Meet the Team

Principal Investigator & Research Assistants

Meet the Double Displacement Project’s principal investigator and research assistants.

Dr. Claudia Maria López is the principal investigator of the Double Displacement Project. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach and a scholar of global migration and critical urban studies. She researches internal forced displacement in Colombia and housing displacement in the United States. Dr. López is interested in critical, community-based approaches to examining irregular forms of migration and its consequences in the 21st Century.

Astrid Lorena Zapata

Astrid Lorena Zapata is a key international team member who joined the Double Displacement Project in 2017.  Lorena is an instructor at the Universidad Claretiana, a social worker, and researcher in Medellín, Colombia, with a degree in Social Work from the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia and a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosi in Mexico. As a research assistant, Lorena has led the transcription and coding of interviews with displaced persons, government administrations, and NGOs. Additionally she assists in training undergraduate research assistants.

Bethany Thompson

Bethany Thompson joined the Double Displacement Project in 2018 during her sophomore year at California State University, Long Beach where she majored in International Studies and minored in International Economics and Spanish. As a research assistant, Bethany was responsible for cleaning survey data, performing exploratory analysis and building data visualizations. She has also led several research-related creative media projects including designing zines, retouching photos, and building the project website. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Thank you to the many undergraduate research assistants who have contributed over the years.

  • Laura Aguilera (2017 – 2018)
  • Jennifer Benitez (2018 – 2019)
  • Mayra Torres (2018 – 2019)
  • Jozef Robles Cuevas (Winter 2019)
  • Cuauhtémoc Gonzalez (2019 – 2020)


Thank you to the following organizations for making the Double Displacement Project possible.