Imperial College London

Dr Carlos A Torres Vitolas

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Social Scientist



+44 (0)20 7594 6689c.torres-vitolas Website




VB11Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





Dr Torres-Vitolas holds a Doctoral degree in Sociology and a Master of Science degree in Social Research Methods from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is currently affiliated to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, based at the School of Public Health. At present, he studies populations living in the wetlands of Sub-Saharan Africa to examine local perceptions and understandings of schistosomiasis, as part of the local ecology, and socio-cultural determinants of treatment uptake. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the Pontiff Catholic University of Peru.

Carlos’ expertise lies at the interface between rural development and public health. Prior to joining Imperial, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Southampton, where he studied the interconnections between food security and forest resources among indigenous populations from the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon as well as the Zomba Plateau in Malawi. For his PhD dissertation, he examined how community-based approaches to natural resource management affected features of social organisation and stratification among dry-forest dwellers in Northern Peru. Previous research experiences included research officer posts at the LSE and King’s College London.

Before moving to the UK, Carlos’ professional trajectory developed in Latin America, where he worked as a research consultant for operational and evaluation studies of development programmes. His work included developing socio-demographic and nutritional assessments of Colombian Amazon populations; assessing focalisation and monitoring frameworks for community-based childcare programmes in Peru; and examining coca farmer’s perceptions of alternative crops in Bolivia, among other experiences.

As an avid mixed-methods researcher, Carlos' expertise includes designing and analysing health and demographic surveys aligned with international protocols (DHS and UNICEF’s MICS) as well as LSMS-type household surveys (Living Standard Measurement Studies). On the qualitative side, he has experience conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnographies with varied audiences, from indigenous populations to policy-makers. He is also experienced in participatory methodologies (e.g., seasonal calendars), including participatory mapping techniques (PGIS).

Teaching experiences include roles as guest lecturer on research ethics at the University of Southampton and on qualitative methods for Imperial College’s BSc Global Health programme; Post-Graduate Teaching Assistant on research methods at the LSE; and visiting lecturer on Participatory Methodologies at the Pontiff Catholic University of Peru. He has a wealth of experience providing ad-hoc training on social research methods to public officials in Africa and Latin America.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Cruz-Garcia GS, Vanegas Cubillos M, Torres-Vitolas C, et al., 2019, He says, she says: Ecosystem services and gender among indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon, Ecosystem Services, Vol:37, ISSN:2212-0416

Francesconi W, Bax V, Blundo-Canto G, et al., 2018, Hunters and hunting across indigenous and colonist communities at the forest-agriculture interface: an ethnozoological study from the Peruvian Amazon, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, Vol:14, ISSN:1746-4269

Torres-Vitolas CA, 2018, Effects of social capital building on social network formation among the rural poor: a case-study from Peru, Oxford Development Studies, Vol:46, ISSN:1360-0818, Pages:184-198

Ramirez-Gomez SOI, Torres-Vitolas CA, Schreckenberg K, et al., 2015, Analysis of ecosystem services provision in the Colombian Amazon using participatory research and mapping techniques, Ecosystem Services, Vol:13, ISSN:2212-0416, Pages:93-107

Bacchus LJ, Bewley S, Vitolas CT, et al., 2010, Evaluation of a domestic violence intervention in the maternity and sexual health services of a UK hospital, Reproductive Health Matters, Vol:18, ISSN:0968-8080, Pages:147-157


Schreckenberg K, Torres Vitolas C, Willcock S, et al., 2016, Participatory Data Collection for Ecosystem Services Research A Practitioner’s Manual, Participatory Data Collection for Ecosystem Services Research A Practitioner’s Manual, No: 003 / June 2016, Edinburgh, Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA)

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