Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz is an applied scientist and writer working on food systems, climate change, and public policy with a focus on people. His works have spanned from laboratories to school cafeterias, and from fisheries to farms, in the Caribbean and beyond. Luis is interested in understanding how different components in a system, from the environmental to the political, reflect on individuals’ access to resources and abilities to adapt to climate change. As a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont, Luis’s dissertation looks at Puerto Rican farmers’ adaptation and food security outcomes in light of their recovery from Hurricane Maria to understand how disaster uncovers and highlight social-ecological dynamics that relate to peoples’ vulnerability to climate change. Luis strives to co-create spaces that allow for participatory research and strategies that make information accessible, context-specific, and culturally appropriate. He is a founding member and former co-chair of the Puerto Rico Science Policy Action Network, a recognized program of Ciencia Puerto Rico that allows for Puerto Rican scientists to engage beyond academia. As a Puerto Rican writer and scientist, Luis draws from his identities and lived experiences to generate visibility through his interdisciplinary mixed-methods research and storytelling.
Before starting his PhD, Luis received a BS in biology/biotechnology and a MS in food science and technology from the Ponce and Mayaguez campuses of the University of Puerto Rico, respectively. He has led and collaborated in research projects in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the US. His works and writing have been published in Science, PLoS One, El Nuevo Día, and others. Luis is a Graduate Fellow of the Gund Institute of the Environment, a 2021 Grist 50, a 2020 COMPASS Scientist Sentinel, and a 2020 Yale Ciencia Academy Fellow. He tweets and instagrams @luisalexis_rc.