Ciprian Ionescu is natural capital programme officer for WWF France. He holds a doctorate in ecological economics, a master’s degree in sustainable development, and a degree in biology. His PhD research paid particular attention to the links between biodiversity, ecosystem services, and business strategies. He also worked for a major energy company, on various environmental projects.”
Evangelia (Valia) Drakou
Dr Evangelia (Valia) Drakou is an Assistant Professor at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Her research focus is on mapping and quantifying human-nature interactions with a particular interest in ecosystem services emerging in the marine realm and across the land-ocean interface.
She adopts an interdisciplinary approach to research and is mainly interested in integrating heterogeneous data elements through mapping and modelling processes. She also uses participatory mapping and modelling approaches to guarantee better scientific uptake from decision-makers. Within her current employment, she shares her time between research projects, supervising PhD and MSc students, and teaching in MSc programs.
Valia is a biologist and obtained her Ph.D. in Landscape Ecology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2009. During her post-doctoral research, she worked for four years at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission on policy-oriented research. She returned to Academia in 2014, by joining the University of Brest and Ifremer in the northwest of France to focus on marine ecosystem service research. She has been involved in several Global and European projects, including the Mapping Ocean Wealth, SCALES, ECOPOTENTIAL, and ALICE (Interreg). She has been in the advisory board of several projects and initiatives, including the French National Ecosystem Assessment (EFESE), the Greek and Cypriot National Ecosystem Assessment. She is part of the Scientific and Technical Network of MedWet.
She has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, book chapters but also Scientific and Technical reports. She has edited five journal special issues and she is also at the Editorial Board of several academic journals. She leads the Marine Working Group and the Greek National Network of the Ecosystem Services Partnership. She is also involved several GEOBON and Marine-BON activities.
Mario V Balzan
Mario V Balzan is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Applied Sciences, Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in agro-environmental science, and has a multidisciplinary background in environmental sciences and applied ecology.
Mario is the coordinator of the Horizon 2020 Twinning project ReNature and the Principal Investigator of the MCAST Applied Environmental Sciences Research Group (AESReG), where he coordinates the research activities on biodiversity, ecosystem services and nature-based solutions. Research carried out by the group addresses sustainability issues that would benefit from multidisciplinary approaches to environmental management and policy-making. Past research, has been supported through projects that have received funding from national and international funding agencies and, has investigated biodiversity-ecosystem function relations, the assessment and mapping of ecosystem services, and the provision of nature-based solutions for maintaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes.
Ricardo Serrão Santos
Ricardo Serrão Santos has been Member of the European Parliament since 2014 and is a permanent member of the European Parliament’s Committees on Fisheries and Agriculture and Rural Development. He is Coordinator of the Socialist Group for Fisheries, Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on “Seas, Islands, Rivers and Coastal Areas” and Vice-Chairman of the Intergroup “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”
Ricardo Serrão Santos holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool. During his academic career, he was the coordinator and president of several scientific organizations in the EU, Portugal and the Azores. He remains a member of several scientific advisory bodies, including the Paris Oceanographic Institute. Recently was selected to join the UNESCO group that will draw up the United Nations agenda for the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
Serrão Santos is a member of the Portuguese Academy of Sciences and emeritus member of the Portuguese Naval Academy. He was honored with several honors and prizes, which are joined by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) – Gift to the Earth in 2002 and the Autonomous Recognition Award granted by the Azores Regional Legislative Assembly and the Government of the Azores in May 2012 He was awarded in November 2013 by Principie Albert II of Monaco, with the title of “Chevalier de l’Ordre de Saint Charles.”