Tomás Olivier, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar

Institute of the Environment and Sustainability



Tomás is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He holds a Ph.D. in Government and Public Policy from the University of Arizona. Tomás is interested in governance of shared natural resources, with particular concern for how groups of actors address different collective action problems. His research combines tools to study institutions with social network analysis. Specifically, Tomás is interested in how actors such as governments, NGOs, private industries, and individuals create institutional arrangements to govern resources that extend beyond multiple political and geographical boundaries.

At IoES, Tomás is studying the design features of water funds, a particular model of payment for ecosystem services. Tomás studies the institutional design of multiple water funds implemented in Latin America, where these mechanisms have had a long record of success in provisioning watershed services.

Selected Publications

Olivier, Tomás. (forthcoming). “How Do Institutions Address Collective-Action Problems? Bridging and Bonding in Institutional Design.” Political Research Quarterly.


known and emerging risks to islands

Known and emerging risks to small island developing states

Islands are particularly vulnerable to environmental risks from climate change and natural disasters.  These risks can be especially hazardous to a small-scale island economy and have cascading effects; for example, climate change vulnerability can negatively impact an island’s credit rating, further impairing its capacity for increasing resilience. In order to bolster islands’ resilience and adaptive...