Student Conference on Conservation Science

Keynote speakers

Julia Marton-Lefevre

Julia Marton-Lefèvre stepped down as Director General of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in 2015, having served as the head of this unique global membership organization bringing together governments and non-governmental organisations, scientists and experts to seek a ‘’just world that values and conserves nature. As Director General she was also CEO of IUCN’s Secretariat of over 1000 persons with offices in some 50 countries.

Prior to her eight years at IUCN, she was Rector of the UN-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) with its main campus in Costa Rica. UPEACE is a graduate-level international university providing education, training and research on issues related to peace, conflict, and environmental security.

Earlier offices held by Ms. Marton-Lefèvre include the Executive Director of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) International, a programme established by The Rockefeller Foundation to bring together and train mid-career leaders from all parts of the world and from several sectors to improve their leadership skills around the issues of sustainable development.

Ms. Marton-Lefevre also served for many years as the Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU) with its headquarters in Paris. ICSU is non-governmental membership organization of national academies of science and international unions of scientific disciplines. Ms. Marton-Lefèvre has given hundreds of speeches throughout her career, written articles, op ed pieces, and contributed to several books. She has served on dozens of boards, councils and committees which include today, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, whose board she chairs, the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Oxford University’s James Martin School, The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Bioversity, the Turkana Basin Institute, and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI).

In her efforts to bridge the gap between business and civil society, J. Marton-Lefèvre has served on the environmental advisory boards of the Dow Chemical Company the Coca Cola Company, Nespresso and on the board of the UN Global Compact. In 2015 she has been selected to chair an Advisory Board to the Sustainable Biomass Partnership, and is on committees advising Veolia and BNP Parisbas.

In recognition of her work at ICSU, Ms. Marton-Lefevre received the prestigious AAAS Award for International Cooperation in Science. She has also been honoured as a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the government of France, as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre de Saint-Charles by HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, the ProNatura award by the government of Hungary and the Presidential citation from the Republic of Korea. She was elected as a member of the World Academy of Art and Science and the World Future Council and as a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. As a policy fellow, selected by The Rockefeller Foundation she plans to begin a writing project during 2015 at the Foundation’s Bellagio Center.

Julia was born in Hungary, educated in the United States and in France, and having lived in several continents, considers herself a global citizen.


Professor William Sutherland

Professor William Sutherland is the Miriam Rothschild Professor in Conservation Biology, in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. His research area is Population and Community Ecology, and he also has wide interests in conservation biology. He is especially interested in predicting the impacts of environmental change, particularly on bird populations. Some of this work combines field data and models while other work is purely based on field work. While much of his work has been in the UK, he has been involved in many projects elsewhere in the world and welcomes suggestions for collaborations. Another major theme is using evidence-based conservation to collate experience of the effectiveness of interventions (via the website and then use this evidence to advise practice. He hopes that this will eventually revolutionise global conservation practice.



Dr. Ferenc Jordán

Ferenc Jordán was born in Budapest, Hungary (1973). He studied Biology (MSc 1996) and received his PhD in Genetics (1999), both at Eötvös University, Budapest. The prestigious Branco Weiss Fellowship of ETH Zürich, Switzerland, supported his research at Collegium Budapest, Institute for Advanced Study (2003-2008). He was group leader at The Microsoft Research Center for Computational and Systems Biology in Trento, Italy (2008-2013). Ferenc is editor of Ecology Letters and reviewer for a number of journals and organizations. He is visiting professor at the University of Antofagasta, Chile. His interest ranges from food webs to landscape fragmentation and from animal social networks to protein interaction networks. Ferenc gave a course at the SCCS Bangalore in 2012.



Dr. Tibor Hartel

Tibor Hartel is associate professor of ecology at Sapientia University from Cluj-Napoca. His PhD was about amphibian ecology and conservation in Southern Transylvania under the supervision of Acad. Petru Bănărescu and Prof. Dan Cogălniceanu. His background is amphibian ecology and conservation. He studied traditional rural landscapes of Romania for over 10 years. His current research interest is in the conservation of ancient wood-pastures from Southern Transylvania, and he employes a social-ecological framework to understand these systems. This includes the understanding of the ecological value of wood-pastures, the importance of management in shaping the structure and ecological properties of wood-pastures and the attitudes, knowledge types and value systems of people toward wood-pastures. Recently he is also involved in national level policy initiaives related to these landscapes in Romania. He is collaborator in the transdisciplinary project led by Professor Joern Fischer, 'Landscape futures'. He is member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Conservation Biology Europe Section, the Advisory Board of The Mihai Eminescu Trust and he is a former member of the Biology Commission of the Romanian National Research Council