Dr. Melissa Beresford is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Global Ethnohydrology Studyin the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Beginning in fall 2019, she will be an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at San José State University.
Dr. Beresford is an economic anthropologist focused on human responses to economic inequality and resource insecurity. Her research examines (1) community-based economies, (2) efforts to create alternative (hybrid/non-market) economies, and (3) how such economies can be used (or not) to address resource insecurity. Her doctoral research in Cape Town, South Africa examined how residents in under-resourced environments mobilize entrepreneurial practices to bring about economic transformation. Based on this research, she is currently developing a new project that examines how people rely upon and mobilize entrepreneurship in response to water insecurity.
In her role with the Global Ethnohydrology Study—led by Drs. Amber Wutich and Alexandra Brewis—Dr. Beresford is currently working with fellow HWISE member Dr. Katie Meehan of King’s College London to launch an international study in the summer of 2019 that examines household experiences of plumbing poverty in cross-cultural perspective. The aim of this project is to understand how people respond to and navigate inadequate water infrastructure in their homes and how such processes shape overall experiences of household water insecurity.
Wutich, A., Beresford, M., & Carvajal, C. (2016). Can informal water vendors deliver on the promise of a human right to water? Results from Cochabamba, Bolivia. World Development, 79, 14-24.
Wutich, A. and Beresford, M. The Economic Anthropology of Water. Economic Anthropology. Forthcoming June 2019.
Wutich, A. and Beresford, M. (Eds.). “Water and Economy” special issue of Economic Anthropology. Forthcoming June 2019.
For more information and a list of her current research projects, visit her website at https://isearch.asu.edu/profile/1625318 and on twitter @mhberesford.