Maya Turolla was born in Trieste, Italy, in 1988 and grew up in Venice. She's currently based in Amsterdam.
In 2008 she started her Bachelor’s in Anthropology and History at the Cà Foscari University of Venice, she moved to Nijmegen, The Netherlands, for a study exchange. After completing a Master in Anthropology and Development Studies (2012), she explored further fields of study in Public Administration and Conflict Studies, before settling her focus on Development Studies. An independent fieldwork research in Peru, where she studied the smallholders in the value chain of quinoa, inspired Maya to elaborate her PhD research proposal. In 2015, she embarked on a Joint PhD with the University of Bologna and the Radboud University. Through this study, and particularly the ethnographic fieldwork in Uganda, Maya strengthened her passion for (critical) development studies and commitment to the sustainability of agri-food systems and rural development.
Within the framework of the MIASA fellowship, Maya would like to extend and expand her PhD research with a comparative study in Ghana: she will study youth engagement in agribusiness in relation to processes of urbanization. During her research, she will use mixed methods to investigate the process of urbanization in Accra. First, she will analyse data from the Ghanaian Livelihood Survey (2005 and 2017 data) to understand internal migration patterns in Ghana. Furthermore, with ethnographic research methods, she will focus on the impact of social networks in the decision making process and post-migration life of youths who moved to Accra from several Ghanaian regions.