Ryan C. Edwards is a scholar of modern Latin America. His work engages historical geography, political ecology, and science and technology studies. Through interdisciplinary methods and multiple historiographies, he examines nature-society relations, especially those that emerge through the confluence of science, cultural practices, and national and state-formation. Edwards' current project explores the relationship between prison and place in Patagonia during the early twentieth-century. The study compares the writings, practices, and experiences of penologists, foresters, inmates, and community members in Ushuaia, to recuperate a carceral ecology that transcended prison walls and positivist theories of incarceration and rehabilitation. His research is also interested in Antarctica and polar Latin American identities in Argentina and Chile.

In addition to studying prisons, Edwards has worked with incarcerated students and organizations centered on higher education in prisons.