Jarillo de la Torre, Sergio main content.

Sergio Jarillo de la Torre


Research Associate, Anthropology


  • Cambridge University, Ph.D., 2013
  • Cambridge University, M.Phil., 2007
  • Urbino University, B.A., 2005
  • Autonomous University of Madrid, B.A., 2000

Research Interests

Dr. Jarillo de la Torre’s research interests revolve around cultural materialisations in island Papua New Guinea. He has carried out intensive fieldwork in the Trobriand Islands (Milne Bay Province), exploring the role of material and immaterial forms as mediators of cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific. His thesis is a study of Massim woodcarvings as instruments of indigenous analysis and native agency in the face of social change.

His current project is a socio-ecological study of Budibudi, a small archipelago of low-lying coral atolls off the Papua New Guinea coast, whose inhabitants are about to become environmental refugees due to sea level rising. The main scope of this project will be to individuate, understand and preserve key elements of Budibudi cosmologies, material and immaterial expressions and practical environment-related knowledge that are constitutive of the area’s distinct socio-cultural heritage, in order to promote its conservation and revitalisation in the face of climate change.

Dr. Jarillo de la Torre is also Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC where he is currently part of the Recovering Voices Program, carrying out the analysis, consolidation and repatriation of a large corpus of indigenous oral folklore and its associated systems of knowledge to the Trobriand Islands.

More recently Dr. Jarillo de la Torre has started an interdisciplinary collaboration with social psychologists leading to the study of emotion communication in northern Mozambique. He is also interested in visual anthropology and ethnographic filmmaking.


Division of Anthropology