The goal of our Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Europe Section Blog is to share stories and relevant information about activities going on within our section and more broadly in the conservation community. Stories and articles shared on our blog should not be taken as an official position or statement of SCB or SCB Europe Section. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

SCB Europe Section Elections - Cast your ballots by 30th November!

Introduction of the Nominees (Board Members)

Raphaël Arlettaz

Raphaël Arlettaz' scientific background is in population biology, community ecology, eco-physiology and behavioural ecology. Since his nomination at the head of the first chair of Conservation Biology in a Swiss University (2002), he has re-oriented his research activities towards applied conservation biology and restoration ecology. Arlettaz also leads a field station of the Swiss Ornithological Institute in the Alps of Valais, a biodiversity hotspot. Raphaël has wide interests in biodiversity preservation. His studies aim at providing the necessary, rigourous evidence-based guidance to maintain and restore ecosystems and their typical emblematic species, especially vertebrates and invertebrates occurring in agro-ecosystems and Alpine ecosystems. He is also very committed to bridging the great divide that exists between research and action in conservation biology, developing integrated research-implementation programmes, mostly in Switzerland. Since 2011, Raphaël serves as the chair of the Membership-Chapter committee within the Europe section of the Society for Conservation Biology. He is currently stimulating the creation of regional chapters across Europe. In Raphaël’s opinion, such chapters might contribute to strengthen the Europe section of SCB while bridging the research-implementation gap that also prevails in Europe.

Sarah E. Dalrymple

Being a plant ecologist and conservationist at the Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation, Bangor University, my research revolves around the effectiveness of conservation interventions, having undertaken research-based management of threatened plant species and extensively reviewed the global use of reintroductions. Consequently, I joined the IUCN’s Task Force on Moving Plants and Animals for Conservation Purposes, to revise and expand the existing IUCN Reintroduction Guidelines. We have the heavy responsibility of enabling policy-makers and practitioners to negotiate controversies such as assisted colonisation and novel ecosystem construction within the context of local socio-economic conditions. This interdisciplinary approach is continued in my research on student engagement in environmental education, and the impacts of conservation interventions on human wellbeing.
In 2004 I became the first student member of the British Ecological Society Council. In the following four years I initiated student conferences, developed membership services and maintained the BES’ profile at international meetings. I am also on the IUCN’s Young Professional’s Leadership Team and we are building a global inter-generational network of conservationists to create a resilient and adaptable conservation community.
I hope to use my knowledge of policy- and practice-relevant conservation in combination with the experience of serving the members of academic and conservation-focused organizations to further build SCB-ES. The Section has the potential to provide tangible benefits to individual members whilst becoming an influential voice in European conservation and given the energy apparent at recent ECCB meetings, it is timely to seek to strengthen the Section through greater membership involvement and service provision.

Tibor Hartel

I was born in 1978, in Sighisoara, Romania. My PhD (2008) was about amphibian ecology and conservation in a traditional rural landscape from Central Romania. I am a landscape ecologist with increasing interest toward the social aspects of biological conservation. My current research funded by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation address the ecology of the ancient wood-pastures from Transylvania and the attitudes of rural communities toward this human made ancient landscape element. What is the fate of this ecologically and culturally unique landscape element in a changing world? What are the limits and possibilities of protecting them? What are the ecological and social consequences of losing them? Such questions can be extended to other cultural heritages such are buildings, traditional crops which will likely have the same fate in the future. I feel that Eastern Europe is still underestimated in its importance for global conservation biology. In an ideal world I would see a more strong international focus on the Eastern European landscapes and societies. I especially encourage mixed teams made by natural-, social scientists, modelers and non-academic persons and institutions working together to address and develop solutions for the various and increasingly complex problems of Eastern Europe. I see the SCB-ES as a good platform for making lobby in this direction. I am in close collaboration with major local NGO`s and institutions and a number of international academic institutions. I particularly feel good in interdisciplinary teams, and consider my ability to bring good people and institutions together as strength.

Bengt Gunnar Jonsson

I am professor in Plant Ecology, with a focus on forest biodiversity and conservation policy. As a leading vision I wish to contribute to sustainable forest management in northern Europe. This includes not only providing relevant scientific knowledge and evidence, but also to make this available to forest stakeholders and policy makers. Since 2009 I have been a member of BoD of the Europe Section since. My main task has been the SCBs involvement in the new international science-policy interface (IPBES) where I have been the acting Head of the SCB global ad-hoc committee on the issue. I received my PhD at Umeå University, Sweden and have post-doc experience from Oregon State University, USA. Currently I hold a position as professor at Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall and am the project leader of the “Forest Biodiversity Group”. External activities include membership in the Swedish advisory board for the Convention for Biological Diversity. In addition I have participated in numerous national reference groups on protected areas, monitoring of forest biodiversity and Swedish environmental targets. As coordinator for the research network PRIFOR I have organised several workshops, symposia, conferences and excursions around forest biodiversity, forest history and sustainable forest management.

Guy Pe'er

I am conservation biologist, working on the interface between ecological theory and applied conservation.
My general interests include a) identifying factors that affect population dynamics and biodiversity in fragmented, heterogeneous and human-dominated landscapes; b) linking different ecological levels, from animal behaviour (primarily, movement, dispersal and connectivity), through population dynamics to community structures and biodiversity patterns; and c) developing of tools for nature conservation in light of land-use- and climate-changes, and ensuring their implementation on-the-ground.
While butterflies serve as a main focal group in my empirical work, I develop and utilise individual-based simulation models to study animal-landscape interactions for various hypothetical and real species, including (so far) butterflies, Eurasian Lynx, and birds.
My involvement in science-policy dialogues include serving as spokesman of the Lepidopterists’ Society in Israel (2005-2008) where I led, together with Mr. Dubi Benymini (president of the society), a successful campaign for the protection of butterflies in Israel; working within the EU FP7 project SCALES which seeks to identify means to match the scales of policy and management with the scales of ecosystem processes; and coordinating the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme in Israel (IL-BMS) since its launching in 2009 (together with Dr. Racheli Schwartz-Tzachor and Dubi Benyamini). I am a member of the SCB since 2002, and a member of the Policy Committee of the SCB-ES since 2010. Here, I wish to enhance the inclusion of scientific knowledge in decision-making and policy, and strengthen the capacity of the SCB to do so.

Roustam Sagitov

I was born in 1950 in Samarkand, former Uzbek republic of the former USSR. I graduated from the faculty of Biology and Soil Sciences of Moscow State University in 1972 with MSc diploma in biology, zoology. During 1972-1975 worked on the ecology of Anseriformes as a senior researcher in Institute of Biology, Siberian Center of Academy of Sciences of USSR, Novosibirsk. I received PhD diploma in 1979 with dissertation on “Breeding biology and population dynamics of Anseriformes in Chany Lake region (West Siberia)”. In 1984-1985 I was an exchange scientist at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. In 1989, I was elected as associate professor at the Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Leningrad University. 
In early 1990s I started research and practical activities in the field of nature conservation. I co-supervised a joint program of Hamburg and St.Petersburg Universities – “Ecological basics of nature conservation”. I developed a new course “International legislation in Nature Protection” which I still teach for university graduate students. 
In 1995 established Baltic Fund for Nature (BFN) as a structural sub-unit of St.Petersburg Naturalists Society (NGO established in 1868; affiliated with IUCN). BFN is one of the most effective environmental NGOs in NW Russia actively working on national and international conservation issues. In 2004 I was a winner of the International Baltic Sea Prize. In 2006, I was awarded the title “Honorary Nature Protection Expert of Russian Federation” by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia. During 2005-2010 I was a member of Environmental and Social Council of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 2009, I was elected as a chairman of Russian IUCN National Committee. I am a member of WWF Baltic Program shareholders group, and Russian-Finnish working group on Nature conservation. I have been an author in more than 100 scientific publications and in several TV and radio programs.

Piero Visconti

I have served in the Student Affairs Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology from 2008 and I am a founding member of the Student Affairs Committee of the European Section. In these positions I have promoted and coordinated awards for students such as the Spotlight on Student Research and the wiki page for Conservation Biology students. I am also actively involved in making the next European Congress on Conservation Biology student-friendly by promoting discounted accommodation, travel grants, student awards, workshop and courses of interest for students. I believe in a direct involvement of SCB members into SCB decision-making through web-polls and open forums which the Student Affair Committee has successfully trialed to develop its mission and inform the design of the student programme at the next ECCB conference. I am also very supportive of the formation of local SCB chapters to bridge the divide between conservation science and practice and assist conservation practitioners in achieving their conservation goals through the aid of SCB. I look forward to serve in the European board to strengthen the link of the board with SCB members, especially students.
I did my PhD in Australia on systematic conservation planning in dynamic landscapes and global priority-setting for mammals. Back in Europe, I am now a post-doc at the Global Mammal Assessment programme where I conduct research on future scenarios of threats and distribution of terrestrial mammals.

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