Graduate Students

Alexander M. Liebman
Advisor: Kevon Rhiney
Degree: Ph.D.
Research Interests: political ecology, data science, agrarian studies, race, financialization of land


I am interested in the turn towards Big Data science in agricultural research and its implications for climate change, peasant livelihoods, and agroecological landscapes. I explore how agricultural data science reproduces particular forms of standardization and homogeneity that constitute racialized and exclusionary forms of international development and environmental management across the global South, focused on agrarian frontier zones in Colombia. In Colombia, I work with the La Via Campesina popular education school, IALA Maria Cano, as well as several agroecological research teams and am deeply guided and inspired by how these groups combine ecological practice, radical pedagogy, and emancipatory politics in their daily practices and theoretical work.

Previous degrees:

  • M.S., Agroecology/Agronomy, University of Minnesota
  • B.A., Macalester College


  • Liebman, A. and R. Wallace. Forthcoming. "A factory farm fungus among us?," Feral Atlas, edited by A. Tsing et al. AURA: Aarhaus University Research on the Anthropocene.
  • Montenegro de Wit, M. A. Roman-Alcala, A. Liebman, S. Chrisman. Forthcoming. "The agrarian origins of authoritarian populism in the United States: What can we learn from 20th century struggles in California and the Midwest?" Journal of Rural Studies.
  • Wallace, R., K. Okamoto, A. Liebman. Forthcoming. "Gated epidemiologies." Book chapter for Between Catastrophe and Redemption: Essays in Honor of Mike Davis. UR Books.
  • Wallace, R., A. Liebman, T. Jonas, L. Hogerwerf, D. Weisberger, L. Bergmann, R. Kock, and R.G. Wallace. Forthcoming. "Industrial agriculture environments." Routledge Handbook of Biosecurity and Invasive Species, edited by K. Barker, et al.
  • Liebman, A. J. Vergara-Castro, J. Rowlands, S. Rodriguez, S. Engel-Di Mauro, A. Barros. 2019. "Applying critical physical geographies: Territorial and water defense in northern Chile." Society and Space: Critical Geographies in Action.
  • Cadieux, V., S. Carpenter, A. Liebman, R. Blumberg, B. Upadhyay. "Reparation ecologies: Regimes of repair in populist agroecology." 2019. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Special Issue: Environmental Governance in a Populist/Authoritarian Era. DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2018.1527680
  • Liebman, A., J. M. Grossman, M. Brown, M. S. Wells, S. C. Reberg-Horton, and W. Shi. 2018. "Legume cover crops and tillage impact nitrogen dynamics in organic corn production." Agron. J. 0. DOI:10.2134/agronj2017.08.0474
  • Kelley, L.C., Clifford, K.R., Reisman, E., Lea, D., Matsler, M., Liebman, A., and Malone, M. 2018. "Charting a critical physical geography path in graduate school: Sites of student agency." The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Physical Geography, edited by Lave, R., Biermann, C., and Lane, S. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Liebman, A. and H.A. Peller. 2017. “¿Y si no en Habana? Landless science, peasant struggle, and capitalist development in Colombia.” Alternautus (Re)Searching Development blog, Special Issue: Agribusiness, (Neo)Extractivism and Food Sovereignty: Latin America at a Crossroads.


  • Presidential Fellowship for Doctoral Studies, Rutgers University (2019–2024)
  • Alumni Society Graduate Student Professional Development Award, College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota (2017)
  • U.S. Borlaug Fellow in Global Food Security, USAID (2015)
  • Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change Global Food Security Fellowship, University of Minnesota (2015)
  • Multifunctional Agriculture Initiative Graduate Student Assistantship, University of Minnesota (2015)