Say hi to our team members!
I am a conservation social scientist interested in social and political dimensions of protected areas and landscape planning. With a research focus in Switzerland, I engage with questions of equity and justice in environmental negotiations and participatory processes and how these are intertwined with and influenced by social values.
Currently, I am a group leader at the Department of Geography at UZH (Landscape and Conservation Social Sciences) and part of the research project ValPar.CH. Here, we want to better understand different stakeholders' perceptions of landscapes and landscape elements and the meanings attributed to them. By unraveling these meanings, we will gain insight into the social values of different ecosystem services in Swiss regional nature parks. Generally, I am interested in human-nature relationships: How do we speak about and engage with our surroundings, and how do we shape and interact with what we call 'nature'?
I am a social scientist who studies socio-economic transitions in mountain regions as a result of global change. I'm curious about the role that tourism progress plays in transforming places and traditional livelihoods. I apply inter and transdisciplinary methods to investigate these complex phenomena by leaving no stakeholder behind.
As a Ph.D. Candidate, I am currently attempting to broaden established knowledge by investigating various mountain economic activities under the umbrella of the tourism supply chain and its geographical context. On this basis, I call into question the local economy's long-term viability by putting its reliance solely on tourism in Georgia's mountains.
Role/position: Young scientist
I am a professor for Human Geography at the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich. I currently teach and do research on globalisation, nature conservation and landscape. I am mainly interested in perceptions of changes by different interest groups. With my and my group’s research I want to contribute to sustainable development. Regionally I did and do research in Southeast Asia and in Switzerland. Moreover, I supervise research in Central and North Asia. I am a member of the Swiss Federal National Park commission and co-director of the University Priority Programme Global Change and Biodiversity.
I am a professor at Tbilisi State University's (TSU) Department of Human Geography, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, and a visiting professor at the Technical University of Munich (since 2002). In 1991-92, I was a Swedish Institute research fellow at the universities of Stockholm and Lund, and in 1998-99, I was a Fulbright scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.
I served as vice-rector of TSU from 2014 to 2017 and as vice-president of the Geographic Society of Georgia from 2008 to 2016. I am also a member of the Network of the Caucasus Mountain Region's scientific steering committee. As a land policy specialist, I perform comprehensive research and collaborate with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN-Habitat, UN Food, and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and other international organizations such as KfW, GIZ, and USAID. I am a member of the editorial boards of three international scientific journals, the author and editor of three books, and the author of over fifty publications. My Research interests include urban studies, housing, and land policy, and sustainable mountain development.
Currently, I am a PhD Candidate at Tbilisi State University, Department of Sociology. My academic career already includes several impactful research projects focusing on people’s livelihoods in rural and mountain settlements. After accumulating research experiences in interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, participatory, action and transformative studies, I am in favor of these approaches which prevent staying the research results on the dusty shells or databases. I believe that the researcher’s primary role is to explore hitherto hidden and spread it in an understandable way to the relevant stakeholders. For this reason, I synthesise in practice social science theories, methods and information handling tools, such as R/Rstudio, QGIS, SPSS, Excel, Access, MAXQDA, Mendeley, etc.
Role/position: PhD candidate