberá use of the fiber palm Astrocaryum standleyanum (Arecaceae) for basketry in eastern Panamá. Economic Botany, 55(1): 72-82.


Velásquez Runk, J. 1998. Productivity and sustainability of a vegetable ivory palm (Phytelephas aequatorialis) under three management regimes in northwestern Ecuador. Economic Botany,

52(2): 168-182.


Velásquez Runk, Julia, Nadine Freeman, y Rodrigo Calero. 1995. La Tagua: Historia y Manejo. Quito, Ecuador: CIDESA.

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