Visiting Scholars

Reinaldo Sagbini, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Magdalena, Colombia

September 01, 2018 - January 31, 2019

Reinaldo Sagbini is a filmmaker and lecturer at the Film and Audiovisual program at the Universidad del Magdalena, Colombia. He is an anthropologist and directs inter- and transdisciplinary teamwork that addresses the social complexity associated with the ecological wealth and serious environmental damage found in Colombia.

His main current project is "Lemuria," an audiovisual project on invisible contamination, which is in production in both Colombia and Germany. "Lemuria" is an Epos concerning the invisible contamination caused by the deranged character of contemporary industrialization and its direct implications for human well-being. It is a musical and cinematographic realization of the fiction genre, based on our own reality, which proposes a new way of producing art using science and new technologies.


Richard Reitan, Department of History, Franklin & Marshall College, United States

June 01 - August 31, 2018

Richard Reitan (Ph.D. Chicago, 2002) is associate professor of history at Franklin & Marshall College (Pennsylvania, USA). His current research concerns the problem of the social reproduction of the environmental crisis, and ways of theorizing eco-historical change. He is the author of "Ecology and Japanese History: Reactionary Environmentalism's Troubled Relationship with the Past," The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 15, issue 3, no. 2 (Feb 2017); "Narratives of Equivalence: Neoliberalism in Contemporary Japan," Radical History Review 112 (2012): 43-64; Making a Moral Society: Ethics and the State in Meiji Japan (Hawaii, 2010); and various articles dealing with modern Japanese intellectual, cultural, and material history.


Samadhi Lipari, School of Geography, Faculty of Earth & Environment, University of Leeds

May 01 - September 30, 2018

Samadhi Lipari is a PhD researcher at the School of Geography of the University of Leeds. He obtained his master degree in 2009 in International Relations at the LUISS University of Rome and a Bachelor in Sociology at the Carlo Bo University of Urbino. He gained expertise in land access and tenure issues while working as a research consultant at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a UN agency and international financial institution based in Rome. Samadhi is now visiting at IRI Thesys and at the BMBF Junior Research Group "Bioeconomy and Inequalities" at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität of Jena. He is currently conducting study on the relations between the ‘green turn’ in energy production within the context of contemporary capitalism and land regime restructuring, in terms of land access, property concentration and impact on existing socio-economic fabrics. The study focuses Europe and develops a multiscale geographical approach within a mixed-method analytical approach. This involves conducting two case studies on different national capitalisms and energy sources: wind energy in south Italy and biofuel/biogas in eastern Germany. As a major outcome, the study will advance the debate on the role of contemporary capitalism’s ‘greening’ in the stabilisation of a new production regime, clarifying how it opens new investment horizons while meeting the overarching and long-term goal of protecting the system from social turbulences potentially caused by environmental degradation. As a secondary outcome, it will make intelligible the underway transformation process –including impact on pre-existing socio-economic fabrics and local communities.


Prof. Dr. David Barkin,  Departamento de Producción Económica - Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (UAM), Unidad Xochimilco, Mexico

April 03 - August 28, 2017

March 16 - July 29, November 21 - December 20, 2016

November 23 - December  18, 2015

Prof. David Barkin (Ph.D. Yale, 1966) is Distinguished Professor at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. He was a founding member of the Ecodevelopment Center in 1974 and was a recipient of the National Prize in Political Economy in 1979. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and was appointed as an Emeritus Member of the National Research Council. His numerous books on human-environment related problems focus on Mexican economic development, food systems analysis and sustainable development; they include: Distorted Development: Mexico in the World Economy; Mexican Innovations in Water Management; and Urban Water Management in Mexico. Another of his books, Wealth, Poverty and Sustainable Development, enjoys wide circulation and can be downloaded free. His present research focuses on the construction of post-capitalist societies.

He is the 2015 Winner of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation Georg Forster Research Prize for climate relevant Research, and will be with WINS for two years, under the auspices of this award.

The Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation awards the Georg Forster Research Prize on an annual basis to four internationally recognised scientists from developing countries in recognition of their outstanding life’s work as scholars and their personal role as leaders in research.  The 2015 Georg Forster Research Prize for climate relevant Research has been awarded to Prof. Barkin for his career long engagement, over 40 year, with the environment related issues in Mexico and internationally.  The prize is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Dr. Giulia Sajeva, Dipartimento di Scienze Giuridiche, de la Società e dello Sport - Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy

June 01 -14, 2017

Giulia Sajeva is a doctor in philosophy of law (Faculty of Law, Università di Palermo) with focus on human rights and the environment, trained in Political Science and International Relations, in Conservation Science at the Imperial College London, and in Theory of Law and Constitutional Democracy at the Università di Genova. She researched mostly on indigenous peoples’ rights and practices concerning the conservation of the environment, ethical guidelines for research, intellectual property law and traditional knowledge, environmental ethics, and the access and benefit-sharing framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Giulia collaborated with the South African NGO Natural Justice, doing field-work in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. Currently, she is collaborating with undergraduate and post-graduate courses on environmental law, legal theory and human rights at the University of Palermo, and is the Vice President of the Working Group on Religion and Conservation Biology of the Society of Conservation Biology.


Alejandra Zaga Méndez, Laboratoire d’économie écologique - Université du Québec en Outaouais, Canada

April 27 - July 6, 2017

Alejandra Zaga Mendez is a PhD researcher at the Institut des Sciences de la Forêt Tempérée at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO). She obtained her master’s degree (M.Sc.) in Natural resources science in 2016 and a Bachelor's degree in Agri-Environmental Science in 2013 from McGill University. Her academic background is in ecological economics and agri-environmental sciences and she is interested in the role of socio-ecological institutions and frameworks in the adoption of ecological behavior. Alejandra is part of the ANCRAGE research project, led by Prof. Jérôme Dupras (UQO), and her research focuses on the ecological and institutional factors that ensure the adoption of agri-environmental practices in intensive agricultural areas of Québec. More specifically, her research project aims to analyze how governance structure can integrate biophysical and social complexity when promoting the adoption of agri-environmental behaviors.  Alejandra is also involved in the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE) as an organizing member of the 2017 academic conference (montreal2017.cansee.ca)


Prof. Dr. Consuelo Varela Ortega, Department of Agricultural Economics, Statistics and Management - Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Spain

October 01, 2015 – October 30, 2016

Prof. Consuelo Varela Ortega is Professor of Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid . She is also member of the recently created Research Centre for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risk (CEIGRAM). She has been involved, during the past 25 years in research in Spanish, European Union and International networks in the fields of agricultural policy and the environment, water resources management and institutions. Professor Varela-Ortega is the country representative for Spain in the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) and has taken part in the scientific committee and advisory panels of several international institutions, such as the Global and National Food and Water System for the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food and the CIRAD (International center for agricultural development research) in France.


Liudmila Murtazina, Department of International Relations - Kazan National Research Technical University (KAI), Russia

September 01, 2015 –June 30, 2016

Liudmila Murtazina is the Vice Head of the International Department at Kazan National Research Technical University. In her current position Mrs. Murtazina is responsible for developing international relations at the university level, supporting academic mobility of students and academic staff, organizing international events, and coordinating international research and educational projects. Currently, Mrs. Murtazina is involved in a transnational education project to establish international Master’s programs in English as part of the university’s internationalization strategy. Previously, Mrs. Murtazina worked in the International Department of the Tatarstan Ministry of Education and Science where she promoted international relations in education and events for tertiary and secondary schools.
Research topic: Approaches towards Environmental Education under Sustainable Development (comparative analysis of the Transition Process in Russia and Germany).
Main activities planned at HU Berlin (01/09/2015-30/06/2016) are to participate at WINS seminar sessions and take some university courses, which are based on the sustainable development model (modules of Graduate Course on Institutional Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems, M.Sc. Integrated Natural Resource Management, Theory and Empirical Study of Institutions and Organizations, Bologna-Lab Intensive course).
Expectations: to learn about best practices and successful strategies that could be implemented in courses at Russian universities in order to maximize the use of Environmental Education as an instrument of environmental awareness.


Sergio Villamayor-Tomas, Switzerland

October 01, 2015 – March 31, 2016

Sergio Villamayor-Tomas is currently Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. His research interests include irrigation and watershed management, climate change adaptation, the role of communication and information in common pool resource contexts, water-food-energy nexus, polycentrism and the dialogue between common pool resource theory and social movements theory. He has developed fieldwork research in Spain, Colombia, Mexico, and Germany.


Nicolás Acosta García, University of Oulu, Finland

Nicolás Acosta García is a PhD student of Department of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oulu, Finland under the supervision of Hannu Heikkinen and Katharine Farrell; and currently he is a visiting scholar at WINS. He holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of Manchester in the UK, Lund University in Sweden and Central European University in Hungary. He has worked in Colombia in environmental management for the energy sector, which made him question the conditions and outcomes of development, resource extraction and conservation. His current research in political ecology address the larger question of “how can ‘we’ –all the different we’s– speak of conservation” given the specific conditions of Utría National Park in Colombia’s north Pacific Coast. He is interested in creating conditions in which conflict, intercommunity relations, biodiversity conservation, ecotourism, ethnicity and identity can be meaningfully and constructively addressed for and by each of the different stakeholder groups.