Dr. Lopez-Maldonado is an Indigenous Mayan scholar from Mexico working on understanding complex systems undergoing global change but applying an indigenous perspective. She possesses experience on the social aspects of nature conservation and a robust knowledge in the defense of the ideas, knowledge, values, and forms of self-expression of Indigenous Peoples.

She holds a Ph.D. from the Faculty of Geosciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany and has been scholar at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, and at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria. Her expertise includes in-depth knowledge of theories, methods, and analytical techniques to understand Earth's processes from western and indigenous sciences.

She has collaborated and reached out major international academic and non-academic organizations, and consistently achieved high-level results and policy engagement by collaborating with international institutions at different levels in social issues and science fields including UNESCO, UNPFII, CBD, IPBES and other relevant global frameworks which are of importance for Indigenous Peoples. Dr Lopez-Maldonado uses an Indigenous lens to influence science and policy-making spheres.