Rachel Antoinette Cypher

Rachel Cypher looks into the camera smiling. Her hair is long, straight, and light colored.

PPEH Postdoctoral Fellow

2022 - 2023

Rachel Antoinette Cypher grew up in the borderlands of the Sonoran Desert and spent much of her childhood with the group that built Biosphere 2, an ecological test capsule for life on Mars. This experience shaped her current research interests, which engage with ongoing questions of how the environment makes us who we are, and how we make the environment. Putting gender, race, and class at the center of her inquiries, she also experiments with new forms of storytelling and ways of knowing the world. Her dissertation, “Belonging in the Pampas,” examined the cattle-man love affair that made the settler colonial state of Argentina, while her current research explores the spread of mesquite forests by Indigenous cattle herding in both the western Pampas and the southwestern United States. She received her BA from Penn, MA from UC Berkeley, PhD from UC Santa Cruz, and is thrilled to be returning to Penn’s campus to join the incredible team at PPEH.