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Meet the Mentors of the AFD-GDN Biodiversity Awards Program

Luciano Andriamaro

Luciano Andriamaro is director of the Science and Knowledge Department at Conservation International. Biologist as a background with a PhD degree in Biology and Animal Conservation with freshwater biodiversity specialty, she is a field-based person. She is among the experts of wetlands and freshwater solicited in the various working groups and platform requiring this proficiency. During many years, she has overseen activities related to biodiversity and its conservation across different approaches from research and study to the recovery and well-being of the surrounding people that protects it.

Project followed: Using ecosystem provided by indigenous earthworms through vermiculture and vermicompost to innovative rice-fish farming enhancing food security for Malagasy smallholder farmers, Malalatiana Razafindrakoto, Madagascar.


Thomas Elmqvist

Thomas Elmqvist is professor in Natural Resource Management at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University. His research is focused on ecosystem services, land use change, urbanization, natural disturbances and components of resilience including the role of social institutions. He serves as associated editor for the journals Ecology and Society, Conservation and Society, Ecosystem services, and Sustainability Science. He has led the Cities and Biodiversity project, currently leading the Future Earth project “What is Urban” and he is part of the scoping expert group on regional and subregional assessments for IPBES. In 2018, he was awarded the BiodivERsA Prize for Excellence and Impact. BiodivERsA is a network of national and regional funding organisations promoting pan-European research on biodiversity and ecosystem services. He is also a member of the board of directors for Mistra Urban Futures.

Project followed: Assessing The Role Of Different Types Of Knowledge For Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation In Ramsar Sites In Fiji And Ghana, Lavenie Tawake and Margaret Fafa Aweshie Akwetey, Fiji/Ghana.


Anja Gassner

Anja has more than 25 years experiences in rural development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, working at the interface of livelihood development and sustainable resource management. She joint World Agroforestry in 2010, as the Head of the Research Methods Unit. She led the Sentinel Landscape Initiative 2012–2016, coordinating 10 teams across eight landscapes that provided evidence of the importance of forests and trees for livelihoods of rural communities. Since 2017 she is leading ICRAF’s policy work on integrating trees-on-farms’ targets into national Biodiversity policy reform and financing. Anja has a PhD in Agroecology from the  University of Braunschweig, Germany and a Masters in Environmental Geochemistry from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She joint the Global Landscape Forum as science and policy advisor in 2020.

Project followed: Agroecology for Biodiversity Conservation and Welfare in Africa and Asia: A Comparative RCTs Study on Indigenous Earthworms Utilization, Malalatiana Razafindrakoto and Nam Hoang Vu, Madagascar/Vietnam.


Elena Lazos Chavero

Elena Lazos Chavero  is professor-researcher at IISUNAM since 1992 with a degree in Biology from UNAM and an MA in Social Anthropology from ENAH. PhD in Anthropology and Socio-economics of Development, at EHESS, Paris, France. Her lines of research are political ecology around the conservation of agrodiversity and food sovereignty, perceptions and impacts on transgenic corn, gender and rural development, vulnerability to climate change, culture and power around the conservation of resources natural. Has coordinated 23 research projects on socio-environmental and territorial dynamics around agro-diversity and biodiversity. She is a member of the National System of Researchers (III) and has been awarded the (PRIDE D).

Project followed: Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Vegetable Farming in Vietnam through Promoting Adoption of Low Chemical Pesticide Practices: A Discrete Choice Experiment Approach, Nam Hoang Vu, Vietnam.


Annukka Lehikoinen

Annukka is an environmental scientist currently working as the Research Director of Kotka Maritime Research Centre. Main responsibilities include advancing cross-disciplinary research for sustainable maritime traffic, marine spatial planning, marine ecosystem services, and related policy-making. Annukka is an advocate of interdisciplinary & -sectoral dialogue and knowledge co-production. Annukka holds an MSc in limnology and fisheries science and a PhD in aquatic sciences. She is interested in environmental status assessments, management questions, and sustainable use of natural resources. Specialized in probabilistic risk and decision analysis. Applies Bayesian methods.

Project followed: Evaluation and Review of the Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines for Fiji, Lavenie Tawake, Fiji.


Jorge Lozano

Jorge Lozano is professor of Ecology in the Ecology Teaching Unit of the Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution of the Complutense University of Madrid (Faculty of Biological Sciences). With experience in environmental advisory and consulting (Fauna and Flora Inventories, Environmental Impact Assessment Studies, Evaluation of Power Lines, Ecological Restoration, Conservation Projects, Game Management, Vertebrate Census, Species detection and abundance/density measurement, Monitoring of Biodiversity in relation to Global Change, etc). Research and Scientific Dissemination, with more than 90 publications, including several books on carnivores and the first description of the Important Areas for Mammals in Spain (ZIM), in collaboration with the Spanish Society for the Conservation and Study of Mammals (SECEM). University Teaching (more than 900 teaching hours at universities in Spain and abroad). Experience in Radio and Television (dissemination and environmental awareness).

Project followed: Conservation of large carnivores in the Omo Valley, Southwest Ethiopia, Tsyon Asfaw, Ethiopia.


Suneetha M. Subramanian

Suneetha M. Subramanian has more than 15 years of experience in international and sub-national research and capacity building activities relating to biodiversity and human well-being with a specific focus on equity, traditional knowledge, linking policy goals to local priorities and community well-being, assessment of changes to ecosystems and human wellbeing, socioecological resilience, and joint implementation of policies and actions on Health and Biodiversity at the community level. She is currently a visiting fellow with the United Nations University and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan. She has been involved in various assessments of IPBES (Regional, Global and currently Values Assessment) as Lead/Co-ordinating Lead author and is on the Editorial board of the sustainability Science Journal and the Journal of Ecosystems and People.

Project followed: Assessment of Ecosystem-Based Livelihoods On Biodiversity Of The Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Site (KLCRS) In Ghana, Margaret Fafa Aweshie Akwetey, Ghana.


Watch our mentors talk about the program!



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