Gund Affiliate, Research Professor, Arizona State University

Mauricio Bellon is a Research Professor at the Swette Center for Sustainable Foods Systems of Arizona State University and Honorary Fellow at the National Commission for the Use and Knowledge of Biodiversity (CONABIO), Mexico. Mauricio is a human ecologist focusing on sustainable agricultural and food systems of smallholder farmers in the developing world.

Mauricio’s research focuses on the reasons, incentives and dynamics of crop diversity managed by smallholder farmers in their agricultural systems—both at the inter-specific and infra-specific levels—in the developing world. Mauricio is interested in the links of crop diversity with crop evolution, human diets, seed systems, livelihoods, climate change, and agricultural technology. Mauricio has an in-depth knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and a broad understanding of multiple scientific disciplines and how to combine them to address complex problems.

During Mauricio's career he has led multidisciplinary and multicultural teams across different countries, as well as done direct fieldwork with communities in Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Peru, Ecuador, Benin, Mali, Ghana, and Bangladesh. Previously he was Coordinator of Studies on Agrobiodiversity at CONABIO. Before this he was Principal Scientist and Programme Director, Diversity for Livelihoods Programme, at Bioversity International (Italy). He also has worked for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT, Mexico), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI, The Philippines) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).


  • Bellon, M. R., Mastretta-Yanes, A., Ponce-Mendoza, A., Ortiz-Santamaría, D., Oliveros-Galindo, O., Perales, H., Acevedo, F., and Sarukhán, J. 2021. Beyond subsistence: the aggregate contribution of campesinos to the supply and conservation of native maize across Mexico. Food Security. https://doi: 10.1007/s12571-020-01134-8
  • Bellon, M. R., Kotu, B. H., Azzarri, C., and Caracciolo, F. 2020. To diversify or not to diversify, that is the question. Pursuing agricultural development for smallholder farmers in marginal areas of Ghana. World Development, 125 (2020) 104682.
  • Bellon, M.R., Mastretta-Yanes, A., Ponce-Mendoza, A., Ortiz-Santmaría, D., Oliveros-Galindo, O., Perales, H., Acevedo, F., and Sarukhán, J. 2018. Evolutionary and food supply implications of ongoing maize domestication by Mexican campesinos. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285:2018:20181049.
  •  Bellon, M.R., Dulloo, E., Sardos, J., Thormann, I., and Burdon, J.J. 2017. In-situ conservation – harnessing natural and human-derived evolutionary forces to ensure future crop adaptation. Evolutionary Applications 2017;1–13.
  • Bellon, M.R., Ntandou-Bouzitou, G. and Caracciolo, F. 2016. On-farm diversity and market participation are positively associated with dietary diversity of rural mothers in southern Benin, West Africa. PLoS ONE 11(9): e0162535 dbi:10.137V.

Associations and Affiliations

  • Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO) México. (National Commission for the Use and Knowledge of Biodiversity).
  • Mexican Academy of Sciences
  • National Researcher System of Mexico (Sistema Nacional de Investigadores)
  • Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Research Project EvolVES, embedded in Future Earth.
Gund Affiliate Mauricio Bellon

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Crop diversity in agricultural and food systems, social and environmental impacts, use of qualitative and quantitative methods to address social and environmental problems


  • PhD, Ecology, University of California, Davis
  • MS, Ecology, University of California, Davis
  • Ingeniero Agrónomo, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México, D. F