Rebeca Ibáñez Martín is an anthropologist and Social Studies of Science (STS) scholar. She studied History and Anthropology at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), where she obtained her MA in Feminist Theory. Rebeca completed her PhD in Philosophy of Science and Social Studies of Science (STS) at Salamanca University with a thesis entitled “Bad to Eat? Empirical Explorations of Fat as Food” (2014). This work was awarded the cum laude and the prize for best dissertation in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Her PhD elaborates the history of nutritional knowledge and practices around fats in the Spanish territory arguing that an essentializing approach to nutritional knowledge neglects the multiple “registers of valuation” of foods—that are at work in nutritional recommendations and cooking in Spain.
Between 2014 and 2016 Rebeca worked as a postdoc at the University of Amsterdam, Anthropology department, joining the team “The eating body in western practice and theory” leaded by prof. Annemarie Mol. Rebeca investigated waste and recycling practices of fat derived from cooking as sites where sustainable ideas are enacted and citizenship is created.

In 2016 Rebeca initiated and coordinated the proposal for a Responsible Innovation project funded by Dutch NWO-MVI organization entitled “Normativities of Waste Water treatment: putting microalgae to work in Ecodorp Boekel” which focused on the challenges of sustainable waste water management. In collaboration with the residents, engineers and different institutional actors and stakeholders, Rebeca explored empirically the normativities and responsibilities that are involved in the developing a new domestic waste water treatment system, in order to be able to account for changing moral landscapes around waste.
Since January 2019 she works as a researcher at the Meertens Insitute (KNAW), Ethnology department, where she leads the “Food, Body and Wellbeing” thematic area. She’s also affiliated with the Anthropology department at UvA.


Her academic career focuses on the topics of food, body, water, waste, infrastructures, and sustainability. She is developing a new line of research on the relational study of the Greenhouse agricultural complex. In Europe, the hotspots for horticulture production are the Netherlands and Spain. Both draw on similar infrastructures (greenhouses), and deal with water, waste, crops, and labour as resources to be managed. Plantations – characterized by monocropping, industrial food production, the mobility of cheap labor – are the model and motor for such systems in the Anthropocene. The modern greenhouse, with its simplified ecologies, reliance on migrant labor, and infrastructures to produce cheap commodities is the new plantation.


At NL-Lab Rebeca will collaborate with Odeuropa. She will also contribute to the lines of research of animal and food culture in the Netherlands. More concretely, on the topics of cheese and cows. Creatures, like cows, appearing in the past in the margins of ethnographies are now taken to the center of our enquiries, providing a new focus on the complex milieu of everyday life as a multispecies encounter. Cheese, too, offers new challenges to think further multispecies conviviality and the value of food.