Marla Perez-Lugo is a professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM), since 2002. She received her Ph.D. in environmental sociology, with a special focus on vulnerability to natural hazards and risk/disaster communications, from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (2003). She has published in the journals Professional Geographer, Sociological Inquiry, and Organization and Environment. Since 2005, her research has shifted towards the social aspects of energy, energy policy, interdisciplinary energy studies, and public engagement in energy decision-making processes in Puerto Rico. In 2015, in collaboration with Dr. Cecilio Ortiz Garcia and Dr. Lionel Orama Exclusa, she co-founded the National Institute for Energy and Island Sustainability (INESI in Spanish), the only interdisciplinary and inter-campus institute of the UPR System. INESI is a collaborative platform that identifies and interconnects the resources of the UPR in energy and resilience and insert those resources in the local energy policy arena and in community-based sustainable energy projects. Her participation in INESI also includes the coordination of important capacity building spaces such as the Energy Stakeholder Forum of Puerto Rico and the development of documents such as the State of Energy Report for Puerto Rico. Dr. Perez Lugo is currently a member of INESI's steering committee and a co-developer of RISE-PR, which stands for Resilience through Innovation in Sustainable Energy for Puerto Rico, an inter-university collaborative platform with NCSE and colleagues at Arizona State University and University of Minnesota.
Senior Fellow RISE