According to the statutes of IALE large parts of the executive committee has to be elected in 2023. The following positions are open:
- Deputy Secretary-General and Communication Officer
- 3 Vice Presidents
11 valid candidates have shown their interest and have been nominated. Their short biographies and mission statements are shown on this website.
Further schedule of the elections
- 01 March 2023: Publication of the first bulletin 2023 with official announcement of the election.
- 15 March 2023: Voting portal opens (online voting). Members in good standing (included in the IALE World member database through reporting by chapters and direct IALE World members) will receive a personalised ballot link with further voting instruction.
- 15 May 2023: Voting portal closes
- Late May: Announcement of the results
I am currently Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Michigan State University (MSU). I hold a joint research appointment with the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations and served as the interim director (2021-22). I am also an adjunct faculty member of the Geography Department at MSU. I have investigated the coevolved relationships between urbanization, landscape and environmental changes, and economic development under climate change, institutional transformation, and globalization in transitional economies (China, Mongolia, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, Russia, Romania), in the Global South, and at a global scale. I have served as PI/Co-I on numerous external grants from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). I am a Core Fulbright US Scholar for 2017-2018 in East Asia. I have served on the review panels for NASA, EPA, and Fulbright, and been ad-hoc reviewer for NSF and multiple international organizations. I am the elected Secretary General (SG) of International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) (2019-2023), the Deputy Director of the Landscape Ecology Working Party of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) (2019-), and an associate editor of the flagship journal in the field of urban planning “Landscape and Urban Planning.” It has been my privilege to serve as the SG of IALE (2019-2023) during the challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, I led a team that successfully identified a service provider and launched an online membership management system that has eased the financial transactions of membership dues, with regular update of the membership databases, and communications with all chapters and affected parties.
Inspired by the past and current presidents, I would be extremely honored to continue to serve the IALE in a new capacity as its elected president. I hope that through working with the executive committee, the council, and the working groups, IALE will continue to be the flagship professional organization for landscape ecologists worldwide. My plan for IALE in the next few years will focus on the following the aspects (1) continue to improve the scientific rigor and recognition of the discipline of landscape ecology, (2) cultivating the next generation IALE leaders and scholars through promoting the participation of the young scholars of IALE activities, and (3) enhance IALE’s collaborations with other related professional communities. First, working with regional and national chapters of IALE, I will lead IALE to collaborate with high-impact journals and publishers to advance our knowledge of landscape ecology. Detailed activities will include: promoting special issues at our signature LE related or other high-impact journals; organizing research exchanges through professional meetings and webinars; and setting up awards to acknowledge the scholarly excellences of the LE community. Second, to ensure the sustainability of the landscape ecology and foster the growth of next generation global scholars and leaders, I plan to encourage more participation of young researchers in IALE activities and allocate more IALE financial resources to support that endeavor. Third, I plan to expand the global reach of IALE and its collaboration and exchange with other related professional organizations. Following the 2023 World Congress organized by IALE-Africa, I will particularly promote the expansion of the reach of IALE in the Global South, i.e., Africa, Asia, and South America. Further, I plan to lead our Executive Committee and interested scholars to enhance our ties with related organizations such as UNEP, IUFRO, IGU, GLP, and World Bank. I believe collective and interdisciplinary effort can make more profound impacts in the knowledge domain of landscape ecology.
Benjamin Burkhard is a physical geographer and landscape ecologist at Leibniz University Hannover, where he is a Full Professor and Director of the Institute of Physical Geography and Landscape Ecology. His research includes systematic analyses of landscape structures and processes with a special focus on human-environmental interactions and ecosystem services modelling and mapping. Since 2011, he has filled different positions in the IALE Executive Committee, including Communication Officer, Deputy Secretary General and Vice President. Burkhard is also Co-Chair of the IALE partner organization Ecosystem Services Partnership ESP and Editor-in-chief of One Ecosystem – Ecology and Sustainability Data Journal. His teaching activities include classes on landscape genesis, human-environmental system analysis, ecosystem services, agro-ecology and GIS at BSc, MSc and PhD level.
As an active member in various international research networks, projects and science-policy initiatives and as a long-term member of the IALE Executive Committee, I want to continue to contribute to the Association’s further development by bringing in my long-term experience and contacts, but at the same time also by providing new ideas and visions. IALE and landscape ecology are urgently needed to provide integrated and sustainably solutions for today’s manifold challenges and crises. Pattern and processes do matter at global, national and regional scales in the short and the long-run and the global IALE network can certainly contribute useful and applicable knowledge. As Secretary General, my goal will be to maintain and improve the communication and knowledge sharing within IALE, harnessing different communication channels to link IALE members, the IALE EC and other relevant networks, institutions and people. Furthermore, I will to support the IALE daily business, management and the various activities.
Professional background: I defended my dissertation at the University of Bucharest in 2014, “Spatial and landscape effects of urban dynamics and expansion. Case study: Ploiesti Metropolitan Area”. Since 2012, I have been involved in research projects implemented by the Centre of Environmental Research and Impact Studies: Six projects funded by Romanian National Science Foundation (NSF), one LIFE project funded by the European Commission, and two projects funded through EU programmes. I have researched urban green space planning, nature-based solutions, and biodiversity conservation. Recently, I coordinated an NSF funded project on integrated planning of public and private services` accessibility in metropolitan areas. Throughout the years, I collaborated with public institutions in Romania and served as scientific expert in the fields of GIS, biodiversity conservation, and human impact assessment. I am actively involved in academic activities within the Department of Regional Geography and Environment at the University of Bucharest. Among the classes held in the past years, including Introduction in Landscape Ecology, Environmental Geography, Environmental Conflicts, Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Territorial Planning and Environment.
Involvement in IALE: I am among the founding members of the IALE Romania chapter. Founded in 2013, the chapter is now the leading scientific community in the field of landscape ecology in Romania. Over time, I actively took part in the IALE events: I gave talks at the IALE 2013 European Congress in Manchester and the 10th IALE World Congress in Milan (2019), and I was part of the organising committee of ELI-IALE Conference held in 2020 in Bucharest. In the past 10 years, the other founding members of IALE Romania and I, aimed to provide a platform for young scientists (master and Ph.D. students) to express themselves within a highly competitive framework represented by the IALE International community. Furthermore, we developed educational projects which aimed to raise awareness regarding environmental and landscape protection within socio-economic deprived communities in Romania.
Qualification for targeted position:
Since 2013, when the chapter was established, I have been holding the treasurer position of IALE Romania chapter and have been serving this position with great pleasure and a sense of responsibility. As a member of the Centre of Environmental Research and Impact Studies, I have been involved in several projects, in which, besides scientific activities, I have been assigned with administrative duties, most of them focusing on financial aspects. As project leader in one research project (funding: 50,000 EUR) and as part of the project implementation unit within another (funding: 3,8 mil. EUR), I have managed budgets, kept track of expenses and redistributed money across budget chapters in order to achieve the projects’ aims and goals. Moreover, my experience was further enriched by the role of coordinator or co-coordinator of student field activities at the Faculty of Geography, which is financed from the University of Bucharest budgets. All the above-mentioned experiences have helped me develop the skills required for the treasurer position at IALE.
Aims and goals if position attained:
If elected for the position of Treasurer of IALE International, I will fulfil my obligations in accordance with the IALE status, and in permanent contact with the IALE Executive Committee (EC) and boards of regional and national chapters. I will begin by having a briefing meeting with the former treasurer and President to be updated on the budget and expenses of IALE. I will always work closely with the IALE EC. During the treasurer mandate, I will openly support the funding/co-funding of small projects oriented to boost the carriers of young researchers in landscape ecology and encourage the support of national chapters aiming to organize local or regional activities (e.g., thematic workshops). I will guarantee support for new chapters and members wishing to be part of IALE and I will ensure the members and the EC of full transparency and disclosure of IALE expenses and fees collection. As a global economic recession is possible, I will encourage the EC to efficiently handle the IALE funds.
Deputy Secretary-General and Communication Officer Candidates
This past academic year I have served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Geosciences at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. I also hold an Associate Professor position at Miami University with a dual appointment in the Department of Geography and the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability. I am currently employed at a consulting firm (AECOM) as their urban and sustainability planner. There, I am leading the finalization of SustainableBreck, the Sustainability Plan for the Town of Breckenridge Colorado. I am also Deputy Program Manager for USAFA’s Open Space Master Plan.
My professional interests include contributing to research on human-environment interactions from the perspectives of landscape ecology, land change science, environmental planning, and sustainability science. I am GISP certified (#99246), hold a Remote Pilot license for sUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft System; #3984109), and am a certified ENVISION Sustainability Professional.
At Miami University, I direct the Sustainable Landscapes and Communities Lab. The lab's research focuses on human-environment interactions. We are particularly interested in how land use land cover change can affect the sustainability of landscapes and communities in both urban and non-urban systems and at a variety of scales. We incorporate complex geospatial analyses, simulation models, statistics, as well as social survey and field data to study a number of research topics. Some of our work focuses on modeling the effects of land use land cover change on honey production (as a proxy for honeybee health) and wild bee abundance and richness. This work has been funded by the USGS and USDA. We are also interested in studying the provision and distribution of ecosystem services in urban landscapes, as well as how those ecosystem services might be maintained and enhanced.
At Miami University, I have also led several internal initiatives, including revising the Geography Department’s workload policy and developing an online graduate GIS certificate. At USAFA, I led the development of a proposal for a new Sustainability Minor and Major and provided extensive feedback on USAFA’s Sustainability Strategic Plan. I also developed and administered an exit survey for USAFA Geospatial Science majors, and lead the redesign of the Geospatial Science Program website.
I received my B.A. degree in Biology from Earlham College where I was Phi Beta Kappa, my M.S. degree in Oceanography with a focus on remote sensing from the University of Delaware at the former Center for Marine Studies and my Ph.D. from Purdue University in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. At Purdue University and at Miami University I have received multiple teaching accolades.
I would relish the opportunity to serve as Vice Secretary General for IALE and be your liaison to the Executive Council. This position requires excellent communication skills. I strive to get my points across clearly and succinctly as well as respond quickly to queries.
From 2013 to 2020 I was a member of the policy committee at the North American Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (NA-IALE). We worked collaboratively under the leadership of Dr. Audrey Meyer to publish a manuscript highlighting landscape ecology’s contribution to global change policy (Meyer et al. 2016). I have also served as a member of the communications committee for NA-IALE starting in 2019. I was tasked with keeping the membership email list up to date and query the database to answer various questions about membership and report overall membership health for the annual newsletters. Additionally, for one or two NA-IALE award recipients each year, I wrote press releases announcing their awards. This included first interviewing some of their colleagues and mentors. I relished this opportunity, as it allowed me to learn what some of my esteemed colleagues had accomplished in greater depth and personalize the award announcements.
If elected, if there are specific issues you would like to see put forth, please contact me. I would gladly marshal new initiatives such as gauging interest in new working groups or chapters.
Mayer A., J. Bossenbroeck, B. Buma, A. Davis, J. Franklin, S. Gagne, M. Krawchuk, J. Littell, E.L. Loudermilk, R. Scheller, F. Schmiegelow, and Y. Wiersma. 2016. Landscape Ecology’s contribution to global change policy. Bioscience 66(6): 458-469.
Academic qualification: Dr. Peter Wangai is a Kenyan with an academic background in environmental studies and community development from Kenyatta University. He holds a PhD in Ecology (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services) from Kiel University, Germany and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Resource Management from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. He works fulltime as a lecturer and examinations coordinator at Kenyatta University in Kenya.
Expertise and focus: Peter’s expertise is on human-environment interfaces, ecosystem services mapping/assessment, sustainability, socio-ecological systems, and community development with a biased focus on terrestrial ecosystems. Peter is engaged in transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, which have opened new horizons of understanding ecosystem and landscape dynamics at interfaces between landscapes and seascapes, and urban and rural areas, where exchanges of material, energy and information occur in a complex and unique way.
Current research work: Peter is actively involved in five (5) research projects; the Consortium lead for ‘Building Urban Community Networks for Sustainable Cities in Africa (UComNetSus-Africa) (2021-2023)’, the Co-PI for 2 IDS-UK funded projects namely, “connecting agropastoralism culture to milk commercialization policy” (2020-2023) and the “Pan-African network for the arts in environmentally sustainable development” in Baringo County (2020-2023), and the country research partner for the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC228) Phase II sub-project A04 on ‘Future Conservation’ funded by the German Research Council (DFG) (2022-2024).
Training and capacity building: Peter is a Technical Working Group member in the UNESCO-Kenyatta University project entitled ‘Higher Education Development for Green Economy and Sustainability (HEDGES)’, and a trainer with the annual Nairobi Summer School on Climate Justice. He has developed curricula, training manuals and modules for different target groups and consumers, as well are conducting periodical curricula reviews. He has also offered consultancies to a variety of local and international organisations such as the Greenpeace Africa, Civil Rights Groups, and scientific initiatives.
Leadership and administration: Peter has been involved in organizing scientific panels and sessions. For example, in 2022, Peter was central in planning a panel during the VAD2022, and a convenor of a session during the SRI2022 in Pretoria, South Africa. Peter also serves in the local organizing committee for the IALE2023 World Congress. Between 2019-2021, Peter served as the Secretary General for the KAAD Association of Scholars in East Africa (KASEA), and he is currently the Secretary General for the charity arm of KASEA- Society of KASEA (SOK).
I understand that the position of the Deputy Secretary General for the IALE comes with a big responsibility for the planet and people. In the recent past, we have witnessed unprecedented change in landscapes and seascapes. Such changes have led to the emergence of unwarranted trajectories that have caused climate change and variability, loss of biodiversity, land degradation, aquatic and atmospheric pollution, and emergence of bizarre diseases. For example, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report of 2005 indicated that over 60% of ecosystems globally were degraded and that deliberate interventions were urgently needed for their restoration. Although restoration efforts are currently being coordinated under the framework “UN Decade on ecosystem restoration 2021-2030”, the unwarranted trajectories have continued to affect livelihoods, cultures, national economies, human health, regional and global peace. For example, sources of livelihoods, cultures, sense of place and geographical attachment for indigenous and traditional societies have been disrupted by unsustainable utilization of landscapes and neighbourhoods. This has been compounded by the ever-increasing human population that stands at eight (8) billion today, and the inclination to consumerism mode of lifestyles. The world is witnessing massive deforestation, overextraction of mineral resources, intensive agriculture, diminishing freshwater resources, inter alia because of increasing demand for material goods and services for the growing population. Ironically, over 90% of the population growth is taking place in Africa and Asia, against high level of vulnerability to landscape changes, global surprises/phenomena and limited technical and financial capacity to plan, implement, adapt and monitor social and ecological systems. In Africa for example, COVID-19 pushed an additional 46 million people to hunger between 2019 and 2022, hence derailing the pace of realizing SDG2.
Therefore, as the Deputy Secretary General for IALE, I aim to:
a. Facilitate continuous communication among all IALE members
b. Promote conversations and sharing of ideas between members of the global north and the global south
c. Consolidate and disseminate IALE and related scientific news to members
d. Advocate for publication of more local content in IALE Open Access scientific journals
e. Champion the continuous building of scientific databases of landscape dynamics
f. Accelerate technical support for developing human capital capable of addressing loss of biodiversity and heritage through landscape conservation
g. Strengthen IALE local chapters, especially in developing countries
h. Promote landscape resilience that considers the stochastic and deterministic changes in the global south
To achieve the aim, I will depend on my strong global and regional professional networks that I have built through my academic career of more than 15 years.
I am a Canadian citizen, first-generation university graduate, and child of European post-war immigrants. I am currently a Professor of Landscape Ecology in the Biology Department at Memorial University, in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. I completed my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science at the University of Guelph, and a teaching degree at the University of Toronto. After two years of teaching high school, I went back to school and did graduate work (MSc and PhD) back at the University of Guelph, with a one-year stint at Duke University as a Fulbright Visiting Fellow. In 2012-2013, I spent a sabbatical year at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and until the COVID pandemic, I actively collaborated with German colleagues on research related to forestry and to citizen science.
My research interests include parks and protected areas, wildlife, forest management, and the ways in which human activities and development affect natural systems in the boreal forest of Canada. More recently, I have been collaborating with ecosystem scientists to contribute spatial perspectives and tools to projects in ecological stoichiometry. I have also been working in the last 7 years on using arboreal lichens as model system for landscape ecology. I have collaborated with marine biologists, aquatic ecologists, geographers, historians, and information systems scientists. I have authored or co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles related to wildlife, forestry, citizen science, and landscape ecology. I was co-editor of the book Predictive Species and Landscape Ecology, and most recently authored the book Experimental Landscape Ecology, which is part of Springer’s Landscape Ecology Series.
I served on the executive of the US Chapter of the International Association of Landscape Ecology as Councillor-at-Large from 2014-2016. I was involved in helping with a charter change to re-brand that society as the IALE-North America chapter (IALE-NA). I have served as the chair of the Communications Committee for IALE-NA since 2017 and was program co-chair of the 2020 IALE-NA Conference (originally scheduled to be in Toronto but moved online very rapidly due to the COVID pandemic). I am currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology and Landscape Ecology and was a Section co-editor for Current Landscape Ecology Reports from 2018-2022.
The seeds of my interest in landscape ecology were sown in the first year of my Masters degree at the University of Guelph, when I was in a meeting with one of my committee members, Michael Moss. Mid-way through the conversation, he cocked his head, looked at me thoughtfully, and said, “You know, you might be a landscape ecologist”. Then he dug out a copy of IALE Conference proceedings he had co-edited with Bob O’Neill and others and said, “Here, have a look at this.” It turned out that Mike was right! However, back then, as the millennium was just turning, I had no idea how rich and rewarding the experience of being involved with the discipline of landscape ecology would be. At that time, there were only a handful of Canadian researchers (albeit prominent ones, such as Lenore Fahrig and Marie-Josée Fortin) who identified as landscape ecologists, so it was not a discipline that was on my radar. A PhD visiting fellowship in Dean Urban’s Landscape Ecology lab at Duke University really cemented what landscape ecology was all about. I attended my first US-IALE meeting in 2005 and made friends there, and met collaborators that I interact with to this day.
I have been involved with IALE-North America in one way or another since that first conference. I have served as a judge at the conference, organized symposia, served on the Policy committee, volunteered as the Membership Liaison, served on the Executive Council (as Councillor-at-Large), been Program Chair for a conference (two, if you count planning the Toronto meeting and pivoting to an online meeting in ~6 weeks), and most recently, chaired the Communications Committee. IALE is my primary academic “home” and attending the conference feels like a family reunion. My work on the editorial board of Landscape Ecology, organization of the 2020 meeting, sabbatical connections and attendance at the World Congress in Portland, Oregon have made me appreciate the diversity and richness of the global landscape ecology community beyond North America. I believe that, as landscape ecologists, we have a great deal to contribute to help our global citizenry address our current climate, environmental and biodiversity crisis. I would like to serve on the Executive Committee of IALE to help strengthen international ties among IALE members globally, while also working to promote the discipline to other scientists and to decision-makers. I am interested in the Deputy Secretary-General/Vice President role because I enjoy developing and maintaining communications materials. In a global organization like IALE, keeping members around the globe informed of conferences, webinars, events and policy developments is of critical importance and is something I am motivate to contribute to.
Vice President Candidates (in alphabetical order)
Prof. Mauro Agnoletti has a University Degree in Forestry. He is the Holder of the UNESCO Chair on “Agricultural Heritage Landscapes” and Associate Professor at the School of Agriculture of the University of Florence Italy (UoF). He is the Director of the Laboratory for Landscape and Cultural Heritage, and teaches Landscape Planning, Landscape Monitoring, Ecological Analysis of Landscape, Historical Ecology, and Agricultural Heritage Systems. He is the Scientific Coordinator of the National Observatory of Rural Landscape at the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forest Policies. He has written about 250 scientific papers and 20 books and was classified (2019-2022) among the most influential researchers by PLOS Biology. He started his career at the Institute of Forest Ecology of the UoF researching on the historical relationships between man and forest in order to improve the understanding of the functions of forest ecosystems. He soon got involved in the International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO) and was appointed coordinator of the research group “Forest History and Traditional Knowledge” (2005-2014) organizing several international meetings, expanding his research into policies, and developing methodologies now applied at regional and national level. He coordinated the guidelines for the political implementation of Social and Cultural Values for the Ministerial Conference for the Protection of Forest in Europe in 2007. He was one of the cofounders of the European Society of Environmental History (ESEH) serving as Vice President (2005-2009). He founded and became co-editor in chief of “Global Environmental Journal of Interdisciplinary History” and was editor-in-chief of the first book series on environmental history by Springer. He organized the first ESEH conference in Italy. He also was cofounder of the South American and Caribbean Society of Environmental History (SOLCHA). He became expert of UNESCO WHL and of the European Landscape Convention. In Italy he coordinated the “Landscape Strategy” of the Italian National Strategic Plan for Rural Development (2007-2013). He coordinated the research activities leading to the establishment of the Italian National Register of Historical Rural Landscapes. In 2014 he coordinated the UNESCO-CBD Florence declaration on the linkages between cultural and biological diversity, promoting the concept of biocultural landscapes. He chaired the Scientific Advisory Group of FAO program on agricultural heritage systems (GIAHS) and served in this role from 2015 to 2021. In 2022, he was appointed associate editor of Biodiversity and Conservation.
I have been following the activities of IALE for many years after its foundation and I have always been attracted to this scientific society. Many researcher and colleagues that I have meet, respected and /or I have been collaborating with, were member of IALE and attended the meetings. When I heard that IALE was looking for positions of President and Vice President, I decided it would be a good opportunity to contribute to the growth of the association. There several reasons why I am motivated to join IALE. First of all my research activities, teaching activities, and various positions I hold now and in the past, in international and national organizations, are closely connected to many themes promoted by IALE. Some of them are directly related to existing working groups such as Biocultural Landscapes, Forest landscape Ecology, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Management, Historical Landscape Ecology, Landscape Planning, and Landscape Metrics. During my career, I gained experience and developed skills as an organizer of scientific events, both on the communication and in the organizational aspects. Having attended about 320 national and international meetings (as a speaker in presence) and as an organizer of at least 15 national and 6 international conferences I learned about the needs of participants, the expectation of the sponsors, and the logistics of events. I also understand the difference between organizing a meeting dedicated to gathering experts in various fields for an exchange of information and networking and organize a meeting with the goal of preparing documents for policy makers and scientific institutions. I also gained experience in the internal organization of Scientific Societies, at the international level with ESEH and IUFRO, where I had the opportunity to turn scientific approaches to political actions. In this regard, despite the fact that I am no longer a young researcher, I am still willing to learn something new and the collaboration with IALE seems a fascinating opportunity.
After studying agronomy, I did my thesis at INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research) on the links between forestry and biodiversity. This was followed by a post-doc as a teacher-researcher in agro-ecology at the Toulouse School of Agronomy and a post-doc with the University of Berkeley on the propagation of uncertainty in spatial data. Since 2001, I have been a researcher at INRAE (Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, formerly INRA) in the landscape ecology laboratory Dynafor. I managed this 70-person laboratory for 7 years before taking on responsibilities in the management of one of INRAE's 14 departments (300 agents), then of an internal program on biodiversity and ecosystem services. I represent INRAE in the MAB-France association. My research activities focus on the ecological and socio-technical interactions between forests and agriculture-livestock in temperate rural landscapes, within the framework of landscape ecology and with particular attention to biodiversity, its spatial distribution, dynamics and associated ecosystem services. This research is conducted in an interdisciplinary manner, on long-term study sites, seen as complex socio-ecological systems.
Furthermore, I am a former president of the Solagro association, which is a think tank of 40 engineers working in the field of the environment and renewable energies. I am a member of the "Paysages de l’après-pétrole” (post-petroleum landscapes) association, which promotes landscape approaches to the deployment of renewable energies. I am a member of the "Greniers d’abondance” (Attics of Abundance) association, which investigates the resilience of food systems. Recently, I have led the revival of IALE-France. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I am a father of three.
In a world in crisis where resources are going to be increasingly limited, the question arises for scientists to know what direction to give to their research so that it does no further damage and instead contributes to improving the state of the world. I have been convinced by my experiences in interdisciplinary research that landscapes are relevant and indispensable levels for dealing with the current environmental crises. Landscape ecology, together with other related disciplines, provides useful frameworks, methods and tools to better take landscapes into account in resource management. For several years I have been trying to defend this idea, by communicating widely with different audiences, by contributing to the structuring of a scientific community around landscape ecology in France, by participating in the activities of IALE and the IUFRO-Landscape ecology group.
The local level of landscapes is important, but the issues are global. This is why I think that the reinforcement of the visibility of the scientific achievements of landscape ecology at the international level is very important. IALE contributes to this and I would like to help it so that landscape approaches are much better known and used.
Through this commitment, I would like to see cross-sectoral approaches, which combine forestry, agriculture, aquatic and urban issues, etc., be more developed and more oriented towards concrete implementation, within the framework of transformative sciences. I am also committed to developing our research practices so that our professions are exemplary in terms of their low impact on the environment, resilient in conditions of reduced resource availability and in solidarity with those who are less fortunate.
Dr. Keitaro Ito is a professor at Kyushu Institute of Technology and teaches landscape ecology and design. He also has been working as a vice president of IALE Japan Chapter since 2021. For the past 20 years, he has been interested in nature restoration in urban/rural areas. He has been designing and creating urban park, river, school garden and urban forest for children’s play and ecological education based on landscape ecology (Ito et al., 2010,2014, 2016). He has studied and worked in Japan, Norway, the U.K., Germany and USA. In the USA, he studied at University of Florida as a Fulbright scholar in 2020.
In Japan, open or natural space has declined rapidly, especially in urban areas, and the “Nature-based Solutions” and/or “green infrastructure” have become an important issue for improving the biological integrity of an area, and for improving social, cultural, and economic services. Therefore, it is an important issue how to manage and design open space and semi-natural space in cities for urban biodiversity based on landscape ecology.
His most recent book is: "Urban Biodiversity and Ecological Design for Sustainable Cities", Springer (2021, editor), and other books are: “Children, Nature, Cities”, Routledge, NY (2016, Chapter), “Designing Low Carbon Societies in Landscapes”, Springer, Germany (2014, Chapter), “Landscape design and biodiversity”, Wiley Blackwell, U.K. (2010, Chapter).
My essential research interests are how to understand different natural and cultural interactions in cities/regions and design landscapes based on landscape ecology. It is necessary to consider the issue of “vernacularity” for excellent regional environment. Then we will be able to discuss the characteristics of the places based on ecology, history and culture in urban and regional areas. Future landscape design should take into account vernacularity, history, and culture (Ito, 2021).
I have been designing landscape and studying the methodology of landscape design. When we think about future landscape, it is important to re-think and plan with characteristics of vernacular landscape and to include not only nature but also culture. In order to preserve and design, I use landscape ecological approaches, e.g., vegetation, culture, history, land use and biotope map. When I design these spaces, I think about the characteristics of the land or spaces.
Therefore, it will be my pleasure to contribute for IALE as a landscape designer based on landscape ecology by my research and design background. I also would like to discuss how to develop planning and management for urban green spaces and their functions, describing the fascinating interaction all over the world. And I would like to connect landscape ecologists, geologists, planners, architects and other field researchers for future collaboration.
I am a Senior Scientist and Professor at Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun (2008 – present) and Adjunct Professor of Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada (2016--2027), and Isfahan Institute of Technology, Iran (2021-2024). I have been a Visiting Professor to the Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany in 2019. I specialize in Landscape Ecology, Species Recovery Strategies and Integration of Technology in Wildlife Research and Management. I am a Board Member and Country Representative of Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation Asia Pacific Chapter. I was the Secretary (2018-2021) and am the President (2022-2024) of Indian Regional Association for Landscape Ecology. I serve in various commissions of IUCN and academic/conservation associations. I received the Distinguished Foreign Scholar Award by the US Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology and NASA-MSU Professional Enhancement Award provided by NASA, USA.
I graduated in B.Sc. Zoology (1993) and M.Sc. Wildlife Biology (1995) from AVC College, Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu and received Gold Medal in both the courses. I secured my PhD. degree in 2003 in Forestry and Environment Sciences with specialization in wildlife biology and pheasant ecology. I joined the WII in 1995 and worked in various capacities. Since 2008, I have been working as full-time faculty of the Department of Landscape Level Planning and Management at WII. I am also the Nodal Officer of Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratory, the Nodal Officer of the recently established a state-of art Landscape Ecology and Visualization Laboratory at the Wildlife Institute of India under the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Program, and Nodal Officer of Environment Information System Cell of the Institute.
My interests are diverse/multidisciplinary, with a major focus on Landscape Ecology including One Health, Species and Habitat Recovery, and Conservation Technologies. Creating a new generation of leaders and professionals having a rational approach for integrated landscape management strategies are amongst my key professional and personal goals. I have supported early-career scientists and supervised several Master’s Dissertations and Ph.D. theses, on diverse topics and landscapes. My knowledge and expertise have also resulted in around 60 research publications including in high impact factor journals and 90 presentations in National and International Conferences/Symposia.
Motivation: It is increasingly becoming clearer and acceptable for landscape ecology to be a core scientific approach to address climate change effects, SDGs, and regional environment/wildlife concerns. I attribute this to all the landscape ecologists and the pioneers who had the vision, determination, and energy to advance the agenda of landscape ecology across the globe. I am one such and absolutely recognize the power of landscape ecology and the need to promote it constantly to address current and future challenges. My participation in the Annual Symposium of US-IALE in 2002 was an important milestone in my professional life.
Strength: My position as Senior Scientist and Professor at Wildlife Institute of India (which has mandate of science, capacity building and policy advisory) provides the advantage to expand the goal of IALE. Overcoming past hurdles and with the support of the Past and current Presidents of IALE, I managed to lead the establishment and nurture of the Indian Regional Association for Landscape Ecology (IRALE). After serving in the responsibility of Founder Secretary, I am now serving as President of IRALE. Since then, there has been enhanced activities in highlighting and promoting landscape ecology and large-scale conservation management.
Goal: Because of the long history and academic ecosystem, the global north has been able to advance many intended objectives. Now, the global south requires further impetus. Therefore, if elected to be IALE VP, my goal would be to focus on the scientific and management gaps, identify best practices and prioritize landscape actions in our region. I would work towards launching landscape ecology courses in the region and explore collaborative projects among various countries to enable networking, knowledge sharing, joint publications and scaling up of landscape actions with focus on youth, diversity and gender equality.