about me

I am a PhD student in the Earth Systems Science department at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability studying our changing environment. I am part of the EchoLab advised by Marshall Burke. In the past, I was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) at the University of Chicago, working at the Climate Impact Lab. In a previous life, I was a Data Scientist at DSaPP (now at CMU), and a career bureaucrat at the Central Bank of Colombia.

research interests

I evaluate the effects of environmental changes on humans. I also develop machine learning to create cool datasets that help us track humans and nature in data-scarce scenarios. I am also curious about the atmospheric circulation and weather/climate modeling, particularly how to downscale climate products using physics-informed interpolations.


  1. Bonilla-Mejia, L., & Higuera-Mendieta, I. (2019). Protected Areas under Weak Institutions: Evidence from Colombia. World Development, 122. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.06.019.

    • Ranked second-best paper by the International Sustainable Development Research Society.
    • Press coverage: El Tiempo
  2. Rodolfa, K. T., Salomon, E., Haynes, L., Higuera-Mendieta, I, Larson, J., & Ghani, R. (2020). Case study: Predictive fairness to reduce misdemeanor recidivism through social service interventions. In Proceedings of the 2020 conference on fairness, accountability, and transparency (142–153). FAT* ‘20 . https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.09233.

  3. Farah, A., Higuera-Mendieta, I, Song, Y., Franke, J. A., Moyer, E., & Nakamura, N. (2020). Arctic airmass displacement and reduced midlatitudes wintertime temperature variability under climate change. [In preparation for Geophysical Research Letters].

    • Presented at the American Geophysical Union Meeting AGU 2020.