Dr Maria De Lourdes Melo Zurita

F09 - Madsen Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone 8627 6385

Biographical details

Dr Marilu Melo is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney. Her recent research has spanned different key areas of geographical scholarship – including the politics of social housing relocation projects, peri-urban disaster management, and water governance – and has featured in esteemed academic journals, and presented at a number of international conferences.

Marilu’s current research interest is focused on subterranean spaces, expanding geographical scholarship into a volume ontology, by excavating past, present and future material transformations and geosocial agencies of the underground. As a part of this research, she is currently completing a book project, tentatively titled: A Three-Dimensional Environmental History: water, technology and colonisation in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where she recasts the Yucatan Peninsula’s relatively well-known colonial history through a (three-dimensional) environmental history lens.

Before moving to London to complete her PhD at King’s College London, Marilu conducted research in Mexico City, critically examining the displacement of land-owners in forested areas located in the margins of the city. The final publication from this project was awarded Mexico’s Gustavo Cabrera Prize relating urban and environmental issues. Her subsequent PhD research, based in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, looked at the conflicts between types of land-tenure and the legal status of underground spaces. A research project that inspired Marilu’s current interest in the urban’s subterranean dimensions.

In 2010, Marilu moved to Australia and began work on a research project at the University of Melbourne that focused on risk reduction and disaster management in the north-west of Melbourne. This research has contributed to the debate around building capacity and resilience, questioning the planning framing behind disaster management. It has also ignited debates around roles and responsibilities of different levels of government and other non-government actors when it comes to disaster management. She built upon this project as a postdoctoral research fellow in an international collaborative project led by the Stockholm Environment Institute (with the University of Sunshine Coast as the local Australian partner), which focused on questions on water governance across different international case studies, including research on urban flood governance in south-east Queensland.

Marilu’s most recent research has been in collaboration with A/Prof Kristian Ruming from the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University, in a project that has re-ignited her interest in the understanding of the dynamics of displacement as a result of major policies (e.g. State-level urban renewal projects). The research project focuses on a social housing estate in North Ryde, which is a part of the NSW Government’s Communities Plus project, where tenants are in the process of being (forcibly) relocated.

Aside from her research work, Marilu has also been involved in teaching into numerous undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, University of New South Wales and, currently, the University of Sydney.

More information can be found on Marilu's personal website: www.marilumelo.net

Selected grants

2017

  • Human Perspectives of Subterranean Cities; Melo Zurita M; Faculty of Science/Research Support Grant.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Melo Zurita, M. (2012). La tierra el pretexto, los recursos naturales el motivo: El caso de la mercantilizaci�n de la naturaleza mediante dos estudios de caso en M�xico. In Ricardo Francisco Macip Ríos (Eds.), Al que a buen �rbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija: Deslindando pr�cticas, s�mbolos y realidades con Robert D. Shadow, (pp. 121-144). Mexico: Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla.

Journals

  • Melo Zurita, M., Cook, B., Thomsen, D., Munro, P., Smith, T., Gallina, J. (2017). Living with disasters: social capital for disaster governance. Disasters. [More Information]
  • Plummer, R., Renzetti, S., Bullock, R., Melo Zurita, M., Baird, J., Dupot, D., Smith, T., Thomsen, D. (2017). The roles of capitals in building capacity to address urban flooding in the shift to a new water management approach. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. [More Information]
  • Melo Zurita, M., Munro, P., Houston, D. (2017). Un-earthing the Subterranean Anthropocene. Area. [More Information]
  • Cook, B., Melo Zurita, M. (2016). Planning to learn: an insurgency for disaster risk reduction (DRR). International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 19, 265-272. [More Information]
  • de Rijke, K., Munro, P., Melo Zurita, M. (2016). The Great Artesian Basin: A Contested Resource Environment of Subterranean Water and Coal Seam Gas in Australia. Society and Natural Resources, 29(6), 696-710. [More Information]
  • Melo Zurita, M., Thomsen, D., Smith, T., Lyth, A., Preston, B., Baum, S. (2015). Reframing water: Contesting H2O within the European Union. Geoforum, 65, 170-178. [More Information]
  • Melo Zurita, M., Cook, B., Harms, L., March, A. (2015). Towards New Disaster Governance: Subsidiarity as a Critical Tool. Environmental Policy and Governance, 25(6), 386-398. [More Information]
  • Munro, P., Melo Zurita, M. (2011). The role of cenotes in the social history of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Environment and History, 17(4), 583-612. [More Information]
  • Munro, P., Melo Zurita, M. (2009). Aprendiendo del pasado: Impactos historicos de intervenciones en la agricultura de Sierra Leona. Ecologia Politica, , 92-95.

2017

  • Melo Zurita, M., Cook, B., Thomsen, D., Munro, P., Smith, T., Gallina, J. (2017). Living with disasters: social capital for disaster governance. Disasters. [More Information]
  • Plummer, R., Renzetti, S., Bullock, R., Melo Zurita, M., Baird, J., Dupot, D., Smith, T., Thomsen, D. (2017). The roles of capitals in building capacity to address urban flooding in the shift to a new water management approach. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. [More Information]
  • Melo Zurita, M., Munro, P., Houston, D. (2017). Un-earthing the Subterranean Anthropocene. Area. [More Information]

2016

  • Cook, B., Melo Zurita, M. (2016). Planning to learn: an insurgency for disaster risk reduction (DRR). International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 19, 265-272. [More Information]
  • de Rijke, K., Munro, P., Melo Zurita, M. (2016). The Great Artesian Basin: A Contested Resource Environment of Subterranean Water and Coal Seam Gas in Australia. Society and Natural Resources, 29(6), 696-710. [More Information]

2015

  • Melo Zurita, M., Thomsen, D., Smith, T., Lyth, A., Preston, B., Baum, S. (2015). Reframing water: Contesting H2O within the European Union. Geoforum, 65, 170-178. [More Information]
  • Melo Zurita, M., Cook, B., Harms, L., March, A. (2015). Towards New Disaster Governance: Subsidiarity as a Critical Tool. Environmental Policy and Governance, 25(6), 386-398. [More Information]

2012

  • Melo Zurita, M. (2012). La tierra el pretexto, los recursos naturales el motivo: El caso de la mercantilizaci�n de la naturaleza mediante dos estudios de caso en M�xico. In Ricardo Francisco Macip Ríos (Eds.), Al que a buen �rbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija: Deslindando pr�cticas, s�mbolos y realidades con Robert D. Shadow, (pp. 121-144). Mexico: Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla.

2011

  • Munro, P., Melo Zurita, M. (2011). The role of cenotes in the social history of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Environment and History, 17(4), 583-612. [More Information]

2009

  • Munro, P., Melo Zurita, M. (2009). Aprendiendo del pasado: Impactos historicos de intervenciones en la agricultura de Sierra Leona. Ecologia Politica, , 92-95.

To update your profile click here. For support on your academic profile contact .