Francisca Vergara Pinto

Francisca Vergara Pinto

PhD student

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Personal profile


As a cultural anthropologist, I explore the dialectics of human and geological forces for the sustainability of volcanic cultures, through ethnographic analysis of the conjunction of ecological and cultural features of inhabited volcanoes. Especifically, I am interested in the socio-volcanic realities of the southern Andes and the connection between design and disaster risk to address security in rural territories. 

My doctoral research addresses post-eruption reoccupation in Chile as an anthropological phenomenon. To this end, I use the case of the Lonquimay volcano to investigate how the construction and friction of social imaginaries on volcanic risk and human-volcano relationships unfolds in these territories. This research seeks a better understanding of the cross-cutting relational nature of the factors, narratives and rationalities involved in disaster preparedness, social response during emergencies and the return of populations to their volcanic lands. These elements are central to then imagining novel ways of communicating disaster risk. 

I am currently developing the concept of "ethnovolcanology" based on my doctoral project on populated active volcanoes in the southern Andes (Chile). 

Supervision information

This research is under the supervision of Dr Nat O'Grady (HCRI) and Dr Aurora Fredriksen (SEED).

Research interests

  • Disaster risk studies
  • Anthropology of inhabited volcanoes
  • Ethnography of volcanic risk
  • Cross-cultural risk communication
  • Eruptions and Humanitarianism

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Other research

Co-researcher in FONDECYT Regular project N° 1221641 "Enabling factors for interscientific dialogue in coastal areas facing climate change. Case study in Arauco Province, Chile" (PI: Dr Noelia Carrasco, 2022-2025).

Further information

Member of the Organising Committee of the 1st Symposium on Chilean Volcanology, Coordinator Session 3 Volcanic risk and hazards


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Social Science, Universidad de Los Lagos

Award Date: 20 Apr 2022

Sociocultural Anthropology, Universidad de Concepcion

Award Date: 29 Mar 2017

Areas of expertise

  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Cross-cultural understanding
  • GN Anthropology
  • Ethnography
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Volcanic risk
  • Risk perception
  • Social imaginaries
  • Rural studies


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