ABOUT EUROSITE

Eurosite's Mission:
To provide opportunities for practitioners to network and exchange experience on practical nature management.

Dr. Tilmann Disselhoff

BOARD MEMBERS

The Eurosite Board is made up of 3-9 individuals. Members, Associate Members and non-members can be appointed to the Board. Each Board member brings in his or her own expertise. The tasks of the Board include running and representing the association, managing the capital of the association and devising and pursuing the policy of the association. The Board is responsible for the general management of Eurosite and promotes its interests.

Dr. Tilmann Disselhoff

President

Country: Germany

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Tilmann Disselhoff is a nature conservationist by heart and by profession. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin and has received scholarships from the Robert Bosch Foundation, the German National Academic Foundation, and Berlin’s Elsa-Neumann-Scholarship programme for particularly qualified young researchers. Focusing on conservation financing and private land conservation, Tilmann has worked for numerous national and international organisations, such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, and the German Federal Environmental Foundation. In 2017, Tilmann joined NABU (Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union – the German chapter of Birdlife International) as the coordinator of a LIFE project to set up the European Land Conservation Network (ELCN).

Anita Prosser

Secretary & Twinning Ambassador

Country: United Kingdom

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Anita Prosser was born and educated in the UK having spent her early years in West Africa. Following a degree in Botany and Zoology she worked in education and as a researcher for a wildlife film company. Anita joined the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) in 1983 to set up training schemes for the unemployed. In 1988 she was appointed to set up and establish BTCV International activities. Anita worked in over 32 countries throughout the world, ran organisational training programmes in Central and Eastern Europe, Japan and Africa, helped to establish National Conservation Volunteer organisations and volunteered in many other existing environmental Organisations (NCVO). Following this she led the establishment of the Conservation Volunteers Alliance, a network to promote and give a voice to environmental volunteers in Europe and further afield. Lately Anita has spent time focusing on European funding both for transnational work, influencing EU on its Volunteering policy, EU growth funds for the UK and chairing the European funding network on behalf of NCVO. She has worked with the UK Government to ensure that the voluntary sector has access and contributes to UK grow. More recently Anita set up a small group to working on delivering training and material on working with volunteers in nature and running networks and events in relation to the natural environment such as the Outdoor Recreation Network and Europarc Atlantic Isles, the network for protected landscapes in the UK and Ireland. Anita’s skills are in all aspects of managing an NGO, strategic and business development, all aspects of engaging with people and communities and European funding. Alongside working Anita has, in a voluntary capacity, been a Board member of a number of European and local organisations especially in relation to protected areas and the environment.

Theo de Bruin

Treasurer

Country: The Netherlands

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Theo thinks there is no better activity than walking out in the fields, enjoying landscapes and nature, hearing and seeing birds full of wonder about everything that grows and blossoms.

With these experiences in mind, he studied at Wageningen University and specialized in the field of recreation and nature-based tourism with a Master in Forest Economics, Sociology of Leisure and Environmental Psychology. Starting with a research on recreation in National Park De Hoge Veluwe, he worked on related topics as visitor management, design of nature experiences and concepts for visitor centres.

More recently, Theo has been working in order of Staatsbosbeheer to develop and/or reconstruct several visitor centers in the east part of the country. One of them was the new center in the Oostvaardersplassen, now part of the newest national park in the Netherlands (NP Nieuw Land). To enhance the outreach to the audience from the Oostvaardersplassen Visitor Center, the network Migratory Birds for People (MBP) was started, in co-operation with WLI.

Living in the floodplains of the river Waal, Theo actively connects visitors to the river and nature around his B&B. In his spare time he enjoys making music as well as roaming through the dynamic river landscape daily.

Rhys Jones

Country: United Kingdom

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Rhys is the Conservation Land Management Leader with Natural Resources Wales (NRW). He has direct leader oversight of National Nature Reserves and Woodland Estates in South Wales and in his role as Chair of the Designated Sites and Estates Management Forum, Rhys is responsible for influencing all land management in Wales. During 2015-18, Rhys was NRWs Marine Fisheries Ecologist and manager of the Assessing Welsh Fishing Activities Project. This project was the first of its kind in Europe which assessed the impact of commercial fishing from a licenced and registered fishing vessel on receptors in the marine environment. The project centred around marine protected areas (MPAs) SACs, SPAs and RAMSARs and is believed to be the first project to assess impacts under Article 6.2 of the Habitats Directives. Previous to joining NRW, Rhys has held Fisheries Manager, MPA compliance and Science Manager roles in the Marine and Fisheries department and Agri-Environment Policy Scheme Leader for the Agriculture department in the Welsh Government. He estimates to have completed 300 Habitat Regulations Assessments and 150 Art 6.2 Assessments both under the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives. Living near the coast in Pembrokeshire, Wales, Rhys enjoys Surfing with the family in his spare time.

Marina Skunca

Country: Croatia

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Marina Škunca is a biologist-ecologist with primary experience in flora, vegetation and habitats. She graduated in 2010 at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, where in September 2015 she started her PhD studies – research of invasive alien plant species in riparian area of the Drava River. Marina is employed in Geonatura Ltd. as a Head of Terrestrial ecosystems research group, where she is working on different projects covering various floristic and conservation topics – from basic inventories, mapping and monitoring of flora and habitats; through ecosystem services assessment and area assessment from the aspect of biodiversity; to development of various action and management plans.

Marina has both national and regional experience as a co-author of EIAs and NIAs, assessing the impacts on biodiversity and natural heritage, as well as producing baseline habitat maps when needed. She is interested in ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, nature-based solutions and citizen science, but her favourite topic still involves invasive alien plant species.

Kyriakos Skordas

Country: Greece

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Kyriakos has finished the School of Forestry & Natural Environment of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and has an MSc in Wildlife Management.  He also holds a certificate of Human Resources Management by the Kapodistrian University of Athens. Since many years, he has been working in the fields of Forest Management, Wetlands and Range Management, Public Awareness, Wildlife Management, Environmental Education and stakeholders training. He is the editor of several publications and informative materials, as well as an author of and contributor to studies, papers, courses, congresses and magazines.

He has very good experience working with NGOs and stakeholders parities. His current job position is as Office & Game-warden Director in Hunting Federation of Macedonia & Thrace dealing mainly with wildlife protection, public awareness, and communication with state agencies, law enforcement and habitat improvements measures.

Kyriakos is also a member of the Boarding Council of UNESCO (Serres for Unesco, Greece) as Deputy of Environment, contributing in the collaboration of Local Authorities for the protection of natural and environmental heritage.

Considering that Environment is not only nature but everything that surrounds us, Kyriakos loves music and has his own radio show since 18 years in several radio stations in Greece.

Stefan Versweyveld

Country: Belgium

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Stefan’s interest in nature was first sparked when he was just six years old and at the age of eight he joined the local branch of Natuurpunt, the organisation he would later go on to work for. Stefan studied Biology at the University of Antwerp and after graduating in 1997 he immediately started to work as a professional biologist for Natuurpunt, writing management plans for their nature reserves (Natuurpunt manages around 1.5% of the entire surface of Flanders as a nature reserve). In 2003, Stefan joined the management of the organisation and since 2013 he has been the Head of the Projects and Grants Department, coordinating 60 projects on the restoration of nature, biodiversity, and heritage. Stefan also coordinates Natuurpunt’s European relations with other nature conservation organisations and public bodies.

Naïk Faucon

Country: France

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Naïk Faucon (MSc, PhD) has been Europe & International project leader at ATEN (Atelier technique des espaces naturels) for 16 years. ATEN, a full member of Eurosite since the creation of the network in 1989, is among the five French organisations that have merged in 2020, into the French Biodiversity Agency (OFB, Office Français de la Biodiversité). Focusing on capacity development, her numerous missions abroad have enabled Naïk to comprehend nature conservation issues, the diverse range of stakeholder networks and professionals involved in the management of protected areas, and the requirements and subtleties of European and international cooperation.

Miquel Rafa

Country: Spain

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Miquel Rafa is a Biologist specialized in nature conservation, with over 30 years experience working for conservation NGOs in Catalonia and at the international level (DEPANA, WWF, IUCN, EUROSITE, UIAA, etc.). He’s the Director of Territory and Environment at the Foundation Catalunya-La Pedrera, where he has worked since 1998. The Foundation is the largest land trust in Catalonia and helps to protect a network of 27 natural sites, visited by more than 400.000 people per year. Furthermore, it manages two environmental education centres, in the Pyrenees and in the Ebro Delta.

He is a member of the Nature Conservation Council of Catalonia and of the World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN – WCPA), he was the first president of the Catalonia’s Network of Land Stewardship, currently Network of Nature Conservation, where he now serves as International Commissioner. He also has collaborated in numerous radio and TV programmes as a communicator on nature and travels around the globe.

As a passionate birdwatcher and alpinist, Miquel has climbed many peaks in the Pyrenees, Alps, Andes and Himalaya, and has travelled to many natural areas over the world in search of wildlife and wild lands.

 

COUNCIL

The Eurosite Council is made up of representatives from countries covered by the Eurosite network. The Council members meet twice a year to discuss Eurosite business. The Council supervises the policy as pursued by the Board and approves all policy plans, business development plans, the annual budget, Annual Accounts and the Annual Report. The Council also appoints the Board members, including the President, Secretary and Treasurer of Eurosite.

Bohdan Prots

Country: Ukrain

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Bohdan is a Senior Research Scientist who obtained his PhD in 1997 and won the Whitley Award for Nature Conservation (2007). Currently, he is the CEO and Director of the Danube-Carpathian Programme in Ukraine. He is an expert in conservation biology, plant ecology, conservation and protected areas management, species and habitats management, plant invasion, floodplain ecology and restoration ecology, and nature protection policy. Furthermore, he has 30 years of experience in research studies in biodiversity and natural resource management in various countries in Europe as well as Asia, and 17 years of experience managing international projects on nature conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources in the Danube-Carpathian Region. Bohdan worked as the leader of WWF Ukraine for more than 11 years and is the part-time Head of the Department of the Landscape and Biota Diversity, State Museum of Natural History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Lviv, Ukraine.

Ion Munteanu

Country: Romania

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Mr. Ion MUNTEANU was born on 13th October 1956 in Tulcea, Romania. He graduated from the Faculty of Food Industry and Fisheries Technics at the “Lower Danube” University in Galati and has a master degree in Sustainable development and biodiversity protection from the Technical University in Cluj, Romania.

He enjoyed an over-26 year career within the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority where he gained extensive first-hand experience in the nature management. Currently he is the Governor of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, the largest wetland in Romania and included in the UNESCO international network of biosphere reserves.

Additionally he participates in many international projects financed by the European Union programs, such as the Danube Transnational Programme, LIFE Program, Joint Operational Programme Romania-Ukraine-Republic of Moldova, etc.

Ion has expertise in, amongst others, the following subjects:

  • Species conservation
  • Community-based conservation
  • Protected areas and Natura2000 management
  • Advocacy and policy for species and protected areas
  • Best practices in natural resources management
  • Collaborative decision analysis and population ecology of migratory species
  • Fisheries management projects
  • Assessment of fishing activity
  • Fishing Techniques
  • Tracking the status and evolution of renewable natural resources
  • Establishing optimal limits for exploiting the natural resources
  • Monitoring of the sustainable exploitation of renewable resources and areas
  • Monitoring of the parameters that characterize the natural habitats
  • Monitoring of the biodiversity and the implementation of the management plans for the strictly protected areas.

Ion has had a long interest and involvement in the Eurosite network and the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority is a member of the Eurosite network.

Nick Edwards

Country: UK

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Nick has been working ‘outdoors’ for most of his life, obtaining an apprenticeship with the coppice association in 1992, working throughout England and wales with the few remaining fulltime coppice workers.  Managing broadleaf woodlands for products and biodiversity Nick joined with the bioregional charcoal company and WWF to make sustainable charcoal for many large retailers in the uk, to help promote the dying trade and the importance of sustainable woodland management.  Nick spent time working on farms and in the forestry before being employed as an estate worker for the Countryside council for Wales.  During this time, he was responsible for the practical management of some of Wales finest national nature reserves, being responsible for delivering the management across dozens of SSSI and SAC features, including SPA, Ramsar and Natura 2000 habitats.  For over 20 years nick has been responsible for the management planning, the delivery and monitoring of NNR’s in south, west and mid wales, from the coast to the Mountains, and everything in between.  Nick currently works for natural Resources Wales, and besides his day job managing Nature reserves and Welsh estate government woodlands, he also is a qualified drone pilot and undertakes a vast array of remote sensing and monitoring work from forest for NRW and inter agency work.  Working from the bottom up Nick has a grounding in practical management through to planning, delivering and maintaining designated sites, with this knowledge he hopes to give a prospective into ‘on site’ delivery the practicalities and the logistics of Nature conservation works.

Carlotta Maggio

Country: Italy

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Carlotta has a BSc in Zoology and an MSc in Wildlife Management from Reading University in the UK. After a thesis and fieldwork on the ecology of a population of Eagle Owls in Spain, she returned to Italy to join WWF Oasi as a project officer working on projects in WWF Italy protected areas. She has worked on several aspects of nature reserve management, working closely with the over 40 WWF nature reserves. She coordinates daily management activities, national and international conservation projects, management plans, communication projects and nature reserve events at a local and national level.  Currently, she coordinates daily management activities of the 40 nature reserves WWF Oasi manages, protected area events and WWF Oasi’s communication projects.

Kazimierz Rabski

Country: Poland

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Kazimierz Rabski has a PhD degree as a physical-geographer. He has been working in the nature conservation sector since 1989, including nearly 5 years as Director of one of the Polish National Parks (Słowiński NP) and the next 5 years being the head of the department responsible for the international cooperation of the Polish National Parks at the Ministry of Environment.

Since 2002 Kazimierz has been working as independent consultant and expert in many state and business bodies responsible for the sustainable development and nature management of coastal areas. He is the Chairman of the Society for The Coast (EUCC-Poland), an NGO that is involved in active nature management and was the founder of Odra Delta Nature Park, the first large-scale active nature protection initiative in Poland, managed by an NGO. He has been associated with Eurosite since 1996.

Kazimierz is also known as TV programme and filmmaker, and producer of more than 230 broadcasted productions.

Patrick Nuvelstijn

Country: The Netherlands

Christophe Lépine

Country: France

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Christophe is an editor in chief for the French television. He discovered the Conservatoires d’espaces naturels when making a report about some sites a few decades ago. He then became a volunteer for the Conservatoires, which are one of the most important NGO’s in France, managing natural sites. The Conservatoires have over 10000 members, and 1000 employees who are employed everywhere in France. He became the president of the Conservatoire d’espaces naturels des Hauts-de-France in Northern France. Since 2019, Christophe is also the president of the national federation of Conservatoires.

Kevin Feytons

Country: Belgium

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Kevin graduated in Nature and Forestry education in 2010 in Belgium. Since 2011 he has been working for Natuurpunt, the biggest nature NGO in the Flemish part of Belgium. First as a team leader of the professional workers, later on as a field biologist to make management plans and coordinate nature restoration works for several Flemish and European projects. Through this work, he has become very experienced in Flora and habitat monitoring.

Apart from his professional career, Kevin is also active as a volunteer to manage some nature reserves in his neighbourhood and he is often outside looking for interesting nature scenes as a passionate nature photographer.

Stanislav Brezina

Country: Czech Republic

Eva Katrana

Country: Greece

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Eva has a Biology MSc. from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki. Her main projects focus on environmental education and ornithology. For the last 13 years she has been working at Thermaikos gulf Protected Areas Management Authority organising environmental education programs (working with thousand students and teachers) and coordinating monitoring programs for wild birds. The protected area of Axios delta feels like home to her, where she can spend endless hours in the field, monitoring wild birds.

Lefkios Sergides

Country: Cyprus

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Lefkios completed his BSc at the Department of Biology at the University of Patras in Greece. Afterwards, he went for a master’s study at Lancaster University (2004-2006) and got an MSc in Environmental Science.

Between July 2006 and August 2007, he worked as a full-time policy officer in BirdLife Cyprus. In August 2007 he was hired at the Government where he worked as an Environment Officer in the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.

In November 2010 Lefkios started working as a Conservation Officer at Terra Cypria – the Cyprus Conservation Foundation. In May 2015 he was promoted to Deputy Director – EU Policy coordinator and as of January 2017 he is the Executive Director of the Foundation.

Xavier Escuté

Country: Spain

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Lefkios completed his BSc at the Department of Biology at the University of Patras in Greece. Afterwards, he went for a master’s study at Lancaster University (2004-2006) and got an MSc in Environmental Science.

Between July 2006 and August 2007, he worked as a full-time policy officer in BirdLife Cyprus. In August 2007 he was hired at the Government where he worked as an Environment Officer in the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.

In November 2010 Lefkios started working as a Conservation Officer at Terra Cypria – the Cyprus Conservation Foundation. In May 2015 he was promoted to Deputy Director – EU Policy coordinator and as of January 2017 he is the Executive Director of the Foundation.

SECRETARIAT

The Secretariat supports the Eurosite members, and Board and Council, to implement Eurosite’s Strategy. We coordinate and develop the network activities and organise training opportunities for European site managers. Being the first point of contact for partners, collaborators and others, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Harm Schoten

Director

Country: Netherlands

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Contact
hschoten@eurosite.org

Education
Chemical engineering, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Experience
Harm is a Dutch native who started working at Eurosite on 1 January 2021. Before taking on his role as Eurosite’s Director, he worked at the Dutch BirdLife partner ‘Vogelbescherming Nederland’ for over a decade in the leading position as Head of the Nature Unit. Harm was in charge of advocacy, capacity, strategic development planning, communication, and fundraising for the conservation of Natura 2000 areas. His work focused on large-scale nature restoration projects through cooperation with various stakeholders, business partners and governments. Before his time at the VBN, he worked as a Senior Policy Officer at the Witteveen+Bos – a Dutch consultancy specialised in Strategic and Environmental Impact Assessment – and the independent research organisation TNO. Harm has been a Council Member of Natuurmonumenten for eight years, and is currently serving as the Board Chair of A Rocha Nederland, the Dutch branch of the renowned international Christian nature conservation organisation.

“Every day I am inspired by the beauty of nature and people surrounding me. I am a keen naturalist with a particular passion for birds and insects. When I see a hoverfly hovering in the warm sunlight, it reminds me of being part of something higher. I love diversity in nature, but even more so in humankind. With differences in language, culture, gender etc. Eurosite is a true expression of varieties. I hope to continue Eurosite’s successful trajectory as a leading network for conservation practitioners in Europe. Together with our members, strategic partners and with the Secretariat, we will take Eurosite’s Reach, Relevance, Resilience and Recognition to the next level!”

 

Wojciech Wróż

Project Officer

Country: Poland

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Contact
wmroz@eurosite.org

Education
M.Sc. Environmental Biology; PhD Environmental Biology, Jagiellonian University, Poland.

Experience
Wojciech is an experienced, highly qualified ecologist with 19 years of practical experience in nature conservation in various sectors. He has proven, professional experience in several positions in very diverse multi-stakeholder projects: starting from field research technician, GIS technician and data analyst, independent researcher, head of scientific department, large scale project manager, national coordinator of natural habitats monitoring scheme, international expert and finally – independent ecological consultant and expert in nature conservation for WWF. At Eurosite he will fulfil the role of Project Officer.

“I am considered as a very open-minded, team and task-oriented, flexible, innovative and creative person. I’ve got also a deep understanding of diverse socio-economic conditions. I’m keen on travelling and working in multicultural environment.”

 

Carlijn Poirters

Senior Project and Finance Officer

Country: Netherlands

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Contact
cpoirters@eurosite.org

Education
International Business & Languages, University of Applied Sciences ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

Experience
Carlijn is Dutch and has been with Eurosite since the summer of 2002. She has worked on various projects from the European Commission and national governments and contributed to Eurosite publications such as the Eurosite Strategy 2015 – 2020, Annual Reports and newsletters, and the development of the current Eurosite website. Throughout the years she has gained a lot of experience in financial management and reporting. Since the summer of 2013 Carlijn has coordinated the activities of the Secretariat in Tilburg in close collaboration with the Eurosite Board. She supports the overall governance of the network, including the organisation of Annual Meetings and other activities of the network.

“I enjoy working for Eurosite, supporting the site managers across Europe that take care of the practical management of Europe’s nature sites, safeguarding our natural heritage. Eurosite is a very friendly network and is truly a ‘home for suits and muddy boots’. We all have common objectives and enjoy sharing our experiences for the benefit of nature.”

 

Hans von Sonntag

Campaigner

Country: Germany

more information

Contact
hvonsonntag@eurosite.org

Education
Self-taught

Experience

Hans von Sonntag is a father of two, a happy husband and an award-winning film director in the advertising industry.

He started his career in 1989 in Berlin when the wall broke down as a news cameraman at 22. While directing and shooting for international companies and campaigns, he always tried to keep in touch with social issues by supporting campaigns of UNESCO, UNEP, private CSR activities and many more.

Today, the most pressing social issue is the exacerbating climate warming and the looming breakdown of habitats. If that is not appropriately tackled soon, humanity’s future is dire, and so is the lot of everyone else living on planet earth. Please fill in the species you like most.

Hans focuses on political campaigning for climate protection and environmental restoration, which he considers the same. He believes everyone can make a difference and thinks of Eurosite as a great place to meet like-minded people and exciting opportunities.

You can check out his work here.

“Sticking to Andy Warhol, I love to do things over and over again. And why is that? Because I want desperately to know how the outcome will be this time around.”

 

Carolina Halevy

Project Manager

Country: Netherlands

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Contact
chalevy@eurosite.org

Education
B.Sc. Business Administration, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands; M.Sc. Environmental Sciences (Earth System Governance), Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Experience
Carolina is an ambitious recent graduate, originally from Germany. Throughout her career as a student she led the business team of the Hogeschool Utrecht at an international competition of the U.S. Department of Energy (Solar Decathlon), worked as a research assistant at Utrecht University, took an active role in University governance as council member and class representative and also followed the European Institute of Innovation & Technology Climate-KIC programme. Besides that, she previously worked for the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Natuurmonumenten, Eurosite and the Reef Renewal Foundation International. At Eurosite her main role is the project management of the LIFE project “European Networks for Private Land Conservation”. She also takes on the role of European representative at the International Land Conservation Network (ILCN).

“Having worked as an intern with Eurosite before, I am happy to be part of such a great team again. I am looking forward to actively contribute towards Eurosite’s goals, help expand the network and work hard on project implementation and management.”

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

This website is financed by the EU’s LIFE Programme