Renzo Taddei, PhD
Field School Director

Renzo Taddei is Director of the CIFAS Field School in Ethnographic Methods. Under Lambros Comitas’s supervision, he earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University in 2005, with a dissertation on the traditional environmental knowledge about the atmosphere and weather of peasants in rural Northeast Brazil and its tense relationship with scientific meteorology, on the one hand, and local politics, on the other. The doctoral dissertation was nominated for the Bancroft Prize at Columbia University. With Comitas, he created the CIFAS Summer School in Ethnographic Methods in 2003.

He has done fieldwork in Brazil, Uruguay, Burkina Faso, and the U.S. on topics related to the interface between scientific and traditional and Indigenous environmental knowledge. Previously, he worked in Argentina on youth violence and soccer fandom.

Dr. Taddei has been a visiting professor at Yale University, Duke University, and the University of the Republic in Uruguay. Currently, he is a tenured professor at the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he teaches anthropology and science and technology studies. He is one of the leading researchers at the Climate Change National Science and Technology Institute in Brazil and serves on one of the standing committees of the World Meteorological Organization. Between 2005 and 2014, he was a research associate and later principal investigator at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University.

Renzo was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Before becoming an anthropologist, he received a B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering (1995) and a Master’s degree in Education (2000) from the University of Sao Paulo. He also had a short experience as a professional photographer between 1998 and 2000.

In 2017, he published Meteorologists and Rain Prophets: Knowledge, Practices, and Politics of the Atmosphere (Terceiro Nome publishers, in Portuguese). He co-organized two books: After the Rains Didn’t Come (2010, published by Funceme and CIFAS) and The Anthropocene: On Modes of Composing Worlds (2022, Fino Traço publishers), both in Portuguese. His work has appeared in journals such as American Anthropologist, Nature Climate Change, Weather Climate and Society, Climatic Change, Climate Services, Environmental Science and Policy, Energy Research and Social Science, Latin American Research Review, and Social Semiotics.