Dr Zinnia Gonzalez Carranza is the PI of the Mezquite project, she is a plant scientist with research interests in studying the sustainable, holistic and ethical use of Mezquite (Prosopis sp) to improve the wellbeing of marginalised communities in the drylands of low- and middle-income countries; in plant genetics and development, and in participatory community and citizen approaches. She is the leader of Proyecto Mezquite and an Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham. She is leading projects that aim to study nutritional, anti-nutritional and toxicological properties of Mezquite using community participatory approaches. Our research is responding to community needs that they had shared with us. Additionally, we are generating training opportunities for the communities to teach them how to use and benefit from mezquite in a sustainable, holistic and ethical manner. We are also generating prototypes of water filtration systems with mezquite products to provide alternatives for safe water for dryland communities. Funds from our research come from GCRF, the British Council, the Science and Technology Council of Durango, Mexico, The Mexican National Forest Commission, and the government of Sinaloa. Other Dr Gonzalez- Carranza research interests include molecular mechanisms of plant development and response to stress, particularly protein ubiquitination and microRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis, rice and corn.


Zinnia is the Principal Investigator (PI) and has the overall responsibility of coordinating the project and ensuring that project outcomes are delivered. She also oversees the Proyecto Mezquite online platform, ensure that the work plan and risk register are updated regularly, monitor the health of partnership, and engages with governments and partners with the aim of influencing policy.