Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology
McDonell earned B.A.s in anthropology and environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2013 and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University. Working at the intersection of environmental anthropology, economic anthropology, and food studies—her dissertation examines the cultural, economic, and environmental politics of the quinoa boom-bust in the Peruvian highlands. In tracing the changing power relations in the quinoa commodity chain over the course of the quinoa boom and bust, her dissertation shows how the “revalorization” of an indigenous staple crop seisin motion complex and entangled changes in local environments, identities, and economies. Research interests: Political ecology, food studies, politics of indigenous recognition, quinoa and the commercialization of “traditional” foods, consumerism, environmental politics, anthropology of development. Geographical areas of specialization: Peru, Andean highlands, Latin America, North America, and relations between these geographical regions.