Resource People


The Global Environments Network’s resource people include outstanding academics, professionals, artists, and activists who together represent an extraordinary diversity of backgrounds and experiences. To ensure continuity in mentoring and to allow personal relationships to develop organically, resource persons usually participate in our summer and regional academies for at least one week, some even staying on for the duration of the course.

Inspiringly, and a real indicator of the growing success of our Network’s vision, several summer academy alums have returned and contributed greatly as resource people for subsequent summer academies, co-organised and coordinated community exchanges, and more recently, held primary roles in organising the first ever regional academy.

The Network is also mentored by the strong guidance of its core faculty.


Aaron Cass Aaron Cass (UK) is a founding director of Self Knowledge and Global Responsibility, an educational project highlighting the urgent need to integrate contemplative practice with cultural service. He has worked on a freelance basis for the Beshara School at its centre at Chisholme House in Scotland and elsewhere for over 20 years. After an initial 12 months of study and retreat at Chisholme House, at the age of 28 he went on to run the Beshara Centre in Oxford, offering weekend courses, retreats and a seminar programme on the latest integrative insights in science, economics and contemporary spirituality. In 1991 he returned to the school at Chisholme to work as a course supervisor and has been creative director of the school’s educational events for over ten years.
Alberto Sánchez Alberto Sánchez (Dominican Republic) is a forestry engineer from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, specialised in forest management from the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica. For over 20 years, Alberto managed the UN Small Subsidies Programme for the Dominican Republic, and has been recognised on various occasions as one of the best in the world within the programme. Alberto was honoured as Man of the Year in 2014 by the country’s largest newspaper for community and environmental leadership, which he credits the support of the excellent team he works with. He is a passionate player of outdoor sports, especially football and baseball.
Alexa Weik Dr. Alexa Weik von Mossner is a literary and cultural studies scholar with an interest in the relationship between cultural texts and the environment, and an Affiliate of the Rachel Carson Center. Her home institution is the University of Klagenfurt in Austria, where she is Assistant Professor of American Studies. She worked for several years in the German film and television industry as a production manager and later scriptwriter before earning her PhD in Literature at the University of California, San Diego in 2008. She has published articles on ethnic and transnational American literature, postcolonial literature, environmental justice, cosmopolitanism, eco-cosmopolitanism, and environmental film.
Alexandra Harmann Alexandra Hamann (Germany) is an author and media designer who, since 2001, runs the educational media agency mint wissen. She visualizes complex scientific and technological processes for teaching purposes. In 2013, Alexandra published the scientific comic book, “Die grosse Transformation. Klima – Kriegen wir die Kurve?” (“The great Transformation. Climate – Can we beat the heat?”), with Reinhold Leinfelder and Claudia Zea-Schmidt, based on the flagship report of the German Advisory Council on Global Change entitled “World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability”. Her current projects are preparing 30 comic strips for “The Anthropocene” exhibition at the Deutsches Museum Munich with the illustration class of the University of Arts Berlin, and a comic book project on food, kitchen and cooking around the world highlighting the connection between food habits and resource consumption in both an entertaining and informative way.
Ana Elia Ana Elia Ramon Hidalgo (Spain) is a co-founder of CEHDA, an organisation working in northern Ghana and in Catalonia (Spain) to promote environmental and social justice awareness as well as to support marginalised Ghanaians in Ghana and Catalonia. She is a trained experiential facilitator, Net-Map consultant and PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia in the Forests and Communities in Transition lab (FACT). Drawing from feminist political ecology theory, her PhD investigates the importance of gender, ethnicity, social capital and social networks to conserve forests and empower rural communities. Ana Elia holds a Master of Science in Forestry and Society (2010) from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Science in Forest Engineering (2006) from the University of Lleida and a Technical Engineering Degree in Agriculture (2003) from Barcelona-Tech. She was a co-organiser of 1a Academia Latinoamericana de Liderazgo Socio-ambiental (ALLSA), the first regional academy of the Global Environments Network.
Andreas Obrecht Andreas Obrecht (Switzerland) is senior policy advisor for biodiversity at the international affairs division of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). His main tasks are to serve as the national focal point for the Convention on Biological Diversity and to accompany various biodiversity-related international agreements and institutions. He received his MSc in Geography from University of Bern, where he specialized in climate reconstruction and phenology. After a a few years at an urban planning consultancy in Zurich and at the World Metorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, he joined his current post three years ago.
Antonia Barreau Daly Antonia Barreau Daly (Chile), a mother of two boys, is an emerging ethnobiologist and ethnobotanist. She is deeply interested in the study of human-plant relations in forest ecosystems and their links with food sovereignty. She holds a Master of Science in Forestry and Society (2014) from the University of British Columbia (Canada) and a Professional Degree in Forest Engineering (2009) from Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile. Antonia is a GESA alumni (2012), a Darrell Posey Fellow of the International Society of Ethnobiology and was a co-organiser of 1a Academia Latinoamericana de Liderazgo Socio-ambiental (ALLSA), the first regional academy of the Global Environments Network. She is also a co-founder of the Chilean Society of Socioecology and Ethnoecology (SOSOET). Antonia recently moved back to Chile where she plans to continue contributing to biocultural diversity conservation.
Aysen Eren Aysen Eren (Turkey) is an industrial engineer with a MSc from Columbia University. After working many years as an engineer, in early 2000 she decided to listen to her heart to change her path and on nature and nature-human relations. To create awareness on sustainable living, reconnecting to nature and building communities, she established Sustainable Living Games in 2008, programmes composed of games and group exercises. Aysen returned to university to pursue her PhD and was awarded awarded the Fox Fellowship in April 2013 by the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, supporting one academic year of research. Her research focused on the cumulative impact of reduced water flow, which is a product of multiple Run-of-River type hydropower projects located consecutively along a river system, on the sustainability of the environment and social-ecological systems.
Microsoft Word - Document1 Bérangère Magarinos-Ruchat (Belgium) has 15 years experience in designing and managing global sustainability partnerships. She joined the United Nations System Staff College in 1998 where she led the Partners in Action Program working in more than 20 countries training UN executives on team building and partnership building. In 2004 she joined the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, where she created a global network of Food and Beverage companies interested in nutrition issues. Berry joined Firmenich in 2010 where she leads sustainability partnerships. She has a PhD in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, New York as well as postgraduate in Public Private Partnership Management from Cambridge and Social Innovation from Stanford. Berry teaches twice a year at the Political Science Institute in Paris and has published books and articles on Public Management with Professor Matthias Finger. She is the chair of the United Nations Global Compact network Switzerland and she seats on the Advisory Committee of the Zermatt Summit Foundation.
Carlos del Campo - ori Carlos del Campo (Mexico) is a a humanist psychologist and environmental anthropologist. In 1997, he also received training in ecopsychology with the Nature Connect Project of the Global Education Institute. From that time onward, Carlos has worked with marginalised groups, students and professionals on processes of nature therapy and meditation to connect ourselves with nature and society as human beings. Since 2007, he has collaborated with Global Diversity Foundation and Anima Mundi on community-based conservation support projects, training community researchers to conduct collaborative research and defend their indigenous territory in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Chioma Daisy Onyige Dr. Chioma Daisy Onyige (Nigeria) is a senior lecturer in Sociology and Criminology at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She received her PhD from the University of Port Harcourt, and has been a Fellow of the Global South Scholar-in residence programme of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, as well as a Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich. Currently, her research looks at environmental issues encompassing Gender and Climate Change. The aim of her work is to explore indigenous knowledge used by rural people in Nigeria in coping with climate change by studying their adaptation strategies. Her work highlights the role of rural women’s leadership in addressing climate change.
Daniel Abreu Daniel Abreu (Dominican Republic) has an expertise in Development Studies and Climate Change by the Institute of Social Studies of the University of Rotterdam and Public Policy from the University of Barcelona. He has worked as a researcher for the UNDP Human Development Office and Coordinator of Participation of Adolescents and Youth for UNICEF. He currently serves as a consultant on initiatives related to risk management, climate change adaptation to various UN and multilateral cooperation agencies, and as Regional Focal Point of a climate change learning project with UNITAR and UNESCO. Daniel has completed research on issues related to climate change, democratic participation and risk management for institutions such as GIZ, Greenpeace International and Transparency International. He is a GESA alumni (2014) and co-organiser of 1a Academia Latinoamericana de Liderazgo Socio-ambiental (ALLSA), the first regional academy of the Global Environments Network.
Daniela Del Bene Daniela Del Bene (Italy/Spain) holds a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Turin (Italy) and a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Triest (Italy). She also studied ethnology, history and politics in Southern Asia and Hindi language at the Sued Asien Institut, University of Heidelberg (Germany). She is currently a PhD candidate in Ecological Economics at ICTA – Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Barcelona; her research is on energy sovereignty and conflicts related to dams and hydropower. Her main topics include environmental justice studies, political ecology, political economy and degrowth, focusing mostly in Southern Asia (Indian Himalayas), Europe (Alps) and Latin America. Daniela is involved in social movements and advocacy groups working on water and energy issues, human rights to water, socio-environmental justice, and debt.
Darcie Houck (USA) joined Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP in 2005 and became a partner in 2007. She holds a J.D. (1998), M.S. (1998) and B.A. (1994) from the University of California, Davis, and a Land Use and Environmental Planning Certificate. Darcie represents Indian tribes in the United States on a wide range of issues including environmental and resource protection, nuclear regulatory proceedings, water rights, land claims, energy development, tribal governance, cultural resource protection, coastal marine spatial planning and sovereignty/human rights matters. She works with Tribal governmental entities facing critical decisions on how to utilise resources to promote economic development, protect the environment and preserve the social and cultural structure of the communities impacted by these decisions. Darcie is of Mohawk and Ottawa heritage. She became a member of the GDF U.S. Board of Directors in 2016.
Eglee Zent Dr. Egleé Zent (Venezuela) is a mother of two children. Her formal academic training has been eclectic (art, anthropology, botany, conservation biology) including PhD studies at two universities in the US: California at Berkeley and the University of Georgia. Her research focused on both the high altitude Andean region and the forested lowlands of the Jotï people. Her areas of research cover aspects of human ecology that can be defined as ethnoecological, ethnocartographic or ecogonic (ecological and biological local or traditional knowledge, ethnobotany, ethnomycology, behavioral ecology, self-demarcation of indigenous territories). Since November 2000, Egleé has worked as a researcher in the Human Ecology Laboratory at the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research. She is published in approximately 60 journals and has had the good fortune to participate in around 70 international events.
Eitan Buchalter Eitan Buchalter (UK) is the Director of Forward Studies and Innovation at the Global Governance Institute, Brussels, Belgium. His background is as an artist and teacher. Since 2009, he has worked with the Tate to nurture innovation processes amongst schoolteachers and across the Tate Learning Department. Eitan specializes in the processes of innovation and is currently completing doctoral research into the processes of innovation in science laboratories and has recently advised the British government on innovation policy. Eitan gained his bachelors degree from the University of Oxford and his post-graduate degrees from University College London.
Eunice Blavascunas Prof. Dr. Eunice Blavascunas (USA) is currently a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany where she is writing a book about the way the peasant and communist pasts complicate and interact with conservation politics in Poland’s Bialowieza Forest. She completed her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz. For more than 15 years she has been researching and writing about conservation politics in new nature preserves in Eastern Europe, particularly Poland. With filmmaker Jodie Baltazar she produced and directed a documentary film, “Black Stork White Stork” (2014) which traces the fate of an innovative aging bachelor and nature in the Bialowieza Forest. She has also been a Fulbright Fellow, received a Switzer Environmental Leadership Grant, and is available for environmental consulting. She often leads educational tours to eastern Poland focussed on environment, history and society.
Eva Gelinsky Eva Gelinsky (Germany) works for The Initiative for GE-free Seeds and Breeding (IG Saatgut) and is part of the scientific staff of the Swiss foundation ProSpecieRara. She is a member of the Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology in Switzerland and has participated in the group of the “Rheinauer Theses on the Rights of Plants”. In 2012, she published a study about biopatents and agricultural modernization and recently finished another study about intellectual property rights and new plant breeding techniques.
Flurina Schneider Dr. Flurina Schneider (Switzerland) is a human geographer and senior research scientist at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern. She has conducted extensive research for sustainable and just development, particularly on conditions and processes that hinder or foster social learning and transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge. Moreover, she has developed methods and approaches for integrating inter- and transdisciplinary research results and managed transdisciplinary processes of knowledge co-production and learning between academic and non-academic actors (e.g. moderation of stakeholder platforms, participatory scenario development). Currently, she is the principal investigator of a project entitled: “Increasing the Effectiveness of Transdisciplinary Research for Sustainable Development” and the coordinator of the r4d project: “Managing telecoupled landscapes for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services and poverty alleviation”. Her research takes place in Switzerland, Myanmar, Laos and Madagascar.
Girma Kelboro Girma Kelboro Mensuro (Ethiopia) is a PhD candidate at the University of Hohenheim. He has submitted his thesis entitled “Unraveling the Parks and People Dichotomy: Local Interests and Conflicts in Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia”. He holds a position of junior researcher as a DAAD scholar at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn. He received an MSc degree in Tropical Forestry and a BSc degree in forestry. His main research interests are social-ecological systems, political ecology, biodiversity conservation, protected areas, and community forestry. He writes extensively on traditional ecological knowledge systems and the challenges and opportunities in environmental management and biodiversity conservation. He has taught at Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources at Hawassa University. Before joining academics and research, he had accumulated a broad practical experience as a forester in the Commission for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Rehabilitation in Southern Ethiopia for four years.
Gonzalo Oviedo Gonzalo Oviedo (Ecuador) is IUCN’s Senior Advisor for Social Policy, based at the IUCN Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, since 2003. For the last 20 years, he has worked for international conservation organizations at senior levels in social policy and social science fields. He is an anthropologist and environmentalist, with experience on the social aspects of nature conservation, traditional knowledge, indigenous peoples and rural communities, environmental and rural education, human rights, and environmental governance. He facilitates implementation of IUCN’s policies on social issues and their integration in IUCN’s conservation programmes worldwide, working together with IUCN constituents and partners.
GESA profiles Helmuth Trischler Dr. Helmuth Trischler is the head of research at the Deutsches Museum, Munich, a professor of modern history and the history of technology at LMU Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), and the director (jointly with Prof. Dr. Christof Mauch) of the Rachel Carson Center. His main research interests are knowledge societies and innovation cultures in international comparison; science, technology and European integration; transport history; and environmental history.
Jeremy Narby Dr. Jeremy Narby (Canada) is an anthropologist and author of several books including “The cosmic serpent: DNA and the origins of knowledge” (New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 1998) and “Intelligence in nature” (New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2005). He works as director of Amazonian projects for Swiss NGO “Nouvelle Planète”, backing the initiatives of indigenous organizations in favour of land titling, bilingual and intercultural education, sustainable forestry and fish-farming.
John Agbonifo Dr. John Agbonifo (Nigeria) is a Senior Lecturer with the Department of  Sociology, Osun State University, Nigeria. His published works include Development as Conflict: Ogoni Movement, the State and Oil Resources in the Niger Delta, Nigeria; Corporate Social Responsibility: An Oversocialized View of Multinational Corporations in Africa; Territorialising Niger Delta Conflicts: Place and Contentious Mobilisation; and Environmentalism and Environmental Movements in Nigeria. John is a recipient of several fellowships, including the Rachel Carson, and Swiss Government Excellence fellowships. He holds a doctorate from the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Karl Herweg Dr. Karl Herweg (Germany) is a Geographer and Head of the “Education for Sustainable Development” Cluster at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Bern University. He holds a PhD in Geography from Basle University (Switzerland) involving a three-year field research work on soil erosion in Italy. Hereafter he worked as advisor and project manager in a soil and water conservation research project in Ethiopia and Eritrea. His focus in research and teaching is on sustainable management of natural resources and impact/outcome monitoring, linking ecological, social and economic dimensions of sustainability. Over the last decade Karl was mainly involved in inter- and transdisciplinary training and learning events with Bachelor, Master and PhD students in various training institutions in Switzerland and overseas. He prefers integrative training approaches that involve students and lectures of different disciplines, if possible including field work and encounters with non-academic actors during the courses.
Kaylena Bray Kaylena Bray (Seneca Nation) has spent much of her professional career working to strengthen the role of traditional ecological knowledge on indigenous food systems, land resource management and climate change mitigation on a local scale and in international policy development. She has collaborated with indigenous rights leaders, activists, artists and filmmakers to showcase indigenous voices on climate change at the National Museum of the American Indian in NYC and DC with Conversations with the Earth, and to revitalise traditional food systems within California Native and Intertribal communities. She has also worked to bridge global and local dialogue in United Nations fora on climate change and facilitated workshops to generate a collective voice and action to inform policymakers and ensure that environmental and human rights policy is inclusive of indigenous viewpoints. Kaylena served as an expert working group member at the Convention on Biological Diversity on policy regarding local resource management, access to benefit sharing, customary law and indigenous territoriality. She holds a BA in Commerce, Organisation and Entrepreneurship from Brown University.
Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll Dr. Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Austria/Australia) is an artist and academic based in Cambridge and Berlin as a Humboldt Fellow conducting research on indigenous taxonomies. Her research and teaching interests are the history of nineteenth-century science and art; practices of natural history; architectural and urban history; museum display cultures; sensory ethnography and the collecting of material culture; curatorial interventions and site specific art; gender and post-colonial studies; historiography and the writing of history; classification and taxonomy; ekphrasis and the relation between verbal and visual representation.
Khaled Misbahuzzaman Dr. Khaled Misbahuzzaman (Bangladesh) is a Professor of Forest Restoration Ecology at Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences in Chittagong University, Bangladesh, the same institute he graduated with a B. Sc. (Honors) Forestry degree in 1992. He received post-graduate training in Natural Resource Planning and Management from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand in 1995, and his PhD in Forest Restoration Ecology from Edinburgh University, UK in 1999. He partnered with Center for International Forestry Research (Bogor, Indonesia) for a research project on livelihood and landscape conservation strategies of ethnic communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. He pursued his post-doctoral research in forest-based community livelihoods at Copenhagen University, Denmark in 2009, and in ethnoecology and ethnoforestry at Pennsylvania State University, USA in 2010. He is currently a research fellow at Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (Munich, Germany). His research project is on traditional ecological knowledge systems of the hill ethnic communities of Bangladesh.
GESA profiles Lawrence Culver Dr. Lawrence Culver is an associate professor in the Department of History at Utah State University, where his areas of research and teaching include the cultural, environmental, and urban history of the USA. He received his PhD at UCLA in 2004. His dissertation received the 2005 Rachel Carson Prize for best dissertation from the American Society for Environmental History. His first book, based on that dissertation, is The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America, published in September 2010 by Oxford University Press.
Liza Zogib Liza Zogib (Scotland/Philippines) is founder and director of DiversEarth, an international NGO based in Switzerland, working at the interface between nature, culture and spirit. DiversEarth engages with partners around the world to support and celebrate the cultural practices that contribute to nature conservation and, in particular, focuses on the protection, management and restoration of sacred natural sites. Liza previously worked with WWF International, specialising in protected areas in their diverse forms and social development for conservation. She is also a practitioner of Yoga and Bharatanatyam (an Indian classical dance form) and takes great inspiration from exploring the many links between these (and other) sacred arts and the natural world.
Lorenzo Pelligrini Dr. Lorenzo Pellegrini is Senior lecturer in development economics at the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He received his PhD from the VU University Amsterdam, has been Marie Curie Fellow at Keele University and visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research focuses on extractive industries, forest management, land reform and the issue of corruption. He has published on developing countries in general and on Latin America and Asia in particular. He is co-leading (with Murat Arsel) the ‘Nationalization of extractive industries conflict and cooperation in Bolivia and Ecuador’ (NEBE) project funded by the NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Magdalena Kropiwnicka Magdalena Anna Kropiwnicka (Poland) is a food security and land policy advisor experienced in cooperation with the United Nations, European Union (EU), civil society and media. In 2010, she founded Food and Climate Consulting, whose clients include European Commission (DEVCO), UK’s Department of International Development (DFID), International Land Coalition, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Poland, Rome based UN organizations, and various international NGOs. Magdelena’s work on food security and land rights is informed by her travels, especially in South-East Africa and Latin America, where she has been privileged to often work closely with farmers’ organizations and civil society. Her recent work in Brussels focused on EU bioenergy and development policies, large scale land acquisitions and global land policies such as the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests. She is fluent in Polish, English and Italian, and speaks Spanish and French.
Manuela Fernandez (Argentina) has an academic and professional background that focuses on sustainable development, ecosystem management and disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies. She holds a PhD in Environmental Science, and her work is based on interdisciplinarity and knowledge dialogues. Manuela promotes a sensorial approach to reconnect people to nature and move towards a carbon-sober society by facilitating Carbon Conversations and Ecopsychology workshops. Through her experience with the IUCN Global Forest and Climate Change Programme, she became fully qualified in evaluating programme results, creating and evaluating impact and outcome indicators, and constructing and preparing learning workshops using lessons learned as a learning strategy. She currently works for the Crisis Management Branch at UN Environment in her role as Eco-DRR Education and Training Specialist. In early 2020, she will join the INTA Agricultural Experimental Station in Bariloche, Argentina to conduct research on resilience and disaster risk reduction in the face of new climatic scenarios in the agricultural-livestock and forestry sectors of northern Patagonia. Manuela attended the first GEN regional academy—“Academia Latinoamericana de Liderazgo Socio-ambiental” (ALLSA Dominican Republic)—in 2015, and co-organised the second ALLSA, held in Peru in 2019.
Dr. Márcia Maria Tait Lima (Brazil) is a collaborating professor and postdoctoral researcher at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil. She works on the interface between nature, culture and technoscience, especially in aspects of communication, social participation, social movements, gender, environment and agroecology. Márcia graduated from the Laboratory of Scientific Journalism and the Laboratory of Studies of Technologies and Social Transformations, Department of Scientific and Technological Policies, UNICAMP. She received her PhD in Science and Technology Policy from the same institution in 2015 with the thesis ‘They say no – Peasant women and contraposition to transgenic crops in Brazil and Argentina’, for which she was awarded in 2016 with the Latin American Association of Social Studies of Science and Technology prize for young researchers. She has been a fellow with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and a visiting student at the Valladolid University (Spain), where she carried out research on the ecofeminism framework. From 2010 to 2016, Márcia participated in many research and extension projects, including: ‘Extension Program and Agroecology Network’; ‘Technologies for Social Inclusion and Public Policies in Latin America’, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC); ‘SEMENTEIA: Multimedia, Education and Resistances in a virtual platform’; and ‘Measures for the Social Inclusion and Equity in Higher Education Institutions in Latin America (MISEAL)’, funded by the ALFA II Program of the European Union.
Marie Wilke Marie Wilke (Germany) is an international economic lawyer specialized in natural resources law. For the past five years Marie has worked on international trade and investment negotiations and disputes, supporting developing countries to represent their interests and rights in relevant UN fora. Most importantly, as Legal Officer and Head of the International Trade Law Programme at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) Marie was involved in a vast number of WTO disputes and negotiations concerned with socio-ecological challenges such the development and application of genetically modified organisms, increasing demand for agricultural commodities and related land use changes, and sustainable resources management approaches supported throughout extended supply chains. Since early 2013 she works with as an Associate with Natural Justice and is currently based in Owerri, Nigeria, to work with the Smallholders Foundation. Marie is a Legal Research Fellow with the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), McGill University Law Faculty. She holds an LL.M. in Public International Law (Legal Theory and Development Law) from Helsinki University and a law degree from the Hanse Law School.
Dr. Márcia Maria Tait Lima is currently a collaborating professor and postdoctoral researcher at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil and is working on the interface between nature, culture and technoscience, especially with aspects of communication, social participation, social movements, gender, environment and agroecology. Member of the Laboratory  of Scientific Journalism and Laboratory of Studies of Technologies and Social Transformations from the Department of Scientific and Technologic Policies from this institution. She received her PhD in Science and Technologic Policy (UNICAMP) in 2015 with the thesis ‘They say no – Peasant Women and contraposition to transgenic crops in Brazil and Argentine’, award in 2016 with the Latin American Association of Social Studies of Science and Technology prize for young researchers. She has been fellow from the Research Foundation FAPESP, visiting the Valladolid University (UVA/Spain) to research the ecofeminism framework. Between 2010 to 2016 she participated in many research and extension projects, including: ‘Extension Program and Agroecology Network’, ‘Technologies for Social Inclusion and Public Policies in Latin America”, funded by International Development Research Centre (IDRC), ‘SEMENTEIA: Multimedia, Education and Resistances in a virtual platform” and ‘Measures for the Social Inclusion and Equity in Higher Education Institutions in Latin America (MISEAL)’, funded by the ALFA II Program of the European Union.
Melinda Laituri Dr. Melinda Laituri received her PhD from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona in geography. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a Rachel Carson Fellow. Dr. Laituri is the Director of the Geospatial Centroid @ CSU that provides information about GIS activities, education, and outreach at CSU and in Colorado.  Dr. Laituri’s research interests are diverse.  She has worked with indigenous peoples throughout the world on issues related to natural resource management, disaster adaptation, and water resource issues using geographic information systems (GIS) that utilize cultural and eco-physical data in research models. A key focus is participatory GIS where indigenous peoples develop spatial information and maps essential for their management of their own resources. Other research work focuses on the role of the Internet and geospatial technologies of disaster management and cross-cultural environmental histories of river basin management.  She has research activities throughout the world that include Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, Vietnam, Mongolia, Uganda, the Yukon River Basin, and the Colorado River Basin.
Michael O-Callaghan Michael O’Callaghan (Ireland/Switzerland) is the founder/director of Global Vision Foundation, an international public interest NGO based in Geneva, which works to catalyse the emergent global civil society consensus on solutions to global problems. Michael is an information-artist, film-maker, social entrepreneur, environmental campaigner, architectural designer, community organiser, philosopher, author and consultant. He has a self-taught trans-disciplinary background in systems theory, cybernetics, anthropology, psychology, sustainable development, art, music and media production. His work focusses on the politics of perception, including the process of worldview transformation and the related globalisation of the psyche, with particular attention to the systemic relationships between what we do, what we see, and our way of seeing. His primary interest is to design contexts of information or situations which evoke the pattern that connects global problems / solutions to each other and to our own ways of perceiving and discussing them.
Michelle Stevens Dr. Michelle Stevens (US) is an associate professor at CSU Sacramento in the Environmental Studies Department and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Hima Mesopotamia. She holds a PhD. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis; a Masters in Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she was a Leopold Fellow; and a B.A. in botany and journalism from CSU Humboldt. Dr. Stevens has worked as a wetlands ecologist for over 25 years in the academic, state, federal and private sectors, with a deep passion in the Mesopotamian Marshes of Southern Iraq. She has co-authored scientific papers and book chapters on community based conservation and equitable water allocation in the Iraq Marshes and Tigris Euphrates watershed. She founded Hima Mesopotamia in 2009 to nurture the eco-cultural heritage of the Tigris-Euphrates watershed through outreach, coordination and capacity building. She currently works on a framework of al Hima, a traditional knowledge system of resource stewardship with origins in the Arabic world.
Mirian Vilela Mirian Vilela (Brazil) has a Bachelor’s degree in International Commerce and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where she was an Edward Mason Fellow.  She worked for the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in preparation for the 1992 Earth Summit. Mirian is the Executive Director of the International Secretariat of the Earth Charter, as well as the Centre for Education for Sustainable Development at the University of Peace in Costa Rica. She also coordinates the UNESCO Department of Education for Sustainable Development. Throughout the years, Mirian has conducted and facilitated numerous workshops, courses and international seminars on the values and principles of sustainability, most recently with Fritjof Capra. She is also a member of the Expert Reference Group for UNESCO on the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD).
Patrick Bottazzi Dr. Patrick Bottazzi (Switzerland) is a socio-anthropologist with a PhD in development studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development studies (IHEID) in Geneva. His PhD research focused on indigenous people and land titling in the Bolivian Amazon, exploring the relation between multilevel institutions and ecosystem sustainability. He is currently teaching at the Institute of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Lausanne and participating to several research projects at the Centre for Environment and Development (CDE) of the University of Bern. His main fields of research are multilevel governance of renewable natural resources; REDD+; ecosystem services; “land grabbing”; protected areas; indigenous people; institutions and sustainability; forest, water, and other common pool resources; and methodologies of inter- and transdisciplinary research. He has several years of experience in field research in Latin America and West Africa.
Paule Gros Paule Gros (France/USA) is currently managing a MAVA foundation programme in the Mediterranean region. She is by training a conservation biologist. After studying the predicting factors of cheetah conservation status in East Africa for her PhD (from University of California Davis) she focussed on communities of mammals and birds of Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua. Studying the sustainability of hunting practices of the indigenous people of the reserve was an eye opener on the intricate relationship between natural and cultural worlds. Encouraged to look further on the other side of the mirror, she then worked with the Mayangna people of Bosawas to document their knowledge, believes and practices related to the aquatic environment, especially fishes and turtles as part of a project from UNESCO’s Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programme. Having now switched from an implementer to a donor role, she keenly encourages the development of a network of practitioners of cultural approaches to biodiversity conservation  in collaboration with several Mediterranean and international organisations including DiversEarth and IUCN.
Reinhold Leinfelder Dr. Reinhold Leinfelder (Germany) is a geologist, reef geobiologist, museologist and communications researcher. Since attaining his professorship in Geology and Paleontology, he has held positions as chair of Historical Geology and Paleontology at the University of Munich, Director of the Paleontological and Geological State Collections, General Director of the Bavarian State Collections of Natural History, General Director of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, and Professor at the Humboldt University Berlin. He is currently a Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin, heading the working group on Geobiology and Anthropocene Research. He is presently affiliate Carson Professor at the Rachel Carson Center of Environment and Society in Munich. He initiated the RCC-Anthropocene Exhibition at the Deutsche Museum, The Anthropocene Project at the House of Cultures Berlin, and The Anthropocene Kitchen-Project within the Clusters of Excellence Image, Knowledge, Gestaltung Interdisciplinary Laboratory of the Humboldt and the Freie Universität Berlin.
Ricardo Rozzi Dr. Ricardo Rozzi (Chile) is a philosopher, biologist and an associate professor at the University of North Texas (UNT) and the University of Magallanes (UMAG) in Chile. His research combines both disciplines through the study of the interrelationships between ways of knowing and living in the natural world. At UNT, his work takes place within the Center for Environmental Philosophy, a leading center for environmental ethics programming worldwide. With these universities and the Institute for Ecology and Biodiversity, Ricardo established the Sub Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Programme, a programme that integrates ecological sciences and environmental philosophy.
Sabin Bieri Dr. Sabin Bieri (Switzerland) triggered her interest for development issues in Bolivia, where she herded lamas and sheep with local women and researched the importance of herding within the changing smallholder strategies. Back in Switzerland, she analysed social movements which, through squatting and camping at the riverside, challenged and actually redefined urban life in Swiss cities in the 1980’s. Her PhD completed, she specialized in questions of labour and refined her vocabulary on excretion in the context of a sanitation research project at the Centre for Gender Studies of the University of Bern. As a fellow at the Centre, Sabin conceptualized and still co-directs the advanced studies programme on gender, justice and globalization at the University. Since 2012, she works as head of the “Multidimensional Disparities” cluster at the Centre for Development and Environment, and is lucky enough to combine her interests in inequalities and social justice with questions of sustainable development. She does so by exploring the nexus of market-led agriculture, rural employment and sustainable development.
Seline Meijer Seline Meijer (The Netherlands) has a background in Environmental Sciences, holding a M.Sc. in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford in the UK. She completed her Ph.D. in Forestry at University College Dublin, Ireland, in 2014. During her research, carried out in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre, she spent three years in Malawi working with local subsistence farmers. Her research focused on farmers’ attitudes and perceptions towards tree planting and deforestation, and explored potential linkages between the two. In June 2015, Seline took up a new position as Programme Officer at IUCN in Gland, Switzerland, and is responsible for managing the development of, and contributing to, a new IUCN knowledge product called Human Dependence on Nature. This product aims to improve the understanding of the contribution of species and ecosystems to the livelihoods and economies of indigenous peoples and local communities.
Siddhartha Krishnan Siddhartha Krishna (India) is a sociologist. He is currently faculty in Social Sciences at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) in Bangalore, India. He is affiliated to ATREE’s Ecosystems Services and Human Well Being Programme. He is also a Carson Fellow (2012-13) at Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany. Since 2007, he has been teaching core courses in sociology and qualitative research methods and elective courses in environmental sociology to PhD scholars at ATREE. His research interests are in environmental sociology, environmental history and historical sociology.
Stefan Dorondel Dr. Stefan Dorondel (Romania) is a Senior Researcher at the Francisc I. Rainer Institute of Anthropology Bucharest of the Romanian Academy and is also affiliated with the Institute for Southeast European Studies Bucharest. Stefan completed a Ph.D. in History and Ethnology at the Lucian Blaga University Sibiu in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at the Humboldt University Berlin in 2007. He carried out his postdoctoral research with Yale University, New Europe College Institute for Advanced Studies Bucharest, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Halle, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich and University of Cambridge. His research interests revolve around issues such as postsocialist environmental changes, land use change, property rights, and strategies to cope with the floods. In 2013, he received a 3-year research grant from the Romanian Research Agency for a project entitled ‘Taming Postsocialist Nature: Floods, Local Strategies and National Policies along the Lower Danube’.
Tobias Haller Dr. Tobias Haller is Associate Professor at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern, Switzerland. He did fieldwork in Cameroon and Zambia, and has specialised and teaches courses in economic, ecological, political and development anthropology. He holds a PhD and a Post-Doc/habilitation in Social Anthropology from the University of Zurich. As a senior researcher in the NCCR North-South program, he led two comparative sub-projects: the African Floodplain Wetlands Project on the management of common pool resources in floodplain areas in Africa, and the People, Protected Areas and Global Change Project on the participatory approach in community conservation. In addition, he was engaged in other international research programs on issues of commons management in Southern Africa. At the moment, Tobias works on projects in collaboration with the Centre for Development and Environment on Constitutionality: Bottom-Up Institution Building Processes for Sustainable Resource Management, and on the Ethnography of Land Grab Deals.
GESA profiles Ursula Münster Ursula Münster studied social and cultural anthropology at LMU Munich (Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität, LMU) and the National School of Anthropology and History in México City. Besides her interest in political ecology and the anthropology of nature and conservation, she specializes in issues concerning gender, social and environmental movements, post-colonialism, globalization, and human-animal interfaces. She is a research fellow at the RCC.
Vanesa Ramos Abensur (Peru) holds a BSc in Biology from National Agrarian University – La Molina (Peru) and a MSc in Regional Development and Environment from State University of Santa Cruz (Brazil). She is currently pursuing her PhD in Development and Environment at State University of Santa Cruz, with a focus on community-based governance of agrobiodiversity in the Andean region. She is also project coordinator of an interdisciplinary research project on the impact of organic inputs to agriculture in mountainous regions in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, sponsored by the McKnight Foundation and carried out by Rikolto. Vanesa believes that her own upbringing in the mountains of Peru helped mould her patient, detail-oriented and resilient character, and gave her a deep respect and connection with the natural and spiritual world. It also encouraged her to focus her research on local knowledge, mountain communities, climate change adaptation and food systems. Vanesa attended 1era Academia Latinoamericana de Liderazgo Socioambiental (ALLSA 2015) and went on to co-organise the ensuing Latin American regional academy, ALLSA 2019, held in Cuzco, Peru.
Yolanda Lopez Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado (Mexico) considers herself a systems thinker in integrative science for sustainability with extensive experience in social-ecological systems, traditional ecological knowledge, community-based natural resource management, and social dimensions of conservation. By examining the interface of natural and social sciences, her work emphasises that societies are embedded parts of the biosphere dependent on their life-supporting ecosystems. Yolanda holds advanced degrees in Human Ecology (Cinvestav-IPN, Mexico) and Geography (PhD from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München). She was a Young Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria, and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden. Yolanda has significant experience representing the interests of indigenous peoples in regional, national and international fora, serving as a delegate of the UNPFII 2017 held in New York, and providing expert and technical guidance on Indigenous Peoples issues. She is currently a member of the IUCN WCPA Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas, the Ramsar Culture Network, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Diversity Foundation. After attending the Global Environments Summer Academy in 2014,  Yolanda went on to co-organise two GEN regional academies in Latin America: Academia Latinoamericana de Liderazgo Socio-ambiental (ALLSA) in Dominican Republic in 2015, and Peru in 2019.


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