Maywa Montenegro
  • Title
    • Assistant Professor (starting 2020)
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Environmental Studies Department
  • Phone
    831-459-4837 (Department Manager Lin Weyers)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, On leave. Start date is 7/1/20
  • Mail Stop Environmental Studies
  • Mailing Address
    • MS-ENVS

Summary of Expertise

Political ecology and agroecology, agricultural biotechnology (CRISPR-Cas9), STS, transitions to sustainable food systems, seeds and agrobiodiversity, food sovereignty, knowledge politics and epistemic diversity

Selected Publications


Peer-reviewed Articles

  1. Montenegro de Wit, M.,† A. Roman-Alcalá,† S. Chrisman, and A. Liebman. In Review. The agrarian origins of authoritarian rural populism in the United States: What can we learn from 20th century struggles in California and the Midwest? Journal of Rural Studies, special issue on Authoritarian Populism and Emancipatory Rural Politics in the United States and Puerto Rico. († authors contributed equally.)


  1. Carlisle, L., M. Montenegro de Wit, M.S. DeLonge, A. Calo, C. Getz, J. Ory, K. Munden-Dixon, R. Galt, B. Melone, R. Knox, A. Iles, D. Press. 2019. Securing the future of US agriculture: the case for investing in new entry sustainable farmers. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 7(1), p.17. DOI:


  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. 2019. Gene Driving the Farm: Who decides, who owns, and who benefits? Journal of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, January: DOI: 10.1080/21683565.2019.1591566.


  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. 2019. Beating the Bounds: How Does ‘Open Source’ Become a Commons for Seed? Journal of Peasant Studies. 46(1) 44-79. (View PDF)


  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. 2017. Stealing Into the Wild: Conservation Science, Plant Breeding, and the Makings of New Seed Enclosures. Journal of Peasant Studies 44(1): 169-212. (View PDF)


  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. and A. Iles. 2016. Toward Thick Legitimacy: Creating a Web of Legitimacy for Agroecology. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 4: 000115. DOI:10.12952/journal.elementa.000115 (View PDF)


  1. Garbach, K., J.C. Milder, F.A.J. DeClerck, M. Montenegro de Wit, L. Driscoll, and B. Gemmill-Herren. 2016. Closing Yield and Nature Gaps: Multi-Functionality in Five Systems of Agro-Intensification. International Journal of Agricultural Science. 1-22. (Open access)


  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. 2016. Banking on Wild Relatives. Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 16(1): 6-14. (View PDF)


  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. 2016. Are We Losing Diversity? Navigating Ecological, Political, and Epistemic Dimensions of Agrobiodiversity Conservation. Agriculture and Human Values 33(3): 625-640. (View PDF)


  1. Iles, A. and M. Montenegro de Wit. 2014. Sovereignty at What Scale? An Inquiry into Multiple Dimensions of Food Sovereignty. Globalizations 12(4): 481-497. (View PDF)


  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. 2014. A Lighthouse for Urban Agriculture: University, Community, and Redefining Expertise in the Food System. Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 14(1): 9-22. (View PDF)


  1. Bacon, C., C. Getz, S. Kraus, M. Montenegro de Wit, and K. Holland. 2012. The Social Dimensions of Sustainability and Change in Diversified Farming Systems. Ecology and Society 17(4): art.41. (View PDF)


Reference Volumes, Book Reviews, and Book Chapters

  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. In press. Beating the Bounds: Inside the struggle to make open-source seed. In The Great Awakening: New Modes of Life Amidst Capitalist Ruins, eds. A. Grear and D. Bollier. Punctum Press.


  1. Kinezuka, A., R. Patel, and M. Montenegro de Wit. In press. Part I: The Corporate Stock in Trade; Part II: Food Sovereignty in Japan and Beyond. In Bite Back: People Taking on Corporate Food and Winning, eds. K. De Master and S. Jarayaman. University of California Press.


  1. Montenegro de Wit, M. 2017. Review of Fertile Ground: Scaling Agroecology From the Ground Up, Steve Brescia, ed. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. (Peer-reviewed; view online)


  1. Iles, A. and M. Montenegro de Wit. 2017. Sovereignty at What Scale? An Inquiry into Multiple Dimensions of Food Sovereignty. In The Politics of Food Sovereignty: Concept, Practice and Social Movements, eds. A. Shattuck, C. Schiavoni, and Z. VanGelder, Chapter 5. New York, NY: Routledge. (Peer-reviewed)


  1. Iles, A., G. Graddy-Lovelace, M. Montenegro de Wit, and R. Galt. 2016. Agricultural Systems: Co-Producing Knowledge and Food. In the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, 4th edition, eds. U. Felt, R. Fouché, C. Miller, and L. Smith-Doerr, Chapter 33, 943-972. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Peer-reviewed; view PDF)


  1. Garbach, K., J.C. Milder, M. Montenegro de Wit, D.S. Karp, F.A.J. DeClerck, 2014. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Agroecosystems. In Encyclopedia of Agriculture Systems. Elsevier Science. (Peer-reviewed; view PDF)


  1. Argumedo, A. with M. Montenegro de Wit and R. Patel. 2012. Defending Seed and Food Sovereignty in the Andes. In Seed Freedom: A Global Citizens’ Report. Navdanya. (View PDF)


  1. Banta, L.M. and M. Montenegro de Wit. 2008. Agrobacterium and Plant Biotechnology. In Agrobacterium: from Biology to Biotechnology, edited by T. Tzfira and V. Citovsky, 73-147. New York: Springer. (Peer-reviewed)


Policy Briefs

   1.    Louafi, S., I. Westphal, M. Montenegro, D. Manzella, G. Otieno, S. Steigerwald, and J. Kloppenburg. 2018. “Open Source for Seeds and Genetic Sequence Data: Practical experience and future strategies,” CIRAD Policy Brief, No. 49, December. (View PDF)


Selected Popular Articles (from ~60)