About me

I am an environmental social scientist and transdisciplinary action researcher focusing on the study of patterns, interactions and feedbacks among human systems and nature. Specialized in policy and institutional analysis combining evolutionary, resilience thinking, power and commons perspectives, my aim is to understand how to organize collective action towards equitable and sustainable outcomes in human-nature interactions. My work relies on a complexity science and pluralistic lens, the co-production of knowledge to understand and tackle challenges, and the embracing of uncertainty and surprise through adaptive approaches to decision making, management and governance. 

My current focus is on four research lines, seeking to maximize co-production with social and policy actors, and synergies with the real-world challenges that they face:

- Conceptual and empirical understanding and explanations of transformative governance towards sustainability

- Innovative modelling approaches to understand micro-macro emergence 

- Relationship between local lock-in phenomena and biosphere risks 

- Knowledge generation processes in environmental research infrastructures for policy support

While in practice, I enjoy working in the resolution of complex problems with other people. My role is an analyst and facilitator to find ways for improving policy and decision making under uncertainty to promote sustainability in different sectors: natural resources; nature conservation; agriculture; ecosystem management; environmental, coastal and urban planning; biodiversity; fisheries; tourism; and emergency aid. I have experience in facilitating and organizing (individually or collaboratively) social interaction in meetings and workshops, including situations dominated by large power asymmetries.

Currently, I work as a researcher at the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Management (INGENIO, CSIC-UV). Among other projects, I am contributing to build the environmental and nature policy analysis function of ESFRI's eLTER Research Infrastructure. My current teaching duties include the Postgraduate Course on Innovation for Social and Environmental Transformation (Polytechnic University of Valencia), where I lecture on sustainability transformations. I am also part of the International Association for the Study of the Commons and the Working Group on Governance from the Earth System Governance project.

You can get in touch with me through pfmendez@gmail.com, pfmendez@ingenio.upv.es

ORCID: 0000-0003-1825-6496

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April 2024 - Short research stay at the Institute of Social Ecology (SEC), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) - We will be discussing the integration of commons- and sociometabolic-based approaches to understand emergence and inform governance for sustainability.

 19-21 June - Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop 7 - I will be presenting an approach to understand how water (lock-in) traps can be avoided or escaped, and inform transformative environmental governance.

2024-2028 - EU Horizon-funded GOV4aLL project - I'll be leading the co-creation of place-based governance models for Regenerative Rural Hubs promoting innovations for healthier soils across Europe.

2024-2025 - ILTER2Unlock - The main question of this research initiative is what the role of long-term standardised observations is to understand local lock-ins and their impacts at biosphere level.

2003-2024Slow scientist, busy with life"Hishuk ish ts'awalk" :)