His research focuses on sustainable agricultural and food systems of smallholder farmers in the developing world, with an emphasis on the use and conservation of agricultural biodiversity, particularly in Mexico.
Mauricio Bellon obtained a PhD in Ecology at UC Davis (1990), supported by a scholarship from CONACYT (the National Council of Science and Technology from Mexico). He previously obtained a BS degree in agronomy at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Xochimilco in Mexico City. Upon graduation from UC Davis, he joined the Center of Ecology (currently the Institute of Ecology) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) as an Associate Researcher. After a few years there, he moved to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines as an Affiliate Scientist and later to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo orCIMMYT) in Texcoco, Mexico as Scientist and then Senior Scientist. He subsequently moved to Bioversity International in Rome, Italy where he was a Principal Scientist and Programme Director for the Diversity for Livelihoods Programme. Currently he is Coordinator of Studies on Agrobiodiversity at the Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO, the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity) in Mexico City. His research focuses on sustainable agricultural and food systems of smallholder farmers in the developing world, with an emphasis on the use and conservation of agricultural biodiversity, particularly in Mexico. He has more than 90 scientific publications and an extensive international experience, having carried out fieldwork with smallholder farmers in Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Peru, Ecuador, Benin, Mali, and Bangladesh. He is member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the Mexican National System of Researchers. On a personal level he considers his education at UC Davis as having been crucial for his professional achievements, but also for his personal life, since he met his wife at UC Davis, as both were graduate students there.