Mario Machado's research sits at the intersection of agroecology and landscape ecology. In particular, he is interested in understanding the ways that policies and programs, such as payments for ecosystem services, might improve sustainable agricultural practices on farms in ways that scale up to broader landscapes. This work is generally interdisciplinary, looking at the social, economic and ecological dimensions of agricultural livelihoods and the various ways these translate into sustainability and resilience at larger spatial scales. Geographically, Machado's work has focused on Latin America, in particular Cuba, as well as sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition to his research, he is also in the process of starting a small agroecological farm in Franklin, New Hampshire with a focus on temperate agroforestry and mushroom cultivation. He is also an avid freelance writer of non-fiction and fiction. In non-fication, Machado's work generally focuses on the nexus of society and ecology, science and the humanities, especially in the context of climate change, and his writing has appeared in Guernica magazine, National Geographic, and others. In fiction, he is currently writing his first novel, a work of speculative/science fiction that explores the contrours of the climate crisis.