Sandra Jazmin Barragan Contreras

Department of Geography

PhD Candidate

Sandra J Barragan Contreras
Profile picture of Sandra J Barragan Contreras

Full contact details

Sandra Jazmin Barragan Contreras
Department of Geography
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

I completed a BA in International Business from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico. After a couple of years working in different sustainability and development projects in Mexico and Brazil, I returned to higher education though a CONACYT funded Master’s in International Development and Environmental Change at the University of Sheffield - joining the Geography Department in 2016. During that year, I combined practical and theoretical research in migration, gender, and international volunteer tourism in rural communities in Nepal and Peru. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in Human Geography, investigating the energy transition in Mexico from an energy justice perspective. Along with my PhD, I have worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and International Student Ambassador at the University of Sheffield. 

Towards a people-led energy transition. Exploring energy justice in Yucatan Mexico

"Energy transitions are shaped by different worldviews, interests, and values. Achieving more socially just sustainable energy transitions around the globe necessitates an evaluation of energy justice principles from a wide range of different perspectives. While existing literature provides rich conceptualisations and insights into energy justice debates, those theorisations remain dominated by conceptions of justice and theories of development from Western currents of thought. Applying these theorisations of energy justice to the formulation and implementation of energy policies in developing countries - where levels of complexity might vary widely- can lead to damaging outcomes. Still, insufficient attention has been paid to further develop and expand empirical and theoretical approaches of energy justice based in the Global South.

Drawing upon a qualitative in-depth case study, this research seeks to contribute to cover this gap by investigating (in)justice perceptions and experiences in the implementation of two solar and two wind large scale projects in rural and indigenous communities in Yucatan, Mexico. Utilising data from semi-structured interviews, participant observation and secondary data analysis, I explore how can actors, policies and practices intersect to form a more socially just and sustainable energy transition."

Supervisors: Matt Watson and Daniel Hammett

Teaching activities

GEO381 - Geographies of Citizenship and Democracy (Guess Lecture, May 2021)
GEO115 - Environmental Change and Society (GTA 2020-2021)
GEO246 – Environment, Society and Politics (GTA 2018-2019 and 2019-2020)  
GEO6801 – Ideas and Practice in International Development (GTA 2018-2019)
GEO6802 - Research Methods in International Development (GTA, 2018-2019)

Professional activities and memberships

Conference presentations:

September 2021 - Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) International Conference. United Kingdom. Presented paper: “Distributional justice and renewable energy in Yucatan, Mexico”

July 2021 - Conference of the Institute of Australian Geographers and New Zealand Geographical Society. University of Sydney, Presented paper: “Procedural justice in solar and wind mega-projects of Yucatan, Mexico”

July 2021 - Postgraduates in Latin American Studies (PILAS) Annual Conference. Presented paper: “Identity and recognition-based injustices in the sitting of photovoltaic energy projects in indigenous communities of Yucatan, Mexico”

December 2020 - 9th European CONACYT Symposium of Scholarship Holders. MUFRAMEX-CONACYT. Presented paper: "" Energy transition through the lens of energy justice in rural Mexico” 

June 2019 - XVII Symposium of Mexican Studies and Students in the UK. University of Cambridge. Presented Poster: “Renewable energy transitions from an energy justice perspective. A case study in southern Mexico.”