Daniela Sclavo Castillo

Daniela Sclavo is a biologist and historian of science working on cultural understandings of crop conservation efforts and the intersections between food security and sovereignty. She studied biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a master’s degree in History and Philosophy of Science at University College of London. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge and her project explores how subjective elements such as flavour, identity and senses of belonging have an impact on the way crops are valued by different social groups. In this sense, she investigates different ideas of loss and imaginary futures to understand how crop conservation efforts are conceptualised and whose knowledge/participation is considered and why. Her career focus is to explore alternative, decolonial, and more responsible ways of doing history, such as participatory-action research and the co-creation of past, present, and future narratives. She has collaborated with Cocina Colaboratorio since 2020, where she has explored the meaning, state, and stories of chile peppers in the community of Santo Domingo, Oaxaca, particularly alongside women who hold extensive local culinary knowledge.