About the speakers

Joke Van Wensem (Soil Protection Technical Committee, TCB, NL)

Joke van Wensem is director of the Dutch Soil Protection Technical Committee, an advisory board operating as a science-policy interface in the field of soil related policy. She studied biology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and received a PhD in ecotoxicology at the same university. She has been engaged in projects in the following fields: environmental criteria for pesticides, soil quality standards, site specific ecological risk assessment, large scale diffuse contamination in rural areas, ecologically sustainable land use, in general and specific for agriculture and soil sealing.
Recently, she was a member of the EFSA Working Group Ecotoxicological Effects, preparing a scientific opinion on the development of specific protection goal options for environmental risk assessment of pesticides. She is a member of the European Commission Expert Group, preparing a technical document on Soil Sealing. For TCB she is involved in projects that aim at implementing the ecosystem services concept in environmental research, management and policies. She is chair of the SETAC Ecosystem Services Advisory Group.

Lorraine Maltby (The University of Sheffield, UK)

Lorraine Maltby is Professor of Environmental Biology at the University of Sheffield, UK where she also serves as Head of the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.  Her research aims to understand how ecosystems respond and adapt to environmental stressors, including pollutants.  This understanding is fundamental to the successful protection and management of ecosystems in order to ensure the sustainable provision of the ecosystem goods and services that underpin human wellbeing.  Lorraine Maltby has served on two UK government advisory committees (Advisory Committee for Hazardous Substances, Advisory Committee for Pesticides) and has chaired the Environment Panel of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides.  She has served as President of the European Society of Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC Europe) and was the Founding President of the global SETAC.  She currently serves on the European Food Safety Authority’s expert group on ecotoxicology.

Didier Nootens (SGS, BE)

Didier Nootens achieved a Bio-Engineer Degree in Soil Sciences at the University of Louvain (Belgium, UCL, 1998) and studied, in addition, Philosophy in Madrid (Spain, UPCo, 1998-2000).
During his career, he completed this education by an Executive Master in General Management. He worked during 10 years for Belgian and international Environmental Consultants specialized in site assessments. He performed technical studies and consultancy projects for industry, real estate and lawyers, and developed both a technical and a legal expertise in soil and groundwater contamination issues. He led the creation of a federation for site assessment experts in Belgium, whose members chose him as chairman.
He currently holds the position of Global Product Manager for Environmental Studies at SGS, where he works at the development of environmental consultancy services worldwide. 

Luca Montanarella (EC - JRC, IT)

Working since 1992 as scientific officer in the European Commission. Leading the Soil Data and Information Systems (SOIL Action) activities of the Joint Research Centre in support to the EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection and numerous other soil related policies, like the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the UNCCD, UNFCCC, CBD, etc…
Responsible of the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC), the European Soil Information System (EUSIS) and the European Soil Bureau Network (ESBN).
Recently in charge of the establishment of the Global Soil Partnership at FAO.
More then 200 publications, books and reports.
Numerous awards and memberships.

Pushpam Kumar (UNEP)

Dr Pushpam Kumar is Chief, Ecosystem Services Economics Unit, Division of Environment Programme Implementation, UNEP where he works on mainstreaming of the ecosystem services into development policy through the tools and techniques of ecological economics. He is also on Faculty of School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK. He has been engaged in international scientific assessment efforts on biodiversity and ecosystems and climate change. Dr Kumar was Co-coordinating Lead Author and Co-coordinator, Responses Working Group for Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and Lead Author for the Fourth Assessment of the IPCC (Mitigation). Besides being the member of the Study Leader Team of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), he was also the Scientific Co-coordinator of the Conceptual Framework for the TEEB. He was Head of the Technical Support Unit of the Responses Working Group, Millennium Ecosystems Assessment (MA) and was instrumental in designing, leading and coordinating the inputs from three hundred natural and social scientists from all over the world that came from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds.

Felix Wackers (Biobest, BE)

Felix L. Wäckers has been working in the field of agro-ecosystem ecology for over 20 years. Before accepting his current positions at Biobest he worked at Wageningen University (the Netherlands), the Netherland’s Institute of Ecology, ETH Zürich, Lancaster university and USDA-ARS. His research addresses the impact of both crop and non-crop landscape elements on biodiversity with special emphasis on optimizing biodiversity functions in terms of conservation and sustainable agricultural production (conservation biological control). Work by his group has shown that it is possible to combine and optimize conservation and agronomical benefits through a rational design of agro-ecosystems and landscape structure. In the last five years he has published more than 50 research articles, with a total of 150+ publications since 1989, as well as a book (2005) for Cambridge University Press on agro-ecosystem ecology. He is chairman of the European Learning Network on Functional Biodiversity and steering group member of the IOBC group on landscape management.

Silvia Tobias (WSL, CH)

Silvia Tobias works as a research programme leader at the Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. She leads interdisciplinary case studies about the progress of urbanisation and its consequences for biodiversity and human well-being. In her work, she emphasises the knowledge transfer between science and practice. She has led a complex WSL-research programme on urban landscapes, contributed to the synthesis of the Swiss national research programme ‘sustainable settlement and infrastructure development’ and is now building up a new research programme with two case studies in periurban regions in Switzerland.
She is a specialist in soil protection with a focus on soil restoration and soil compaction by agricultural management. She studied environmental and geodetic engineering and accomplished her PhD in soil-bioengineering at ETH Zurich.

Mark Everard (Environment Agency, UK)

Dr Mark Everard has worked in a wide range of roles international development, academia, the private sector, NGOs and government (the Environment Agency, Defra and the Welsh Government) specialising in systems thinking and sustainable development and their application into policy and practice. Many of Mark’s eight published books, fifty scientific papers and technical articles relate to ecosystem services. He is also a regular contributor to TV and radio.


Valery Forbes (University of Nebraska, USA)

Valery E. Forbes is the Director of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. She has her Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 1989-2010 she lived in Denmark where her latest position was Founding Chair of the Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change and Professor of Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology at Roskilde University. Specific research topics include population ecology and modelling, fate and effects of toxic chemicals in sediments, and ecological risk assessment. Valery Forbes has published over 100 internationally peer-reviewed articles and two books on these topics. She is on the editorial board of several international journals and provides scientific advice to the private and public sectors.

Jack Faber (Alterra, NL)

Dr. Jack Faber is senior scientist at Alterra, part of Wageningen UR. He has a strong background in soil ecology and ecotoxicology. His research has been focused on soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. This includes studies on the relevance of soil fauna biodiversity for fertility and structure of soils in sustainable agriculture and nature conservation, with implications for management to enhance the provision of soil ecosystem services. Experience and experimental know-how is also applied in site-specific ecological risk assessment and the development of decision support systems for contaminated land management, as well as in the derivation of soil quality standards. In the Alterra Environmental Sciences Group he leads the team Molecular Ecology, Ecotoxicology and Wildlife Management (20-25 research scientists and technical staff).

Thomas Koellner (University of Bayreuth, DE)

Thomas Koellner has since 2009 the W2-Professorship of Ecological Services (PES) at the University of Bayreuth. To address the global problem of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss the three research lines of his research group are A) Regional models of ecosystem services in human-environment systems; B) Global climate change, biodiversity and ecological services; C) Global markets and ecosystem services. He mainly teaches in the MSc Global Change Ecology. Since 2010 he holds the Venia legendi in Human-Environment Systems at the Department of Environmental Sciences, ETH Zurich. Between 2001 and 2009 he was senior researcher and lecturer at the Department for Environmental Sciences, ETH Zurich. He holds a PhD in Economics in 2001 from the Institute for Economy and the Environment, University St. Gall, Switzerland and a Diploma in biology from the University Göttingen. He was visiting scholar at Yale University at the School on Forestry and Environmental studies and meanwhile has published more than 20 scientific papers in the fields of industrial ecology, ecological economics and environmental finance.

Aline Chiabai (BC3 Research)

Dr. Aline Chiabai is graduated in Economics at the University of Trieste. She holds a PhD in “Transport, Traffic and Environment” at the University of Trieste, and a Master in environmental quality management. She is specialized in environmental economics, and has acquired specific expertise on the valuation of climate change impacts, adaptation strategies for policy guidance, impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity valuation. For several years, she has been part of Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) research program on Sustainability Indicators and Environmental Valuation. She has worked as consultant for CORILA (Consortium for the Management of the Coordination Centre of the Research Activities Related with the Lagoon of Venice) in urban regeneration through environmental remediation, and as environmental impact assessment consultant. Past academic experience includes also the position of adjunct professor at the University Cà Foscari, Venice (Italy). She has published in a variety of international journals including Lancet, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Risk Analysis, Global Environmental Change, Transportation Research. Recent projects include CLIMBE (Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss: the Impacts on Ecosystem Services) with CATIE institution in Costa Rica, which she coordinates and funded by BBVA; and a collaboration between BC3 and TERI in India to estimate the cost of adaptation in different sectors. She has been part of several EU projects including The Cost of Polity Inaction: The case of not meeting the 2010 biodiversity target (COPI); Further Developing Assumptions on Monetary Valuation of Biodiversity Cost of Policy Inaction (COPI); Review on the Economics of Biodiversity Loss - Economic Analysis and Synthesis; EXIOPOL (A New Environmental Accounting Framework Using Externality Data and Input-Output Tools for Policy Analysis); VERHI Children (Valuation of Environment-Related Health Impacts: Accounting for Differences Across Age and Latency with a Particular Focus on Children); Remediation Policies for the Contaminated Site Porto Maghera-Venice: Benefit Valuation, financed by CORILA; cCASHh (Climate change and adaptation strategies for human health in Europe); MFSTEP (Mediterranean Ocean Forecasting System: Towards Environmental Predictions). Other international projects include CLIBIO (Impacts of Climate Change and Biodiversity Effects, financed by European Investment Bank); “Economic Valuation of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Policies” (financed by the Italian Environmental Protection Agency APAT); Scaling-up Ecosystem Services Values: Methodology, Applicability and a Case Study.

Pam Berry (Oxford University, UK)

Dr. Pam Berry is Deputy Leader of the Terrestrial Ecology Group in the Environmental Change Institute, U. of Oxford.  Her research interests include: global and regional scale integrated assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation; impacts of mitigation and adaptation measures on biodiversity, ecosystem services and environmental change, and in particular, how the ecosystem approach relates to traditional approaches to conservation. Pam has been involved in numerous European and national projects on the above, including RUBICODE and led the England Synthesis chapter for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.