The Advisory Board brings together perspectives from academic and non-academic stakeholders. It provides advice and suggestions on the strategy and implementation of Biodiversa+, including inputs on possible flagship programmes for consideration by Biodiversa+ members. The Advisory Board also channels advices and suggestions from the Enlarged Stakeholder Board (ESB) to build on broader stakeholder views and needs.

It advises on the design and implementation of the strategy, work plan and activities of Biodiversa+, of the major Biodiversa+ products, reviews outputs and impacts of the Partnership, and suggests ways of improvement and development.

It also contributes to the dissemination of information related to Biodiversa+ between relevant scientific bodies and stakeholders.

The Advisory Board is composed of six scientific members appointed by the Biodiversa+ General Assembly, and six stakeholder members elected by their respective college, with a substitute. The Board is chaired by András Báldi, while Claire Brown was elected Chair of the ESB and Vice-Chair of the Advisory Board.

Scientific members
of the Advisory Board

Dr. Didier BABIN

Dr. Didier BABIN is a French-Canadian researcher with CIRAD (France). He is the chair of the UNESCO- French Man and the Biosphere committee and is currently the strategic technical lead of the project “Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework EU Support” financed by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France. In recent years, he has devoted himself to the development of ecosystem accounting in order to integrate the depreciation of natural capital into national accounts. He has been the National Focal Point of the Scientific, Technical and Technological Body of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for 8 years. Dr. Didier Babin joined the CBD Secretariat for 5 years as a senior program officer of the Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Eradication Program and was a member of the United Nations technical team for the preparation of the SDGs. Previously he was involved in the emergence of IPBES (Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), as executive secretary of the IMoSEB process. He has been Chair of the International Coordination Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere MAB Program from 2016 to 2018. He is a member of the French National Committee of Biodiversity.

Dr. András BÁLDI (Chair)

András Báldi is the Chair of the Biodiversa+ Partnership’s Advisory Board. He leads the Ecosystem services research group at the Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary. The group’s main research topics are biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural areas, especially pollination, conservation and biological pest control and soil decomposition, with particular reference to ecological intensification based on these services. Báldi published papers in leading journals, such as Science, Nature Comm., Proceedings of the Royal Society, TREE. His H index is 39 and has over 7200 citations (according to Web of Science). Báldi has led several projects, including EU FP5, FP7 and H2020 studies, and multidisciplinary research, like the Environmental Horizon Scanning – Hungary 2050 program. He is interested in the science-policy interface, former leader, expert and author in the IPBES 1st work programme, still a member of the Knowledge and Data task force. He is a member of EASAC (European Academies’ Science Advisory Council), former president of the Society for Conservation Biology – Europe, and former board member of the European Ecological Federation. As the Chair of prominent international and Hungarian societies, he has a broad international network and is an active member of the Scientific life.

Prof. Stephen J. HAWKINS

Professor Stephen Hawkins is an English Emeritus Professor at Southampton University and Research Fellow MBA in Plymouth. He is an experimental marine ecologist working on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and making sustained observations on interactions of climate change with regional and local impacts and describes himself as a committed European. He is also doing research on shellfisheries, recovery and restoration of coastal ecosystems, and eco-engineering of sea defences. He sat on numerous grant panels and Advisory Boards all over the world, including the panel for BiodivERsA 2016 calls and as chair for ANR-France 2012-2015 calls. Amongst his varied prestigious senior roles, he was Director of Environmental Sciences and Head of Biodiversity and Ecology at Southampton between 1995 and 1999. He also was Director of the Marine Biological Association (1999-2007) and founding Head of the College of Natural Sciences in Bangor (2007-2010). In 2020, he received the WCMB Carlo Heip Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Marine Biodiversity Science.

Prof. Camilla SANDSTRÖM

Professor Camilla Sandström is a Swedish researcher and professor of political science at Umeå University in Sweden. Her research focuses on the governance and management of natural resources, especially forests, wildlife and biodiversity, attitudes towards animals and nature and conditions for rural development. One goal of her research is to identify governance modes, policy mixes and methods to deal with conflicts of interest arising when competition for natural resources and land use increases.


Camilla Sandström has been the deputy program manager for research platform “Future Forests”, which is run by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in collaboration with Umeå University and the Forest Institute. She was the Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 6 on Governance opportunities in the IPBES European and Asian assessment. She is also a member of the program board for the Land-based food, the environment and bioresources portfolio in the Norwegian environmental research program, as well as the Formas research Council in Sweden.


Since 2014, she has been a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.

Prof. Dr. Helmut HILLEBRAND

Professor Dr. Helmut Hillebrand is a German Marine Ecology researcher, Professor for Plankton Ecology and is Director of the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at University of Oldenburg, Germany, since its start in 2017. He is an experimental ecologist by training, but his recent research focuses more on research syntheses and data analyses.


He holds an interest in mechanisms that constrain and alter biodiversity in a variety of ecosystems and likes to think about the complex nature of biodiversity change and ecological stability.


He is in the editorial office of the scientific journals Ecology and Marine Biodiversity and member of the Senate Commission on Biological Diversity at the DFG.

Prof. Dr Annemarie VAN WEZEL

Professor Dr Annemarie van Wezel is currently holding the chair of Environmental Ecology and is Scientific Director of IBED (Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics) at the University of Amsterdam. She has long experience as a scientist in water quality, risk assessment and mitigation, environmental toxicology and chemistry, and environmental policy evaluation. She was granted as applicant and co-applicant for many projects in the field of chemicals of emerging concern and water quality, in European and National projects. She is interested in the science- policy interface, in scientific outreach and has ample experience in media appearances. She is a member of the Dutch Health Council and the Dutch Board on the authorization of plant protection products and biocides CTGB.

Stakeholder members
of the Advisory Board

Boundary organisations

Claire BROWN (Vice-Chair)

Claire Brown is a Principal Technical Specialist with the Policy group at UNEP-WCMC. Claire has over 20 years of experience and provides strategic oversight to a portfolio of projects on ecosystem services, ecosystem assessments and natural capital accounting from a technical and policy angle. Most notably, the NEA Initiative, Sub-global Assessment Network, Capacity Development for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services experts in West, Central and East Africa (CABES) and Mapping and Assessment for Integrated Ecosystem Accounting (MAIA). Claire currently also heads the IPBES Technical Support Unit for Policy Support Tools and Methodologies.


Ir. Klemen Risto Bizjak studied at the Biotechnical faculty of the University of Ljubljana (forestry) and continued postgraduate studies at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Klemen is currently Senior Advisor at Maribor city where he is working on strategic policies (climate change, biodiversity, circular economy) and managing EU projects related to climate change, biodiversity, and sustainability. He is also a Climate KIC Coach under the European Institute of Technology, Yes Team Maribor member, under the Climate KIC project Future Cities of South East Europe, part of Deep demonstration projects, manager of Climathon Maribor, and is a European Climate Pact Ambassador. He is a member of the Environmental Conference of the Regions of Europe (ENCORE) Steering Group. He is active also in the non-profit sector as a member of the national network of Slovenian environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and experts and is co-founder of the Institute for sustainable development and holistic solutions. In the field of entrepreneurship, he was recognized as a social innovator and is a member of the European Social Innovation Competition alumni network.

Economic and industrial activities


Frederik Forsberg is an ecologist (MSc. Biology) from Aarhus University in Denmark, specialized in conservation biology, spatial ecology and agroecology. Frederik is currently working on biodiversity conservation and nature management in the agricultural sector as an advisor at SEGES Innovation P/S.


In addition to his current position as advisor, Frederik has experience with communication and education on biodiversity and other sustainability issues as a public speaker and course manager/teacher.


Besides focusing his studies and professional work on biodiversity, Frederik has previous experience with political work in the environmental NGO Forests of the World, as well as the agricultural thinktank Frej as scientific advisor and responsible for the analysis committee.


Through his studies and his work, both professionally and voluntary, Frederik has gained a strong theoretical and practical understanding of biodiversity conservation and environmental concerns, including how agriculture and production systems can contribute to a more diverse landscape.


Stijn Schep is a partner at Wolfs Company and an environmental and development economist with over 10 years of experience in impact assessment, natural resource management and financing of Nature-based Solutions. He supports public and private sector clients to incorporate socioeconomic and natural values in strategic decision-making by developing practical and insightful tools. Stijn has a strong international focus and has conducted a wide range of projects to support nature inclusive and climate resilient decision-making in marine and terrestrial areas in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.


In most projects, Stijn applies quantitative tools to evaluate the economic and environmental effects of land-use decisions, infrastructure development and water management. As a team leader in the UNDP roster for Targeted Scenario Analysis, he has advised various governments on the sustainable use of natural resources to support rural economic development. Recently, he also supported the Dutch Enterprise Agency and UK government in studies on the blended financing of coastal Nature-based Solutions. He is currently conducting a global review of integrated landscape approaches to inform the development of National Biodiversity Financing Plans under the UNDP BIOFIN program.

European policymakers or advisors

Janica BORG

Janica Borg is the Biodiversity strategy coordinator at the European Environment Agency (EEA). She works across all files linked to the strategy, from nature restoration to zero pollution, enhancing a coherent approach across all work areas. Before joining the agency, she worked with policy making in Brussels both at the European Parliament and at WWF. Her passion is to make sure that strong science is used for policy making, to solve complex problems and to bring together actors from different fields around a common goal.

She is a marine biologist and a professional diver by education and has previously worked under the surface of the Baltic Sea, leading a research project on fish and food webs. She has also done extensive policy work on marine protected areas at the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission and at WWF.


Marie Vandewalle is a plant ecologist who moved to Science-Policy Interface work more than 10 years ago to better understand help bridge the gap she observed between the amount of knowledge which is produced and the limited actions that are derived from them.


She is now working within the Science-policy expert group at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig on further developing the Biodiversity Science-Policy interface. She is the Head of the Eklipse Management Body and part of the coordination team of Horizon Europe project Bio-Agora which will establish the Science Service. She is also an Alternet Management Board Member, a convener of the Alternet Summer School and co-leads the science-policy activities of Alternet.

Habitat, species and nature conservation


Serena Arduino is a naturalist and environmental planner currently affiliated to the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA International) as co-president. She sits on the Alpine Biodiversity Board (ABB) of the Alpine Convention and was a member of the former platform on Water Management in the Alps.  She also participates in the works of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP, one of the EU Macro-Regional Strategies) by contributing to the Action Groups on Natural resources (AG6) and on Green Infrastructures (AG7). Professionally she has focused mostly on large ecosystems planning, management and transnational governance, and on the identification of biodiversity priorities (expert-based approaches). She has been mainly associated with the non-profit sector, working for several international NGOs, coordinating networks and advising on participatory processes.


Janice Weatherley-Singh Ph.D, is the Director of WCS EU, a Belgian NGO affiliated with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a global conservation organisation. She oversees WCS’s engagement with the EU institutions relating to policy engagement and funding in support of WCS’s global conservation objectives. Originally from the UK, Belgium has become her adopted nationality and home. She began her career working on an agri-environmental research project in Mexico before working on project development for a Wildlife Trust in the UK. She then moved to Brussels in 2003 to work for IUCN for five years on EU biodiversity policies. This was followed by a position with A Rocha International to support the development of global conservation programmes, including through short-term field assignments in France, India, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal and elsewhere. She has also undertaken short consultancy contracts for organisations such as WWF. In 2019, she obtained a PhD in tropical forest governance and REDD+ as an external student with Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She also has a BSc in Geography from the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Rural Resources and Environmental Policy from the University of London.

Relations with the Public


Toos van Noordwijk is director of Science Policy and Innovation at Earthwatch Europe, an international environmental NGO with science at its heart. She combines a background in conservation research with a passion for involving people of all walks of life and a focus on finding practical solutions for the environmental challenges of our times. She obtained her PhD from Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands) and Ghent University (Belgium) with a thesis on invertebrates in calcareous grasslands, for which she received the AR Wallace award. Toos moved to Wiltshire, UK, in 2013 where she worked on a number of applied research and policy projects before joining Wiltshire Wildlife Trust as a community engagement officer. She joined Earthwatch Europe in 2016 and currently leads a team of international scientists with particular expertise in the fields of citizen science, water pollution, biodiversity, nature-based solutions and sustainable agriculture. In 2020 she moved back to the Netherlands, where she has set up a new Earthwatch branch. Toos has been a member of the BiodivERsA Advisory board from 2019 to 2021.


Oliwer Schultz is a student at Linköping university in Sweden, finishing a master’s degree in Ecology and Sustainable Development in late spring 2022. He is an active member of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), an international network of youth organisations and individuals from many regions around the globe who have united with a common goal: preventing the loss of biodiversity and preserving Earth’s natural resources.


He has been engaged locally in many associations working with sustainability, human rights and biodiversity. He also sometimes works as an educator at his local wildlife park, Kolmarden Zoo, where he has inspired and lectured about biodiversity and sustainability for both guests at the park as well as visiting school classes. He is also a student coordinator and advisor at his university’s innovation department, helping students take their first steps into the entrepreneurial world and guiding them to the correct incubator, support or tools necessary for their ideas to develop further. So, biodiversity, sustainability and innovation are some key concepts which he is passionate about both in his professional and private life.

Wild and domestic genetic resources

Cristiano VERNESI

Cristiano Vernesi is Chair of G-BIKE, a COST Action. He studies molecular tools patterns and processes of biodiversity – gene level- with a particular emphasis on mountain areas. He studies organisms ranging from plants, invertebrates to reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. He has a background in evolutionary biology with an emphasis on phylogeography, population genetics and genomics, conservation genetics. He is also experienced in ancientDNA (aDNA) analysis, with detailed knowledge of the main limitations related to molecular analyses of ancient specimens, regardless the biological tissue where aDNA is extracted from.


Beside this research, Cristiano is increasingly involved in the science-policy interface arena. In particular, he is working at both the European and global level to increase the overall attention to the intra-species genetic diversity which has been insofar overlooked in the most relevant policies. He recently started to specifically work on improving the text of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework of the Convention for Biological Diversity, to this end.

Dr. Michele BOZZANO

Dr. Michele Bozzano is the coordinator of the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN) at the European Forest Institute since 2015. He has been involved in activities on conservation, use, forest landscape restoration and capacity building related to forest genetic resources for more than 10 years. Michele has a Master’s degree in Forestry from the ‘University of Tuscia’ in Viterbo, Italy (1998) and PhD in forest landscape restoration from University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy (2003).


He developed technical and scientific outputs including reports, technical guidelines, distribution maps, conservation strategies and the EUFGIS Information System. Michele co-authored the Forest Genetic Resources Training Guide, a new approach that aims to make teaching and learning about issues related to forest genetic resources easy and engaging.