Election of IALE Executive Committee (2015-2019) has started!

The following candidates for positions in the IALE Executive Committee are nominated for the term 2015-2019. You can find short CVs and mission statements of each candidate below. 

A web-based voting procedure will be distributed to all current IALE-members in good standing by email shortly before 15 May 2015. The election will conclude on 15 June 2015. The new executive committee will take position during the 9th IALE World Congress in Portland (July 5-10, 2015).

Nominated are:

  • President: Christine Fürst (IALE Germany)
  • Vice Presidents (2 positions): Henry Bulley (IALE USA & IALE Africa), Andreas Christensen (IALE Denmark), Sima Fakheran (IALE Iran), Richard Smithers (IALE UK)
  • Secretary-General: Thomas C. Edwards (IALE USA)
  • Treasurer (1 position): Irene Petrosillo (IALE Italy), Mihai Sorin Stupariu (IALE Romania)
  • Bulletin Editor and Deputy Secretary General: Benjamin Burkhard (IALE Germany)

Candidates for the same position are listed in alphabetical order. Two vice-presidents elected in 2013, Robert M. Scheller (IALE USA) and Liding Chen (IALE China), will serve on the new Executive Committee until 2017.

According to the statutes you still have the possibility to suggest your own write-in candidates for the election. Write-in candidates will be added to the list of candidates on the voting ballot and announced through the Web Page. You should forward proposed write-in candidates to the Secretary-General Thomas Edwards (t.edwards(at) before 15 April 2015.

To be valid, the proposed Executive Committee position for the write-in candidate should be clearly indicated, and there must be an acceptance of nomination from the candidate.


  • 15 April 2015: Nominations of additional write-in candidates in the hands of the Secretary-General (t.edwards(at)
  • 15 May – 15 June 2015: Web-based election
  • After 15 June 2015: Results announced through the IALE Bulletin, the webpage, and at the 2015 IALE World Congress, Portland, OR


by the IALE International nomination committee: Xiuzhen Li, K Bruce Jones, Emilio Padoaschioppa, Richard Smithers and Guillermo Martinez Pastur


Candidates' CVs and mission statements:

Nomination for President:

Christine Fürst
Center for Development Research, Bonn University, Germany

Currently I am Senior Researcher at the Center for Development Research and Private Docent at the Agricultural Faculty, University of Bonn, Germany. My background is forest sciences with specialization in soil sciences and I focused in my habilitation on  integrated land use planning. My research addresses the simulation and integrated assessment of land use change and land system adaptation to climate change. More specifically, I am researching on land systems in West-Africa, South-America and Europe and how to integrate manifold knowledge sources and participatory processes in estimating potential futures of socio-ecological systems. I am highly interested in exploring land systems resilience related to the functioning of key ecological processes and the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. I am member of IALE Germany and currently involved in further developing the IALE Africa chapter. My high interest in integrative land systems research guided me to funding in 2011 the European Land-use Institute with currently 70 members in 21 countries that cooperate on enhancing inter- and transdisciplinarity in land use planning and sustainable resource management as a relevant aspect in transferring the principles of landscape ecology to practical decision making. The European Land-use Institute organizes since 2011 a series of conferences on regional resources management with the aim to facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation in publishing and research independently from projects. Based upon this activity, ELI started in 2012 to act as European Nodal Office of the Global Land Project to connect European and international landscape research. Starting from this partnership, we funded in 2013 the journal Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems (CASES, de Gruyter) to provide a forum for running research, critical discussion and reporting on lessons learnt in land system research. I am also editorial member in Ecological Indicators and International Journal of Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services & Management to serve the scientific community. I am steering committee member in the Ecosystem Services Partnership and started most recently as expert for scoping regional studies in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. My motivation for the participation in such different networks is to contribute to connect different science communities, to build a bridge between basic and applied research in landscape ecology and to support the transfer of the research outcomes in policy processes. My publication record consists of more than 100 scientific papers of which more than 40 are in peerreviewed and internationally acknowledged journals or book series covering a broad range of aspects in socio-ecological system research. 


Mission statement
Landscape Ecology provides the irreplaceable scientific frame to understand, consult and guide the sustainable development of land systems in a world of change. IALE is therefore serving society in indispensable manner by bundling essential approaches and knowledge on landscape ecological processes and functioning. These form the basis for all other research on land use change, and its impact on the provision of public goods and ecosystem services. As a president of IALE, I aim at enhancing the awareness of the scientific community, but also of policy makers and research funders on the outstanding value of landscape ecology research. I wish to contribute to increase the communication and connect IALE in complementary manner with different networks such as ESP and processes such as IPBES that base their work on landscape ecological fundaments. An important objective for me is to attract and involve more intensively young scientists in IALE events and related publications to support their active participation in shaping the future of research in landscape ecology. I feel also dedicated to support developing countries especially in Africa in becoming involved in IALE and contribute with their experiences to widen our view and understanding of interactions between human beings and nature in the landscape context.  I understand the role of the president as an initiator, moderator and facilitator of communication and cooperation building processes in IALE to strengthen its unique science community, to enhance the active codesign of the profile of IALE international and raise its public visibility. My vision is therefore to assist in building and further developing regional and strong national chapters and their intra- and intercontinental exchange and collaboration.


Nomination for Vice President:

Henry Nii Nmai Bulley
Geography and GIScience BMCC, City University of New York, USA


My background is in the applications of Geospatial Science, machine learning techniques, and Landscape Ecology to water resource assessments. My research interest is in understanding the interactions between anthropological land use dynamics and the natural environment with a focus on sustainable water ecosystem services. This research interest follows two concurrent tracks. First is integration of GIS and remote sensing with spatial modeling and machine learning algorithms to improve land use classification. Secondly, it involves the integration of landscape m etrics with geospatial modeling to assess inland water bodies and their watersheds. Being a native of Ghana in West Africa, I have an outreach interest to facilitate the adoption of geospatial science and landscape ecology principles for assessing ecosystems services to support sustainable development in Africa. I have been a member of IALE since the 1999 IALE World Congress in Snowmass, and a founding chair of the Africa Regional Chapter of IALE following the 2002 US IALE meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska. Since then, I have organized special sessions on “Landscapes of Africa” during the 2003 and 2007 IALE Congresses. I also co-organized a symposium on Landscape Ecology and Geospatial Science for Sustainable Development and Poverty Alleviation in Developing Countries at the 2008 US-IALE meeting in Madison, WI. Currently, I am co-organizing a Symposium on Prospects of Geo-spatial Technologies and Landscape Sustainability in Africa (with the option of live-webcast for colleagues in Africa), as well as a preconference workshop on Modeling landscape change and ecosystem services at the upcoming 2015 IALE World Congress. As interim chair of the Africa Chapter of IALE, I am currently leading efforts to leverage Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to bridge the gap between scientific research (Geospatial Science and Landscape Ecology) and Resource Managers (extension agents, policy makers, community organizers, etc.) in order to enhance the provision of Ecosystems Services for sustainable livelihood. These efforts include publicizing IALE and mobilizing African scientists to join. I have organized successful Landscape Ecology webinar series in 2013, and Guest Editor of special issue on Africa Landscape Ecology journal. Other works include coordinating efforts to introduce Landscape Ecology Curriculum in African Universities. I have also promoted the application and testing of usability of the USGS Ecosystems dataset
on Africa, by the IALE Africa Community.


Position statement
One of the key mission statements of IALE, is making landscape ecology science and integrative tools “applicable to real landscape situations and applying them in solving problems.” I see this reflected in my outreach and scholarly activities to develop effective methods to characterize and quantify landscape dynamics in order to understand and model human impact on different environments and water ecosystem services. I am pleased to be nominated for the position of IALE Vice President. As IALE VP, I intend to (i) continue and extend my outreach via Webinar Series to reflect Landscape Ecology applications in other developing countries beyond Africa, (ii) help with the establishment and support of local/regional IALE, especially Africa, (iii) assist with organizing regional conferences and workshops (iv) champion the introduction of Landscape Ecology curriculum in countries where it has not been well established as a scholarly subject, and (iv) promote Scholarly publications in the Landscape Ecology journal by African Scientists (and practitioners) thereby enhancing the knowledgebase and application of the Landscape Ecology. Finally, I hope to explore the potential for hosting the 2019 IALE WC in Africa (most likely in South Africa or Uganda). African landscapes present unique opportunities to examine landscape ecology principles and integrative tools. As such, bringing the IALE community to Africa will move IALE a step closer to the goal of making Landscape Ecology a scientific basis for sustainable resources management around the world.


Nomination for Vice President

Andreas Aagaard Christensen
University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Andreas Aagaard Christensen is a geographer and landscape ecologist specializing in the study of rural landscape management. He has an MSc in Geography and Cultural Studies and a BA in Psychology. Since 2011 he has been employed at the University of Copenhagen where he is finishing his PhD in landscape ecology. His research concentrates on GISassisted analysis of landscape management in western agricultural landscapes. Andreas has been a member of IALE since 2008 and member of the executive committee of Danish IALE since 2009. He served as vice-chairman in Danish IALE from 2009 to 2012 and has been responsible for web-communication and the organization of national conferences.


Position Statement:
As vice-president for the international IALE he wants to: 1. Work towards a closer integration between natural- and social-science perspectives in landscape ecology;
2. Guarantee that IALE-international stays democratic and transparent; 3. Ensure that the heritage of landscape ecology as an integrative and spatially explicit science is made more visible and receives more attention. Researchers within disciplines such as geography, economics, sociology and anthropology are currently searching for ways to integrate ecological and social approaches in the study of environmental change. The history of landscape-ecological research and policy-advice has demonstrated how this can be done, but landscape ecology is being overlooked in many circles. Therefore we need to highlight, support and increase attention to the integrative, holistic potentials of Landscape ecology, which is currently receiving less attention than it should, both in academia and among policy-makers.

Nomination for Vice President:
Sima Fakheran
Department of Environmental Sciences, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.


Dr. Sima Fakheran is Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran. She served as one of the main founding members of IALE-Iran, and did an outstanding job in setting up the Iranian regional chapter of IALE and for promoting the science of landscape ecology in Iran. She was elected as President of IALE-Iran in 2012. She was the Scientific Chair of the First International Conference of IALE-Iran in October 2013. Graduating from two different continents in different languages, environments and cultures; consulting many students, founding and working in several professional organizations; sitting on the board of directors for IALE-Iran and department of environmental sciences at Isfahan University of Technology as a young female professor at a male dominated environment in Iran; provided her with a unique set of skills to listen, understand, solution, plan, develop and deliver. She is passionate about helping organizations to foster development and innovations through international networking,  communication and learning.


Position statement
It is an honor for me to be nominated as IALE Vice-President and, if elected, will facilitate international collaborations and foster greater communication among all the Regional Chapters. I believe we should increase our visibility and have leading role not only in academic society but also in policy making, in particular in developing countries and the Middle-East region which needs more consideration and supports for solving the environmental disasters and for making the world a better place. I would like to conduct the following activities for IALE:

  • Conduct self-assessment and SWOT analysis among regional chapters for strategy developement.
  • Organizing Annual meeting/workshops for the EC of the regional chapters to foster networking (at least for the chapters at the same region/continent).
  • Design training programs and materials.
  • Supporting the new established chapters, Fundraising for the educational activities, and promoting opportunity for everyone.


Nomination for Vice President:
Richard Smithers
Ricardo-AEA Ltd, UK

Richard has been a member of IALE’s UK chapter since 2002. He was UK President for five years from 2009-2014 and was an International Council member from 2011-2014. During his time as President, ialeUK developed a mission statement, hosted the IALE European Congress, joined IALE-Europe, organised international conferences and PhD courses annually, and supported early career researchers. Richard is Ecosystems Knowledge Leader and a Principal Consultant for Ricardo-AEA, an international environmental consultancy. He has over 30-years’ experience in the environmental field and has wideranging experience of: strategic planning; evidence and policy development; programme, policy and technical monitoring and evaluation; practical forest and land management; community involvement and citizen science. Richard has steered and provided expert input to many high-level projects for UK Government, the European Commission, and others internationally. Among those at the forefront of landscape-scale thinking in the UK for more than 15 years, Richard previously worked for the Woodland Trust, a major UK conservation NGO, in a range of pioneering roles, ultimately as their UK Conservation Adviser. 


Position statement
Now is our time, now is our moment: landscape ecology stands centre stage. Increasing realisation that “A healthy, properly functioning natural environment is the foundation of sustained economic growth, prospering communities and personal wellbeing” demands integrated landscape-scale action. As such, there is a real need for IALE to promote interest, learning and understanding of landscape ecology, and inter-disciplinary research. Furthermore, I believe IALE should reach out beyond the academic community to engage with policy makers, planners and practitioners whose work needs to be concerned with landscape ecology. Whilst it is important that IALE secures and retains sufficient members to sustain its operations, I believe the focus should be on furthering these aims rather than on increasing membership per se. I see the role of IALE as supporting the work of the chapters, consulting and agreeing with them all decisions that have potential to affect their operations, ensuring that it adds value to all they do, facilitating cooperation between chapters and helping to establish new chapters.


Nomination for Secretary-General:
Thomas C. Edwards
US Geological Survey and Utah State University, USA


Dr. Edwards currently is a Senior Research Ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and Professor in the Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University. He teaches graduate level classes in The Design and Analysis of Ecological Research, and Topics in Spatial Ecology. Dr. Edwards' current research interests include bioregional conservation planning, and the development of methods for assessing and monitoring biological diversity at large landscape scales. These efforts include (i) a European-based effort of the joint effects of climate and land change on biodiversity in Western Europe, (ii) climate change effects on conifers of western North America, and (iii) impacts of urban disturbance fronts in regions of high urban growth and development. Current efforts involve spatially explicit optimization models examining trade-offs between protection for rare plant species and high-value energy extraction in the western United States. He was Co-Chair of the 2009 US IALE Annual Meeting, Snowbird, Utah, and currently serves as the Secretary-General for the IALE International Executive Committee. 


Position Statement:
I would like to help IALE become the world-recognized leading society for assessing global change, be it more short-term such as human-induced land change or longer-term as related to changing climates. As an international organization, we already have many research and application nodes for evaluating landscape processes and patterns world-wide, nodes that could be integrated for better global perspectives. Unlike purely ecological or sociological societies, we in IALE also have mixtures of skills that cross ecological, socio-demographic, and economic discipline boundaries. Within the Society, I would seek to foster increased international collaboration for applications of landscape ecology to understanding global change. I would also work to attract young scientists to the society, working to support their research in broadly defined landscape ecology, and ensuring they become the next generations of membership in IALE. 


Nomination for Treasurer:
Irene Petrosillo
Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Salento Lecce, Italy

Irene Petrosillo is a landscape ecology researcher at the University of Salento. She teaches Landscape Ecology and Environmental Impact Assessment in the Master Course in Environmental Sciences, and Ecology in the national Graduate School in Archeology at the University of Salento. She studied Biological Sciences at the University of Salento, and obtained her PhD in Basic Ecology in 2005 with a dissertation on tourism-based socio-ecological systems. Irene Petrosillo got international working experience during her visiting research periods in Germany at the Ecology Center of the University of Kiel. Her research interests focus on the spatio-temporal dynamics of socio-ecological landscapes, relationships between ecosystem services and landscape pattern and processes. More recently, she has been involved in two interesting collaborations: one with archaeologists to analyze medieval socio-ecological landscapes, and the other with the Italian National Agency for New Technology, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development to give a landscape ecology contribution to the spatial configuration renewable energy power plants. Irene Petrosillo is a IALE member, one of the founder members of the Ecosystem Services Partnership, and a member of the Italian Society of Ecology. Her publications include numerous papers on ISI Journals, a book on “The Use of Landscape Sciences for the Assessment of Environmental Security” published by Springer, several book chapters, one edited special issue and numerous reviews for international highly ranked journals. 


Position Statement
I really believe that as an active IALE member I have and I want to give my contribution not only to Landscape Ecology research, but also to the Landscape Ecology community dedicating part of my time to aspects of common interest for IALE members. I intend to continue the work undertaken by my predecessor and I want to give value to the results that will be achieved, highlighting the effectiveness of economic resources’ management by the Executive Committee, and supporting the Executive Committee in enhancing the activities of the Association and of Regional Chapters. In addition, since I like the integrated approach, I will try to foster the integration among disciplines. Three aspects will characterize my work: organization, transparency of the activities that I will carry forward, and credibility of the results. 


Nomination for Treasurer:
Mihai-Sorin Stupariu
University of Bucharest, Romania


Dr. Mihai-Sorin Stupariu is researcher with the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (ICUB) and lecturer at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. He is founder member of the IALE Romania chapter, member of IALE Romania Council and active member of IALE since 2009. His current in landscape ecology, with a focus on the connections between terrain variability and landscape patterns. He coordinates interdisciplinary researches exploring the relationship between surface properties at various scales and ecological processes. Mihai-Sorin Stupariu’s publications focus both on mathematical topics and on landscape ecological issues.


Position statement: 

As a mathematician, I would be pleased to use my number crunching expertise for acting as Treasurer of IALE. I want to: (i) continue the work of the past treasurer; (ii) further develop his approaches concerning financial and membership issues; (iii) promote facilities for young IALE researchers; (iv) encourage interdisciplinary approaches in landscape analyses. 


Nomination for Bulletin Editor and Deputy Secretary General:
Benjamin Burkhard
Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, Kiel University, Germany


I am a geographer and landscape ecologist teaching and working with transdisciplinary human-environmental system analyses in various national and international projects, dealing for example with landscape management in Northern Finland, rice agricultural in Southeast Asia and integrative coastal zone management. I have been working the last 14 years at the Institute for Natural Resource Conservation at Kiel University, Germany. I studied Geography at the Universities of Berlin and Uppsala and received my PhD in Ecology in 2004 and my habilitation in Geography in 2012. My main research focus is on mapping and modelling ecosystem services at different scales. I am the coordinator of the EU Horizon 2020 joint project ESMERALDA about assessment and mapping of ecosystems and their  services for policy and decision-making in the EU member states. Furthermore, I am Secretary General of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), lead of the ESP Thematic Working Group “Mapping Ecosystem Services” and since 2011 Bulletin and Web editor and Deputy Secretary General IALE International. I am editorial board member of the journals Ecosystem Services and Ecological Indicators and active author, guest editor and reviewer for numerous highly ranked scientific journals. I got international working experience during research stays at the University of Salento, Italy, the University of Adelaide, Australia, the University of Arizona, USA, and during regular research and teaching stays in Finland, Austria and China. I am teaching systems analysis in the international MSc curricula in the Kiel School of Sustainability.


Position statement 

As an active member in international research networks  and as an active member of the current IALE Executive Committee, I want to continue to contribute to the dissemination of relevant landscape-science information and data via the IALE Bulletin and the website. I am convinced that both media have high potential to reach a broad international audience in landscape science and from other disciplines or interests.


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