Biography – Marina Apgar

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Marina Apgar has 17 years of research and development experience that has involved her working directly with a range of marginalized communities in multiple continents and countries. For ten years Marina engaged with indigenous peoples in Latin America working on issues of self-determination and use of biocultural approaches to conservation first as a volunteer and later through working with local NGOs. She undertook a collaborative PhD thesis with the Guna indigenous peoples of Panama focused on social and cultural processes that support adaptive capacity for endogenous development of their biocultural territory – see here for full thesis. Throughout her work, Marina has used a systems approach to participatory action research and is passionate about understanding and facilitating the creative space between research processes and development outcomes, through engaging in complex adaptive systems to support emergence.


Ph.D. Lincoln University (NZ)

Research Background:

Marina currently works as Knowledge Sharing and Learning Scientist at WorldFish, leading work on participatory action research as a vehicle for research to engage with stakeholders across scales in aquatic agricultural systems. She previously was responsible for knowledge management and research for an indigenous peoples’ climate change assessment initiative led by Asociacion ANDES from Cusco, Peru.

Marina has developed methodologies for using participatory inquiry processes while working across scales – such as the IPCCA Methodological Toolkit based on indigenous methodologies, and a guide for facilitators in the aquatic agricultural systems program. Through working with other co-authors and the broader knowledge sharing and learning team of the AAS program she helped develop a learning site for those interested in working with the Research in Development approach to agricultural research –

Selected Publications:

Dissertation: Adaptive Capacity for Endogenous Development of Kuna Yala, an Indigenous Biocultural System:           

AR+ Journal Articles  
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