Grantees 2019

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2019: Ms. Jiali Jin

I am a research assistant at the Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, China. I am working under the supervision of Dr. Georg Winkel at the European Forest Institute (Bonn Office). My research interests including urban landscape ecology, urban forest ecosystem services assessment, urban forest planning and design, social survey, and data mining & visualization. I am working on using Landsat images to map and compare the distribution, quantity, quality and effectiveness of urban greenspace in 16 Pan-Pacific cities over time and space. My work focuses on analyzing the relationship between greenspace and urban development, as well as find out the socio-economic factors affecting the greenspace.

About the project

Globally, urban forest-based solutions (UFBS) have been considered as an effective response strategy to mitigate negative impacts of climate change and urbanization. My project is to prepare and conduct the urban forestry research under the future Horizon 2020 CLEARING HOUSE project on implementing UFBS in Europe and China. I will collaborate with the “Resilience” Programme research group to 1) develop the methodology for a European and Chinese-wide household survey on societal perceptions regarding UFBS, 2) identify & map novel UFBS typology in China and contrast with European cities, 3) review the knowledge on the impacts of UFBS for resilient cities, 4) develop an interdisciplinary analytical framework for analyzing and managing UFBS that contributes to the resilience of socio-ecological urban system.

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2019: Ms. Zhongqian Cheng

I am a junior researcher in Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information, Chinese Academy of Forestry, China. My research interests focus on multi- purpose forest management, forest management planning and silviculture. I will be supervised by Prof. Heinrich Spiecker at Institute of Forest Growth and Dendroecology, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany during this short scientific visit.

About the project

Our project entitled Sustainable forest management planning for China´s forests. The aims are to establish growth model and yield table for typical species in the central China, integrate the yield table into the forest management planning software for predicting growth, and complying long- term forest management plan with the software for the selected forest farm in China. Our project is relevant to the theme, Forests and Climate Change, in the IUFRO and EFI strategies.

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2019: Ms. Yue Zhao

I am a junior researcher from Jiuquan, Gansu province, China. My research interests are international forest governance, the governance of forestlands in Africa and global data politics in the forest domain. Currently, I am working on the topic "The formal and informal roles of Chinese investments in the governance of forestlands in Sub-Saharan African countries." This scientific visit will be supervised by Dr Alain Karsenty and hosted by the Research Unit GREEN of the Center for Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), France.

The present project is entitled “When sustainability goals meet development deals: formal and informal roles of Chinese investments in the governance of Sub-Saharan African forests.” This project addresses the “Theme 6 a” in the IUFRO/EFI Priority Themes, which is the “Forest and land use conflicts and synergies, including an understanding of key societal demands and the trade-offs between forest functions, products and land-uses”. The presence of Chinese companies has increased the dynamic of the governance of the forestlands in Sub-Saharan African countries in the post-colonial context. This project aims to reveal the conflicts in the forestlands between the present demands of Chinese market, the demands of locals, land-uses and the forest functions.

I hope to reinforce the collaborations among institutes from China, Europe and Africa, for confronting the ongoing crucial challenges of the issue about sustainability of forest ecosystems in African countries driven by natural resource exploitation.

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2019: Ms. Joice Aline Freiberg

I am Joice Aline Freiberg, a Ph.D. student of Soil Science at the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM), Brazil, currently conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Zaida Inês Antoniolli and in collaboration with Dr. Tine Grebenc (Slovenian Forestry Institute). I am interested in soil biodiversity and ectomycorrhizae, especially in mycorrhization of pecan with truffles; invasive potential of truffles in native and exotic forests; diversity of ectomycorrhizae fungi in pecan orchards, and limiting edaphic conditions for the production of truffles and others edible mushrooms.

Our project "Potentials of use of mycorrhization of plantation forests in Brazil with edible mushrooms and truffles" explores the theme "Forest for people", which involves contributions of forests and trees to agricultural productivity, food security, and quality of life. We aim to increase available knowledge about truffles and edible mushrooms in neotropics, especially on how to manage plantations in order to obtain production—including improvements to the methods and available information on how to identify species in field. Our contribution will enhance the relation that producers (farmers) have with respect to forested areas. For example, we aim to create new alternatives of income for the community in neotropics, such as proper valorization identification and trading of fungi to gourmet cuisine and development of ecotourism with use of edible fungi. These practices would increase the value of farmer's lands and products, and have a positive impact with respect to the social and economic development of agroforestry and mycology in the neotropical regions.

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2019: Ms. Gimena Vilardo

I am a PhD candidate at the Forestry and Agricultural Research Institute Bariloche (INTA-CONICET), Argentina. My research interests focus on describing patterns and processes of the invasion ecology of forest insects. Particularly, I am studding the pathways (i.e. vectors and dispersion routes) and the mechanisms that drive the establishment of invasive bark beetles at global and regional scales.

During my short scientific visit

Invasion by non-native insects are increasing worldwide, often with strong negative economic and ecologic impacts on forest ecosystems. Understanding the global patterns and mechanisms driving the invasion of forest insects is important for predicting future invasions and improving mitigation strategies. I propose to compare the potential distribution of European pine bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) in the southern hemisphere (based on correlative species distribution models), with historical introduction records, to explore the environmental characteristics and biological attributes of the species that better explain their establishment success, and identify the key traits in this phase. Since most of the pine invasive bark beetle species in the southern hemisphere are native to Eurasia, I will focus on species of this origin, and for this purpose I will work with Dr. Massimo Faccoli from the University of Padova, Italy, one of the most experienced researchers on the ecology and taxonomy of bark beetles in Europe. This project is relevant to the Theme 4: "Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Biological Invasions" of the IUFRO and EFI strategies.

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2019: Ms. Carolina Pinto

I am a Ph.D. student from Buenos Aires University, Argentina. I am doing my research on biodiversity responses to environmental change caused by commercial tree plantations in Argentina. During my short scientific visit I will work under the supervision of Dr. Anne Oxbrough from the Edge Hill University (host institution). This international exchange experience will contribute to the development of future collaborative work, which I believe are  key to generate more general results and answers to problems of global concern, such as the  human impacts on biodiversity loss and the sustainable management of productive activities for supporting biodiversity.

About the project

The study of the responses of biodiversity to commercial tree plantations is essential to assess management practices and generate valuable information to improve the use of forest plantations by native species and make forestry a sustainable activity. Spiders contribute significantly to forest biodiversity and play a variety of key ecological functions in forest ecosystems, especially through the forest food web. In this project we will compare South American and European spiders assemblages  response to changes in forested landscapes composition. This study will contribute to identify general response patterns of biodiversity to forest management, beyond the species regional pool.  This topic could be framed in theme 4 of IUFRO/EFI Strategy “Trends, causes and impacts of biodiversity loss and contribution of forest management to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

IUFRO-EFI Young Scientists Initiative 2019: Ms. Natalia Ruiz-Guevara

I am a researcher at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). My main field of research is landscape governance, so currently I am working under the supervision of M.Sc. Fernando Carrera, manager of the Iberoamerican Network of Model Forest (RIABM) and researcher at CATIE, and Ph.D. Bastiaan Louman, program manager at Tropenbos International (host institution). My research interests are forest restoration, sustainable development and inclusive participation in landscape management. I am specially compromised with gender equity.

About the Project

My project entitles Evaluation of landscape governance in the Pichanaki Model Forest (BMPKi). BMPKi is located in the central Andean Amazon, a very rich in water, forests and biodiversity region in Perú, my natal country. This landscape is threatened by deforestation and soils degradation due to land use change and unsustainable  agricultural practices. Model Forest is process which promotes sustainable development among the diverse groups living at this territory, which includes farmers as well as indigenous Ashaninka groups.
My research aims to contribute to the Model Forest process by evaluating the governance conditions to implement its Strategic Plan and generate recommendations for the stakeholders and BMPKi´s local leaders. Our methodology is based on a tool developed by Tropenbos International to evaluate landscape governance through a participatory method. The tool hasn´t been applied to specific objectives of Model Forests, so we are adapting it according the RIABM standars and we expect that this exercise will generate also recommendations for the network, as well as for Tropenbos International.