Ingo Grass is a Professor of Agroecology at the University of Hohenheim, Germany, where he runs the Ecology of Tropical Agricultural Systems group (https://agroecology.uni- hohenheim.de/en/home). His group's research focuses on patterns and dynamics of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. A key motivation is how to balance agricultural land use with biodiversity conservation. His research in Indonesia, South Africa, India, and Germany focuses on the importance of agricultural practices for multitrophic interactions, crop pollination and biological control, and conservation of insect, bird, and bat diversity. Many research projects are interdisciplinary and consider not only the environmental but also the social and economic pillars of sustainability.
Tibor Hartel is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. His background is in animal ecology and for a decade he studied amphibians and the possibilities for their conservation in the traditional farming landscapes of Central Romania. Since 2012 Tibor is increasingly interested in social-ecological systems, ecosystem services and human-nature connections and closely work with decision makers and the civil society to protect ancient wood-pastures, large carnivores and urban biodiversity. Tibor`s academic path is this: 11 years high school teacher and researcher in Sighisoara (amphibian research), two years of postdoctoral fellowship at Leuphana University, Germany (with an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship – 2012-2013), then back to Transylvania where he was Associate Professor at Sapientia University (2014-2018) then at Babeș-Bolyai University, where he is based at the Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering. In his talk Tibor will highlight his transdisciplinary experience for nature conservation in Romania.
Aveliina Helm is a Professor of Restoration Ecology at the University of Tartu, Estonia. Her work focuses on the conservation, management and restoration of multifunctional landscapes, with a special focus on grassland ecosystems and agricultural landscapes. She runs the Landscape Biodiversity group (landscape.ut.ee) at the University of Tartu, where the research focuses on spatial and temporal dynamics of biodiversity, and on conservation and restoration of biodiversity and related ecosystem services. She actively participates in the initiation and implementation of restoration and conservation projects in Estonia and abroad, and runs multiple research projects focusing on biodiversity, landscape restoration, sustainable agriculture and ecosystem services. In Estonia, Aveliina promotes 'Everyone's Nature Conservation' concept, an approach of biodiversity conservation outside protected areas. She is an author of Greenmeter (www.greenmeter.eu), an application providing location-based recommendations for landscape-scale conservation action, as well as HeaPõld (GoodField; www.heapold.ee), a platform that focuses on introduction of efficient agroecological practices to farmers.
Lorenzo Marini is Associate Professor at the University of Padova. He has developed wide and diversified research interests in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, global change biology, and invasion biology. His overarching research aim is to understand the impact of multiple human-induced pressures on populations, species, communities and ecosystem services and to provide management solutions to mitigate their negative effects. He addresses pressing environmental questions in both agricultural and natural ecosystems using arthropods and plants as model organisms. He mainly works on four research areas: i) landscape ecology in agricultural landscapes, ii) species diversity and conservation, iii) impact of climate change, and iv) invasion ecology, using multiple methodological approaches including manipulative experiments, observational studies, and macro-ecological analyses. He serves as associate editor for Journal of Applied Ecology and Basic and Applied Ecology.