David Avilés is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Economic Geography and Mining at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) at the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is currently working on the ARC Discovery Project, “Beyond the resource curse: redistribution and resource-led development”, which aims to improve the sustainability of resource-led development in Australia, Chile and Zambia.

David is an interdisciplinary Spatial Political Economist with a PhD in Political Economy from The University of Sydney, specialising in relational economic geography and political economy. He is a trained architect by the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria (Chile) with a master’s in urban development from the Universidad Católica de Chile.

His research interests are in the socio-ecological relations that shape productive systems and their connection to the global economy, working at the intersection of uneven geographical development and environmental studies. Additionally, he is interested in dissecting the geographies of the 'Green Energy Transition' by conducting research in critical minerals through a comparative perspective across Australia, Latin America, and the US.

David’s doctoral research focused on Chilean Patagonia to explore the constitution of commodity frontiers (wool and oil), the production of space, and primitive accumulation.

Researcher biography

Research interests

Critical and Strategic Minerals

Commodity Frontiers

Global Production Networks

Green Energy Transition

Indigenous Knowledges

Peer-reviewed articles

Avilés, D. (2024). Spatial Political Economy: The Ideology of Nature, State-Space, and the Oil Commodity Frontier. Journal Environment & Planning F.  https://doi.org/10.1177/26349825231217149

Fuentes, I., Fuster, R.,  Avilés, D., and Vervoort, W. (2021). Water scarcity in central Chile: the effect of climate and land cover changes on hydrologic resources. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 66:6, 1028-1044. https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2021.1903475

Avilés, D., Barton, J., D'Alencon, R., Moris, R., Ruiz, JC., Salas, R., Steiniger, S. (2016). Indicadores de sustentabilidad urbana a escala local en Chile. Eídos—Revista Científica en Arquitectura y Urbanismo, n. 9, p. 28-38.  https://doi.org/10.29019/eidos.v0i9.128

Book Chapters

Avilés, D. (2015). Construcción de una economía política híbrida: análisis comparativo de las inversiones públicas y privadas desde una óptica neoestructural. In: Roman, A., Barton, J., Bustos, B., Salazar, A. (eds.). “Revolución salmonera: paradojas y transformaciones territoriales en Chiloé”. Santiago: RIL Editores; Colección de Libros Estudios Urbanos UC. 

Other Publications

Avilés, D. (2023). “Amy C. Offner, Sorting Out The Mixed Economy: The Rise And Fall Of Welfare And Developmental States In The Americas”. Book review. Progress in Political Economy, August 22nd, 2023.  

Avilés, D. (2022). “We live in a time of ‘late capitalism’, but what does that mean? And what’s so late about it?”. The Conversation Australia, December 8th, 2022.  

Avilés, D. (2021). "Milton Santos: The Nature of Space". Book Review. Progress in Political Economy, December 14, 2021.