Episode 45 – Exploring Cultural Change through Food Systems in Sonora, Mexico

In this episode Juan Rebellon, Margaret Morrison, Jordan Scott, and Juliette Lee, students from Dr. Xavier Basurto’s Community-Based Marine Conservation travel course in April 2022, explore cultural changes in the Comcaác Indigenous community and Kino Bay fishing community through the lens of food systems. Listeners will hear community members talk about topics such as their favorite foods, how they fish, and their cultural relationships from interviews conducted during the course in Sonora, Mexico.

Episode 45 flyer

Episode Hosts

Juan Rebellon head shot
Margaret Morrison head shot
Jordan Scott head shot
Juliette Lee head shot

Juan Rebellon is a Master of Environmental Management graduate from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Born in Cali, Colombia and raised in Miami, Florida, his main interests are coastal resilience and restoration. He did his Master’s project in the Silliman Lab, focusing on shoreline protection provisioning by artificial oyster reefs. His main hobbies are basketball and fishing.






Margaret Morrison is a Master of Environmental Management graduate from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Margaret is from Washington, D.C. and did her Master’s project on sea level rise adaptation strategies in New York City with the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab. She enjoys scuba diving and surfing.




Jordan Scott completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University studying the cultural and philosophical aspects of marine conservation. Born in Tampa, Florida, her main interests are coral reef and mangrove restoration. She enjoys running, swimming, and reality tv.





Juliette Lee is a Master of Environmental Management graduate from the Nowacek Bioacoustics and Engineering Lab at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She is a marine and coastal resource manager working on impact-based environmental challenges. Her interests lie at the intersection of protected species management, ecosystem-based conservation and the “blue” economy. Juliette came to Duke with a breadth of experiences, including tropical marine biology research, experiential teaching and marine policy. Her Master’s Project focused on quieting measures for reducing ocean noise by utilizing “Smart Shipping” technology to conserve acoustically sensitive marine mammals and foster “sound sanctuaries”, and she is the co-founder and president of the Oceans@Duke Student Cabinet. She also completed a certificate in community based environmental conservation.


Episode Interviewees

Erika Barnett is a Comcaác community member who spearheads a mangrove conservation project and is a passionate owner of a large home-grown garden.

Cosme Becerra is the vessel captain at Prescott College Environmental Field Station, a recipient of the National Conservation Prize from the Mexican Federal government, and a co-founder of the chapter of Grupo Tortugero in Kino. Cosme was previously a commercial fisher in Kino Bay.

Cosme Becerra Jr. is the son of Cosme Becerra and a pen shell and octopus diver. He captains a fishing vessel with his younger brother, neighbor, and close friend.

Julio Carrasco is the Head of Maintenance at the Prescott College Environmental Field Station, a role he has occupied since 2004. Originally from Mexico City, he moved to Kino for the warm weather and proximity to the ocean.

Ana Maria Flores is a Comcaác community member who makes crafts in Punta Chueca, Mexico. A mother of two daughters, Belinda and Mayrene, she enjoys cooking for her kids.

Leonel Hoeffer is the Conservation Coordinator and Leader of the Indigenous Community Partnership at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies. Leonel is Comcaac and originally from Desemboque, Mexico.

Laurie Monti, Ph.D. is a Cultural Ecologist at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies. Her research and practice focuses on bio-cultural diversity and social and ecological health, with a Ph.D from University of Arizona in Arid Lands Resource Sciences-Ethno Ecology and Medical Anthropology, and an M.S. in Community Health and Pediatrics from St. Louis University.

Gary Nabhan, Ph.D., is an agricultural ecologist, ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author whose work has focused primarily on the plants and cultures of the desert Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement. He has an M.S. in plant sciences (horticulture) and a Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary arid lands resource sciences also at the University of Arizona.

Maximillian Damian Lopez Romero is a Comcaác fisher and diver. He enjoys botany and is looking forward to providing botany tours on Tiburon Island.

Geza Torres is a Comcaác community member from Punta Chueca, Mexico. She is a singer and dancer, as well as a conservation advocate. Geza is the sister of Valentina.

Valentina Torres is a Comcaác community member from Punta Chueca, Mexico. Valentina is a singer and active community member. Valentina is the sister of Geza.

Belinda Molina Villalobos is a 17-year-old high school student in Punta Chueca, Mexico and a member of the Comcaác community. She has aspirations of attending law school in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Mayrene Molina Villalobos is a 15-year-old high school student in Punta Chueca, Mexico and a member of the Comcaác community. She enjoys eating processed foods, like chips after school.








Series Hosts

Xavier Basurto head shot
Dana Grieco head shot

Xavier Basurto, Ph.D., Truman and Nellie Semans/Alex Brown & Sons Associate Professor and Instructor for Community-Based Marine Conservation Course

Xavier is  interested in the fundamental question of how groups (human and non-human) can find ways to self-organize, cooperate, and engage in successful collective action for the benefit of the common good. To do this, he strive to understand how the institutions (formal and informal rules and norms) that govern social behavior, interplay with biophysical variables to shape social-ecological systems. What kind of institutions are better able to govern complex-adaptive systems? and how can societies (large and small) develop robust institutions that provide enough flexibility for collective learning and adaptation over the long-term? Trained as a marine biologist, he completed a M.S in natural resources studying small-scale fisheries in the Gulf of California, Mexico, and an MPA and a Ph.D. in Management (with a minor in cultural anthropology) from the University of Arizona.



Dana Grieco, Ph.D. candidate in Dr. David Gill’s Lab and Teaching Assistant for Community-Based Marine Conservation Course.

Dana is a member of the Ocean Synthesis (3S) Marine Lab  with advisor David A. Gill. She completed her undergraduate studies in 2016 with a B.S. in biology and a marine ecology thesis from Villanova University. Dana then spent the following three years working in marine ecological research and many facets of the fishing and dive industries in Cape Cod, MA, and the Bay Islands, Honduras. Dana’s current research focuses on how fisheries and conservation interventions impact marine social and ecological systems, with a particular focus on small-scale, data-poor marine systems. Her methodology includes interdisciplinary systems-based approaches and participatory research techniques that value fisheries stakeholder knowledge.