2021 Annual Conference Speakers

Annemarie Bastrup-Birk is a Forest Expert at the European Environment Agency where she is currently managing the Forest Information System for Europe (FISE). Before joining the EEA in 2011, ABB has worked as senior researcher at the University of Copenhagen, co-leading the Danish National Forest Inventory and managing the Danish ICP-Forests and Forest Focus monitoring of forest ecosystems in Europe. She has been responsible of the Danish reporting to main forest processes such as the FRA, Forest Europe and LULUCF. Her research domain has focused on forest biodiversity and ecosystems and sustainable management and use of forest resources. A substantial part of her work has been dedicated to promoting the harmonization of forest inventory information in Europe as part of the ENFIN.
Johannes Breidenbach is a Research Professor with the Norwegian National Forest Inventory where he coordinates the development of the Forest Resource Map which is based on the combination of field and remotely sensed data. He is also responsible for Norway’s reporting of LULUCF area and living biomass estimates including under the UNFCCC. His research focusses on the improvement of accuracy and precision in small and large area estimation of forest attributes.
Alessandro Cescatti is a senior scientist at the Bio-economy Unit, Joint Research Centre, European Commission. He has broad expertise on the integrated use of Earth observations, including networks of flux sites and advanced remote sensing. He focuses on the quantification of biophysical and biogeochemical processes that occur in the land-climate system at various spatial and temporal scales. He is involved in the development of the forthcoming “EU Observatory on deforestation, forest degradation, changes in the World’s forest cover and associated drivers” and in the assessment of EU and global forest resources based on the integration of multiple observations.
Gherardo Chirici, PhD, is Full Professor at the University of Florence (Italy), chair of Forest inventory and remote sensing, director of geoLAB – Laboratory of Forest Geomatics (www.geolabforest.com). As data scientists his main research interest is the integrated use of remote sensing for forest inventory and monitoring. Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Remote Sensing, he authored more than 200 papers and several books. Coordinator of IUFRO Unit 4.02 Forest resources inventory and monitoring. 
Thomas Haußmann is the Head of the Liaison Unit Bonn of Forest Europe. He has more than 30 years’ experience in different international forest policy positions. He worked as national expert at the European Commission in Brussels, at Germany’s Permanent Representation to the FAO in Rome and as chair of UNECE’s ICP Forests in Geneva.
Stefanie Linser is a recognised expert on indicators for SFM and related data. She has compiled data and provided input and indicator expertise to national and international organisations. Since many years she coordinates the IUFRO Working Party 9.01.05 on Research and Development of Indicators for SFM and is deputy leader of the UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Monitoring of SFM. She was coordinating lead-author of the State of Europe’s Forests 2020 report and is in in the steering committee for the further development of the FAO Global Core set of forest-related indicators.  
Marco Marchetti  is Full Professor of Forest Planning and Conservation at the University of Molise, Italy. He has a research record of more than 35 years in the domains of land use, forest inventory and monitoring, management and conservation of natural resources with experiences around Europe and in several countries in Africa and Latin America. His experience in land planning, biodiversity and ecosystem services assessment is currently being applied also to urban systems and land consumption. He has been Vice Rector at the University od Molise, chair of Italian Association of Agricultural Science Societies and President of the Italian Society of Forest Ecology and Silviculture, recently he has been elected as Board member of the European Forest Institute and, in Italy, President of Alberitalia Foundation, member of the National Committee for Urban Forestry at the Ministry of Ecological Transition and of the National Committee for the Italian Forest Strategy. He is author of  hundreds of papers and other publications in his domains of interest.
Robert Mavsar is the Deputy Director of the European Forest Institute and responsible for the development and coordination of the research activities. His main research interests are in the fields of economic valuation of ecosystem services and the development of forest research in Europe. He holds a PhD in economics and a MSc in forestry.
Dr. Eva Müller is Director General for Forests, Sustainability and Renewable Resources of the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL). From 2004 to 2018 she worked in leading positions with increasing responsibility at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. As Director of Forestry Policy and Resources she led FAO’s technical work in Forestry.  Before joining FAO, from 2001 to 2004, she was Assistant Director for Reforestation and Forest Management at the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) based in Japan, where she was in charge of the organization’s forestry programs and projects. This was preceded by 11 years with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in Costa Rica, where she supported a long-term forestry project as well as seven years in Africa in varying forestry positions.  Dr. Müller has a BSc in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, an MSc in Forestry from Yale University in the US and a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Hamburg in Germany.
Raisa Mäkipää is research professor at National Resources institute Finland (LUKE). She has wide expertise on ecosystem modelling, carbon and nutrient cycling, biodiversity and ecosystem processes. She has published 86 peer-reviewed scientific articles and her H-index is 44 with a total of 6778 citations. She leads multidisciplinary projects focusing on optimization of ecosystem management, mitigation of climate change and forest soils, which are funded by the Strategic Research Council, the Academy of Finland and the EU H2020. She has highly recognized merits from international and national activities, e.g. she is vice-president of the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA), she has contributed as lead author to the IPCC Report and as a nominated expert to the UNFCCC review of the GHG inventories, and she is member of the national IPCC working group.
Gert-Jan Nabuurs is Professor of European forest resources at Wageningen University and Research, WUR. His background is in European scale forest resource analyses, and management under climate change with both scientific aspects as well as outreach to the forest sector. He started the work with the EFISCEN model, the European forest resource, forest management and carbon balance model. Applications are in wood availability, effects of forest management, climate change impacts and CO2 sequestration. Further he is Coordinating Lead Author of the Agriculture and Forestry chapter in the IPCC 6AR. He was Assistant Director of the European Forest Institute in Finland from 2009-2012. He launched the climate smart forestry idea at COP21 in Paris. Recently the climate smart forestry network for the EU was launched.
Claudia Olazábal is holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Radiochemistry from the University of Strasbourg and a Master’s degree in Science from the University of Texas at Austin. She worked for three years in the Sustainable Resources - Consumption and Waste Unit, then became Head of the Soil Sector dealing with the development of Community policy on soil protection. She was for 4 years the Deputy Head of the Biodiversity Unit and since 2013 she is Head of the Land Use & Management Unit. All these positions are held in the Directorate General for the Environment of the European Commission.
Tuula Packalen is Director-General of Natural Resources Department at Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, and prior to that research professor in forest planning at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). She has 25 years of experience in policy relevant research projects. In Finland, she has represented forest research in the Finnish Forest Council and Climate Panel. Internationally, she has coordinated Forest Resources and Information Programme at the European Forest Institute (EFI), a IUFRO Working Group, the COST Action ORCHESTRA and the Horizon2020 project DIABOLO. She holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Geography, University of Edinburgh.
    Marc Palahí is the Director of the European Forest Institute and responsible for leading the organisation towards an acknowledged pan-European science-policy platform. Previously he led EFI’s policy support activities and during this time was instrumental in launching ThinkForest, a European high-level science forum on the future of forests. He has also worked as Head of EFI’s Mediterranean Facility, EFIMED. He has a PhD in forestry and economics and an MSc in forestry engineering.
Mr. Anssi Pekkarinen is Senior Forestry Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and coordinator of the Global Forest Resources Assessment programme. Pekkarinen studied in the University of Helsinki, Finland and holds a D.Sc. in Forest mensuration and management. He is specialized in forest inventory, remote sensing and geographic information systems. Before joining FAO in 2009, Pekkarinen worked as a research scientist at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (1996-2005) and Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (2005-2008). Pekkarinen has more than 25 years of experience in analyzing forest resource information with remote sensing and field inventory data and he is one of the founding members of FAO’s Open Foris Initiative.
Peter Potapov is a Research Professor at the Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland. He is a co-director of the Global Land Analysis and Discovery Lab (GLAD). He received M.S. in botany and a Ph.D. in ecology and natural resource management. His research interests are assessing and monitoring forest extent, structure, and conservation value at national to global extent using publicly open satellite data archives. Dr. Potapov leads the international Intact Forest Landscapes Mapping Team (www.intactforests.org). He developed the methodology of global tree cover extent, structure, and change mapping that serves as a basis for the Global Forest Watch data portal (www.globalforestwatch.org). He is also actively involved in the national capacity-building projects to improve national forest monitoring and crop reporting in developing countries.
Helga Pülzl is Assistant Director for Policy Support of the European Forest Institute and responsible for the Policy Support Facility and its Trust Fund. Her main research interests are in European and international forest governance and policy change, bioeconomy perceptions and sustainability indicators development. She coordinates the IUFRO Working Party 9.05.01 on bioeconomy policy and holds a Phd and master’s degree in political science from the University of Vienna.
Peter Surový  is Associated Professor and Head of the department of Forest Management at the Czech University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Science. His main research focus is Remote sensing for forestry applications, mensuration, and inventory he also has significant experience in growth and yield modeling. The department provides teaching and conducts research for several state institutions and private companies. Recently main focus is on the utilization and deployment of unmanned aerial systems in different areas in forestry from individual tree mensuration to ecosystem monitoring.
Margarida Tomé, Forest Engineer, is Professor at Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, where she teaches Forest Resources Inventory, Forest Modelling and Forest Management. She coordinates the Forest Resources Inventory and Modelling Group (ForChange), one of the research groups of CEF (Forest Research Centre). The group has a strong focus on the transfer of knowledge to end-users by developing technological applications that might integrate and make useful the research results. Planted forests, with exotic or native tree species, have been an important research topic of the group. Conversion to complex forests, ecosystem services, non-wood forest products and creation of resilient landscapes are among the more recent research interests. Margarida has been a close partner with EFI, as well as with IUFRO where she was Division IV coordinator for the period 2006-2014 and co-chair of the IUFRO Task Forces “Sustainable Planted Forests for a Greener Future” (2015-2019) and “Resilient Planted Forests Serving Society & Bioeconomy” (2019-present).
Rubén Valbuena is Lecturer in Forest Science at Bangor University, UK. His current research focus is devoted to using forest information for providing a value to environmental assets, mainly using remote sensing data for its great potential for analysing structural and morphological traits of ecosystems. During the last decade Dr Valbuena has pioneered adaptations of methods based on Lorenz curves and Gini coefficient to forest science and remote sensing, a work that was awarded with a IUFRO award. Dr Valbuena holds a DSc degree from the University of Eastern Finland and a PhD from the Technological University of Madrid (Spain), and his previous work experience also includes the University of Cambridge (UK), UN Environment – World Conservation Monitoring Centre,  European Forest Institute and the Forest Research Agency of the UK Forestry Commission.
Dr Bernhard Wolfslehner is currently Team Leader of the EFI FOREST EUROPE Team. He is strongly engaged in scientific guidance, coordination and communication of the pan-European forest policy process. Previously, he has been Research Network Coordinator of EFI’s Forest Policy Research Network.  His expertise includes sustainable forest management, criteria and indicators, non-timber forest products and services,  and multi-criteria decision support.