Olivia Aminta



SERSD student 2022-2024


Profile summary

  • Human-nature relationships in cities
  • Ecosystem services restoration
  • Urban commons
  • Transformative solutions
  • Urban planning and governance
  • Latin America

Estrada-Leyva is a MSc student at the Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development programme and a Research Assistant at the RECONNECT research project.

Before commencing the SERSD master's programme, Estrada-Leyva achieved a bachelor's degree in Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). The title of her bachelor thesis was “The usability of urban parks on the periphery of Mexico City and its relationship with cultural ecosystem services”.

As a scholar at the Laboratory of Ecological Restoration at the UNAM Institute of Biology, she worked on a research project that aims to restore agro-techniques and axolotl communities in an urban wetland in Mexico City, by engaging with local communities, government, academy, and private sector.

Estrada-Leyva is interested in exploring sustainable transformative solutions in Latin American cities. In her thesis project, she is exploring dwellers’ perceptions and relationships with the urban environment by applying participatory methods for collective creation and deliberation. She is passionate about ecosystem services restoration in degraded urban environments, and its desirable implications on justice and equity.

In parallel to her master’s studies, she is currently working as Research Assistant for RECONNECT, an inter and transdisciplinary research program that aims to develop, test, and validate socioecological approaches to conserve biodiversity in multifunctional landscapes. The project has case studies in South Africa, Germany, France, and Sweden.

Awards and achievements

  • Teaching experience as Teaching Assistant: “Urban Ecological Design for Climate Change Resilience” (joint Rutgers - UNAM course), and “Social-ecological systems: challenges & approaches” (Stockholm University Master’s Programme course).
  • 2021 SEP-UNAM Research Initiation Honors Scholarship to develop research activities in foreign educational institutions in Sweden and France.
  • International volunteer experience with NGOs working on rural communities and biodiversity conservation in Mexico, Australia, and Thailand.


Erik Andersson, Stockholm Resilience Centre

Staff details