top of page

Bachelors of Cultural Anthropology with Honours (UDLAP, Mexico)

Masters in Social Anthropology and Tourism (University of Brighton, UK)

PhD Art, Design and Architecture (Monash University, Australia)

Available for mentorship and HDR Supervision at Monash University.

Mexican Mestiza. Writer, podcaster, activist and researcher. Co-Founder and member of APR Collective. My academic background is in cultural anthropology, specialising in heritage, tourism, identity and belonging, and Indigenous methodologies. I recently finished a PhD in Architecture at Monash University, where I worked on a multidisciplinary project with architects, urban planners and Indigenous Elders. Both my PhD and current research are focused on waterway management, groundwater, cultural memory and repair, and Indigenous water knowledges. I have been teaching since 2019 in architecture and urban studies from a geo-anthropological lens, adding to interdisciplinary research and creative projects.

Current projects

Past projects

Repairing Memory & Place: An Indigenous-led approach to urban water design (ARC Funded)
Repairing Memory & Place intends to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing with urban water management, will provide significant benefits by enabling the repair of ecological and cultural memory of place and enabling government agencies to apply Indigenous practices to everyday management of urban water towards a more sustainable water future.

In collaboration with Boon Wurrung Land and Sea Council, City of Port Phillip Council, City of Bayside Council, Melbourne Water and Museums Victoria.



2019- present

Teacher associate, Monash University.

2024- ‘Time’ Studies Unit for Masters in Architecture.

2023- ‘Daylight Delight’ bachelor architectural studio with Secil Taskoparan

2022- ‘Unearthing Waterways’ Master of Architecture studio with Dr Laura Harper

2021- ‘Undrained’ architectural studio with Mark Romei and Nicolas Guerra

2020- ‘Flow Interventions’ architectural studio with Gyongy Engloner

2019- ‘Invisible Lines’ architectural studio with Yvonne Meng and Zheng Chin

2020-2023- Teacher associate, Monash University- Architecture and the City Tutor (ARC30401)

2014- Tutor, Universidad de las Americas Puebla, Mexico. Introduction to Tourism


2023- present

Postdoctoral Fellow (Part-time) ARC Linkage Project 'Repairing Memory and Place: An Indigenous-led approach to urban water design.' Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous Lab/Urban Lab, Monash University.

2023- present

Research Associate (Part-time), ARC Discovery Grant Application, UNSW.


Research Associate, Urban Lab/ SensiLab collaboration with National Trust in Rippon Lea. Monash University.


Research Associate, Grant Application research, Urban Lab, Monash University.


Research Associate, NDC Mapping of Latin America Case Studies. Monash University.




Public Policy Consultant- IMALAB and Mexican Institute of Youth IMJUVE. Mexico.

              Alianza Estratégica por el Trabajo y el Empleo para Jóvenes (ALITEJ) Empleo Joven.      

Research, Ethnographic Consultant and Market research- Dinamia Investigación Social Estratégica. Mexico City.


Fieldwork researcher. Universidad de las Americas Puebla (UDLAP) collaboration with Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), Mexico. Project: Global Economic Crisis and Response in Four Communities of Recent Migration in Central Mexico.


Data Analyser. Colegio de San Luis (COLSAN) San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Project: Indigenous Community Census (Padrón de comunidades Indigenas). The project is the first legal device to gather information on the traditions and customs to respect and value the traditional laws of ethnic and indigenous communities.




Marketing Manager and Product Manager Assistant- Contours Travel. Melbourne.


Freelance Marketing Advisor- Clean Travel and More Travel. Melbourne.


Phone Interviewer- Social Research Centre. Melbourne.


Project Manager -Activate Ya, Mega Reto. Mexico.





Indigenous Mapping Workshop. Winyama Digital Solutions + Google Earth, Australia.

Diploma in Social Media Marketing. Australian Pacific College, Melbourne.


Creative Writing. Workshop developed by Fabián Cuellar. Mexico City.


French Language and Culture. La Sorbonne, Paris, France.



Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Briggs, C., Buckley, J., Chesworth, D., Coyne, T., Farr, A., Harper, L., Ho, X., Lara Heyns, A. C., Leber, S., Melo Zurita, M., & Raby Piccardo, O. (2023). Listen—Look up! Listen—Look down! Experiencing the counter-city through a sonic and augmented reality experience of urban undergrounds in southeast Melbourne. Cities 142 (pp.264-275).


Book Chapters

Lara Heyns, Ana Cristina (2020) “Flexibles y Selectivos: Identidad local y postiza en Tepoztlán”. In Pablos, J. (Ed.) Tepoztlán en su laberinto. Cuernavaca: Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos/ Ediciones Navarra.


Conference proceedings

Lara Heyns, A. C., Harper, L., & Bertram, N. (2020). The undergrounds’ underground: strategies for mapping what is both covered and invisible. In L. Harper (Ed.), Proceedings of the Annual Design Research Conference 2019: Real/Material/Ethereal (pp. 322-333). Monash University.


Non-Traditional Outputs

2023 Hidden Rippon Lea, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2023 (September to October)

2023 Hidden Rippon Lea: Travelling Underground: retracing memory, structures and journeys which have been covered up (as part of “Unsettling Queenstown,” Australian Pavilion) 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale (May to Nov)

2022 Hidden Rippon Lea: An immersive tour of nature, memory, and water sounds (2023). Visual Essays and Augmented Reality Application Experiences. Collaboration with N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs, National Trust of Australia, Dr Laura Harper, Oscar Raby, Dr Xavier Xo, Dr David Chesworth, Sonia Leber, Dr Marilu Melo Zurita, Taylor Coyne, and Professor Jon McCormack.

Ana Cristina Lara Heyns (2014) “Consuming the Zapatista Revolution. A critical evaluation of political tourism in southwest Mexico”. Brighton: University of Brighton.

Ana Cristina Lara Heyns (2013) “The tragic of the magic: The tourism and the cultural heritage in the Magic Town of Tepoztlán (In Spanish: Lo trágico de lo mágico: El turismo y el patrimonio cultural en el Pueblo Mágico de Tepoztlán)”. Puebla, Mexico: Universidad de las Américas Puebla.


Public Engagement publication

Lara, Ana Cristina (2017) Kioto. Labios rojos, sol naciente. Globetrotter. Mexico City: Hotbook Magazine.

Lara, Ana Cristina (2023) Meet the Underground River. Hidden Rippon Lea: An immersive tour of nature, memory and water sounds. Visual essays. Rippon Lea Estate, National Trust Australia.

Lara, Ana Cristina (2023) Going Back to the Old Ways. Hidden Rippon Lea: An immersive tour of nature, memory and water sounds. Visual essays. Rippon Lea Estate, National Trust Australia.

Lara, Ana Cristina (2023) Being on Country. Hidden Rippon Lea: An immersive tour of nature, memory and water sounds. Visual Essay. Rippon Lea Estate, National Trust Australia.


Policy Reports

2018     Alianza Estratégica por el Trabajo y Empleo para Jóvenes "Empleo Joven." Policy prepared for the Mexican Institute of Youth (IMJUVE)



2024- Collaborating with Traditional Custodians. UNSW Sydney.

2023- Walking with water: Indigenous engagement and water design in the city.  RMIT University.

2023- Protocols of Engagement in Boonwurrung Country. Ocean Networks Canada, Victoria, BC. Canada.

2023- Walking with water: more-than-human entanglement with water and design. University of Melbourne.

2023- Decolonising Water. MPavilion- M_Curators.

2022- Future Forums: First Nations for Water Justice. Melbourne Museum. Museums Victoria.

2022- Conversations with...Extractivism. Shared Campus.

2016- El turismo y la reconfiguración de identidades en Tepoztlán (Tourism and the reconfiguration of identities in Tepoztlán), in Seminar Perceiving Tepoztlán, different views of a Mexican village (“Percibiendo a Tepoztlán, diferentes miradas de un pueblo mexicano”). May 7th, 2016. Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Faculty of Architecture, México.

bottom of page