Meet Mercedes Rois
Look behind the scenes – meet some of the experts that make EFI work!
My name is Mercedes Rois, and I am a researcher at the Bioeconomy Unit. I started at the EFI Headquarters in Finland already in 2001, and except for 3 years, I have been working for EFI since then.
In 2007, I had the fantastic opportunity to contribute to the foundations of the first EFI Regional Office. Working as Office and Project Manager in Barcelona, I managed the expansion of the EFI Office to host FLEGT and REDD Facilities, in several locations, until we settled at the awesome Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site. I later moved back to Finland for a couple of years where I got back to research activity. Nowadays I work remotely from Galicia, Spain, based in the University of Santiago de Compostela, where I am also a PhD candidate.
With almost 20 years of experience in research and project management, my main field of expertise is on agroforestry systems, with interest on the motivations and barriers of the farmers and forest owners for the implementation of agroforestry practices, policies with impact on their implementation, and the transfer of scientific results to farmers and forest owners, with special focus on the link to the circular bioeconomy and bioproducts. The related, and completed, agroforestry projects where I was involved are AGFORWARD - AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development, VALERIE - Valorising European Research for Innovation in Agriculture and Forestry and AFINET - Agroforestry Innovation Networks.
I am currently working on diverging issues as mechanization of forest operations and digitalization of the forest sector in the project TECH4EFFECT - Knowledge and Technologies for Effective Wood Procurement and the impact of social innovations towards the Sustainable Development Goals in SIMRA – Social Innovations in Marginalized Rural Areas.
During last years I also experienced an increasing interest in awareness raising and education for kids and youth on the possibilities of the bioeconomy. Recently, I have joined a community of #BioHeroes, with the aim of raising awareness on bio-products and bioeconomy. You can read about it in my post here.
As a forester and nature lover, it is difficult to select just one favorite tree, but if I have to choose I select the oak, Quercus robur, for its magnificence, the leaves’ shape and the biodiversity their forests host, and, of course, for the nice memories of months of oak inventory for my bachelor thesis. It happens that it was also the sacred tree for the Celts tribes who populated my homeland in ancient times.
cover photo ©patpitchaya - stock.adobe.com