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Tami Okamoto

Tami Okamoto

PhD candidate

Tami explores alternative concepts and uses of territory in collaboration with Amazonian indigenous peoples in Peru.



  • PhD, University of Cambridge, expected 2022
  • MSc, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 2011
  • BSc with Honours, University of British Columbia, 2009


My research interests centre on territory and indigenous geographies, decolonial approaches to posthumanist geography, development, and state level planning, and collaborative geographical methods. I am interested in the potential of indigenous territorial approaches in opening up spaces for alternative knowledge production and spatial epistemologies around territory and territorial governance in postcolonial contexts, particularly in the Amazon region.

I have been collaborating with Amazonian indigenous peoples for the past 10 years. My current work builds upon this ongoing engagement.

My PhD research explores territory, contrasting Eurocentric historical geographical representations of indigenous ancestral territories and indigenous notions and uses. In collaboration with the Wampis indigenous nation in the Peruvian Amazon, I interrogate prevailing colonial notions of territory and their influence on historically naturalised cartographies and statecraft, and current territorial governance schemes.



  • O'Callaghan-Gordo, C., Rosales, J., Lizárraga, P., Barclay, F., Okamoto, T., Papoulias, D., Espinosa, A., Orta-Martínez, M., Kogevinas, M., Astete, J. (2021) Blood lead levels in indigenous peoples living close to oil extraction areas in the Peruvian Amazon. Environmental International, doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106639
  • O'Callaghan-Gordo, C., Flores, J.A., Lizárraga, P., Okamoto, T., Papoulias, D., Barclay, F., Orta-Martínez, M., Kogevinas, M., Astete, J. (2018) Oil spills in the Amazon basin and exposure to metals in indigenous populations. Journal of Environmental Research, v. 162, p.226-230. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.013.


Book chapters



  • University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Environmental Studies
    • Guest Lecturer, Amazonian Cultures and Conservation: Rebuilding relations from the ground up (2017-2020)
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Departament of Social Sciences
    • Lecturer & course co-design, Amazonia and Society: Indigenous Politics and Territories (2016)
  • University of Oslo, Centre for Development and the Environment
    • Seminar Leader, Development and the Environment: Theory and Policy Challenges (2012)
  • Oslo and Akershus University College
    • Guest Lecturer, Climate Change Journalism (2012)


  • National Geographic Explorer
  • Member. Decolonial Research Lab. Department of Geography, University of Cambridge