The team

behind ARIES

We are an international network of scientists working to build and apply ARIES toward conservation and development challenges from local to global scales. We collaborate with a diverse group of scientists and practitioners from governments, NGOs, academics, and the private sector. Our core development team includes experts across diverse fields, ranging from computer science and ecology to economics and the social sciences to geography and policy.

Ferdinando Villa

Ferdinando Villa

ARIES Lead Investigator

I am an Ikerbasque Professor at BC3. I started out as a Theoretical Ecologist and had a long parallel career as a Scientific Software Designer and Engineer. After carrying out research in many fields of Ecology, I worked during 15 years in ecological economics at the universities of Maryland and Vermont. I have authored or coauthored 150+ scientific publications, and have been recipient of major research grants from the US National Science Foundation, the European Union, the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UNEP-WCMC and other institutions and NGOs.

Marta Pascual

Marta Pascual

Marine Researcher

I am a Research Associate Fellow at BC3, the Spanish National Hub at the WestMED Blue Economy Initiative and the Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic Action Plan. I work since many years as a marine scientist in different lines of marine and coastal research applied to Marine Spatial Planning; Ecosystem Services Mapping, Modelling, and Valuation; Integrated Coastal Zone Management; Biological Valuation and Blue Economy. My current research interests are mainly focused on the use of ARIES for decision-support tools and the implementation of European directives.

Zuzana Harmáčková

Zuzana Harmáčková

Sustainability Researcher

I am a research associate at CzechGlobe and scenario analyst at UK CEH, interested in future social-ecological scenarios, sustainability pathways and values of ecosystem services. My PhD focused on ecosystem services assessments, including modelling ecosystem services trade-offs for local landscape planning in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Czech Republic and mapping ecosystem services for SEEA EA in Kyrgyzstan. I have been involved in the IPBES Regional Assessment for Europe and Central Asia, IPBES Values Assessment and the Ecosystem Services Partnership.

Alba Márquez

Alba Márquez

Forestry Modeller & Remote Sensing Expert

I am a FPI PhD Fellow at BC3. I have a degree in Environmental Science, and a Master’s degree in Geomatics, GIS and Remote Sensing. Since 2011, I collaborated with both national and international institutions like the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), the University of Cordoba, and Montpellier SupAgro. From 2015 to 2018, I worked at the Centre for Research Applied to Agroforestry Development (IDAF), where I managed, led and developed projects related to forests and cartography; as well as gave specialization courses on LiDAR.

Simone Langhans

Simone Langhans

Freshwater Ecosystems Researcher

I am a Marie Slodowska Curie Fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and BC3. I hold a Diploma in Natural Sciences, a MSc in Advanced Studies in Secondary and Higher Education, and a Doctor of Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). Throughout my academic career, I have constantly broadened my expertise by joining research groups around the world. Besides academia, I have experience working within government settings, having led the Swiss-wide development of river quality assessments for a few years after my PhD.

Andrea Antonello

Andrea Antonello

Scientific Developer

I am a passionate Scientific Developer at BC3 and co-founder of HydroloGIS Environmental Engineering. I also work as a senior GIS developer consultant and lecturer in Advanced Geomatics for the Free University of Bolzano. I majored in Environmental Engineering and have worked in spatial sciences since then, focusing on geomorphological modelling and geospatial analyses. During my PhD in Environmental Sciences I developed a mobile solution for digital field mapping. I have a strong belief that science has to be open source and support this by being a charter member for the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGEO).

Anna Sperotto

Anna Sperotto

Climate Change Researcher

I am a Marie Slodowska Curie Fellow at BC3. I hold a MSc in Environmental Science with a specialization in Integrated Coastal Zone Management from Ca’ Foscari University and a PhD in Science and Management of Climate Change from Ca’ Foscari University. Since 2014 I have collaborated with the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC) in Italy working on the application of risk assessment approaches for the analysis of climate change impacts on water resources, ecosystems and related consequences for societies.

Stefano Balbi

Stefano Balbi

ARIES Managing Director

I am an Ikerbasque Research Fellow at BC3. Since completing my Master’s in Environmental Economics, I have studied human-natural systems interactions from a holistic perspective, where theories and approaches from both social and environmental scientific practice are integrated to better represent behaviors, spatial dependencies and temporal dynamics. This led me to pursue a PhD in Analysis and Governance of Sustainable Development and to direct my interests towards research in human geography, to explore the complexity of social-ecological systems.

Ainhoa Magrach

Ainhoa Magrach

Biodiversity Researcher

I am an Ikerbasque Research Fellow at BC3. I am a Community Ecologist with a research emphasis on the effects of human activities on Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning and the delivery of Ecosystem Services. Throughout my career, I have combined the study of forest fragmentation, selective logging and agricultural expansion across temperate and tropical locations. I am particularly interested in the use of pollinators as model systems, due to their key role in ecosystem functioning by mediating plant reproduction of both wild and crop plant species.

Enrico Girotto

Enrico Girotto

Developer

I am a Software Developer at BC3, with more than 20 years of experience. I started developing web pages at the beginning of the web 2.0 revolution. After that, I have been teaching Computer Science and developing in several programming languages and with different technologies, from digital newspaper (Vocento Multimedia Group) to traffic applications (for Bilbao City Hall and Bilbao City Council, among others), from mobile app to business intelligence. This journey has allowed me to join the ARIES team in March 2018 as Front-End and Back-End Developer.

Yuwei Wu

Yuwei Wu

Hydrology Modeller & Remote Sensing Expert

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at BC3, with education background in Remote Sensing, GIS and Hydrology. I have trained in several MOOCs about ArcGIS real case applications offered by Esri. I have worked as an assistant at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) during the World Water Week (WWW), in Sweden. I have a great passion in working in environmental modelling and geo-spatial analysis. Currently, I work with hydrologic modelling of Water Strategy for Ecosystem Services in water supply and demand, spatial hydrologic process, sediment regulation and flood regulation.

Alessio Bulckaen

Alessio Bulckaen

Natural Capital Accounting Project Manager

I am a Project Manager at BC3. I hold a Msc in Economics, and I have worked as Economic and Financial Analyst for several years in the energy sector, supporting the commercial and contractual negotiations of the projects, as well as modeling and conducting financial screening of incoming projects for 3 years in Galp. I completed a post-graduate course in Sustainable Energy Systems at MIT Portugal. Later, I worked as Climate Finance Analyst for Aenergy, where I had the chance to develop a project related to NCA. I attended the ISU2019 organized by BC3 and about a year after I joined the ARIES team.

Silvia Franceshi

Silvia Franceshi

Environmental Modeller

I am an Environmental Engineer at BC3, co-founder of HydroloGIS Environmental Engineering and an OSGEO charter member working in the fields of Hydrology, Hydraulics and GIS. I have a PhD in Mountain Environment and agriculture with a great interest in the maintenance and protection of the environment and the environmental resources, especially water and vegetation. I am really convinced that GIS and digital maps in general, represent the future in environmental sciences. This will increase the possibility for the application of environmental models as an activity to support technicians, managers and politics.

Rubén Crespo

Rubén Crespo

Data Scientist

I am a Researcher at BC3. I have a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of the Basque Country and a Master’s degree in GIS and Remote Sensing from the University of Alcalá. Through my experience, I had the opportunity to develop my skills in different environmental areas. I have worked as an ecology technician at BOKU University, and as a remote sensing researcher in Munich at RSS Gmbh, among others. This has allowed me to have a multidisciplinary view and a strong background in GIS technologies.

Ken Bagstad

Ken Bagstad

Natural Capital Accounting Specialist

I am a Research Economist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), working to account for nature’s value in decision making by U.S. Federal government agencies and others, and co-leading development of natural capital accounts for the U.S. I hold a PhD in Ecological Economics from the University of Vermont. From 2015-2016 I was a Senior Environmental Specialist with the World Bank’s Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) program. Since 2010, I have partnered with various U.S. government resource management agencies on ecosystem service assessments across the U.S.

Kii Hayashi

Kii Hayashi

Ecosystem Services Professor

I am Professor at Nagoya University and at the Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability (IMaSS). My work mainly focuses on Ecosystem Services Mapping and Assessment, and Renewable Energy –mini-hydro power, biomass, geothermal power, etc.– related issues. I also manage the Environmental Symbiosis and Ecology System Cooperation Laboratory under the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University. I majored in Energy and Environmental Assessment and Policy, including Ecosystem Services Mapping.

Steven Wohl

Steven Wohl

Developer

I am a Developer at BC3. I have a degree from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Environmental Studies and a background in Forested Ecosystems. I worked on the Duke University Free Air Carbon Experiment and at the Brookhaven National Laboratory as a research assistant. After that, I worked in Australia as a senior engineer at the Hawkesbury Institute of the Environment (HIE). Then, I worked as a research engineer at INRA Bordeaux on projects related to Water Relations and Ecosystem Functioning.

Ángel Giménez

Ángel Giménez

Biodiversity Researcher

I am an Ecosystem Services Modeller at BC3, and enthusiastic about using models that help us better understand nature and, thus, promote its conservation. I am a Mathematics graduate from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, with a PhD in Astrophysics by the University of Alicante and I hold a master’s degree in Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering by the University of Leuven. I have worked as a software developer in Innovalia for the elaboration of quality-control reports in the field of industrial metrology; and Lantek, developing algorithms to minimize the use of metal sheet material in the manufacturing process. 

Amelia Ochoa

Amelia Ochoa

Communication, Dissemination & Training Project Manager

I am a Science Communicator and Project Manager at BC3, with working experience across private, public and third sector. Formidable communications experience acquired through working in fast-paced, international environments such as IBM and FAO. Currently managing the Communication, Dissemination, and Training of ARIES. In charge of creating and coordinating the different activities within the Communication Plan, updating the project’s website and related tools, managing the production of supporting materials, etc.

Sabrina Mazzoni

Sabrina Mazzoni

Conservation Biogeographer

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at BC3 with expert knowledge in Biography, Conservation Ecology and GIS, and working experience across private, public and third sector in Europe, North America and the South Pacific. I have worked on cross-disciplinary projects, integrating environmental, health and socio-economic data, spatial analysis and informatics, monitoring land-use and biodiversity management, in the context of ecosystem services, conservation, food security, and global change. I hold a MSc in Biology from the University of California San Diego and UC Davis and a PhD in Eco-informatics from the University of Oslo.

Beñat Egidazu de la Parte

Beñat Egidazu de la Parte

Marine Researcher

I am a Research Assistant at BC3. I hold both a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and an MSc in Integrated Coastal Zone Management from the University of Cádiz, and a Master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems from Esri. Through my experience, I developed my skills in different environmental areas such as marsh functioning and coastal zones ecosystem services. My main interests are coastal/marine ecosystem services modelling and how climate change will affect these systems and the benefits that they bring to society.

Past Collaborators

Akif Ortak


Akif Ortak worked as a GIS and remote sensing specialist at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3). He graduated in Geomatics Engineering at Istanbul Technical University (ITU), and worked for the ITU Research and Application Center for Satellite Communications and Remote Sensing (CSCRS) for almost four years. Akif was involved in different projects such as CORINE (a Land cover/use project of European Environment Agency), and agricultural projects about yield estimation. His last project before joining the ARIES team in February 2019 was about web mapping high-resolution satellite imagery with open-source solutions.

Brian Voigt


Brian Voigt is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. He works on the development and application of computer-based systems for modeling land-use change and the interaction between humans and their environment.

David Batker


Dave Batker is the Executive Director of Earth Economics, a non-profit he founded in 1998 that applies ecological economics to land use planning and policy around the globe.

Elena Pérez Miñana


Elena Pérez Miñana holds a PhD in Computer Science and was a postdoctoral researcher at BC3 from 2012 to 2015.

Gary Johnson


Gary Johnson holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Vermont.

Ioannis N. Athanasiadis


Ioannis N. Athanasiadis is an Assistant Professor with the Information Technology Group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He investigates complex environmental applications of computer science and the enabling role of computer science for investigating nature.

Javier Martínez López


Javier Martínez López is a Biologist who works at the Soil and Water Conservation research group at CEBAS-CSIC.

 

Jennifer Harrison-Cox


Jennifer Harrison-Cox served as Managing Director of Earth Economics from 2009-2013, and pioneered Earth Economics’ cloud-based Ecosystem Valuation Toolkit.

Luke Scott


Luke Scott is a Software Engineer who works as a consultant and developer in Seattle and the Bay Area, USA.

Marta Ceroni


Marta Ceroni is executive director of the Donella Meadows Institute.

Maya Kocian


Maya Kocian has worked as a Research Analyst at Earth Economics since 2006.

Miroslav Honzak


Miroslav Honzak is the Senior Advisor of the Global Change and Ecosystem Services Program at Conservation International (CI).

Octavio Pérez Maqueo


Octavio Pérez Maqueo received his PhD degree from the Instituto de Ecología, A.C. in Mexico, where he presently works as a researcher.

Rosimeiry Portela


Rosimeiry Portela is an Ecological Economist/Senior Director for the Science and Knowledge at Conservation International (CI).

Simon Willcock


Simon Willcock is a Lecturer in Environmental Geography at Bangor University, United Kingdom. His research interests focus on the interaction between people and nature; including monitoring, modeling and mapping natural resources and their use to help achieve sustainable use, with a particular focus on African tropical forests, food security and migration.

Tarik Fissaa


Tarik Fissaa worked as a Postdoctoral researcher and programmer at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3). He received a Master degree in Computer Science and Telecommunications from the Faculty of Science Rabat, Morocco in 2011 and a PhD from ENSIAS Engineering School in 2018, University of Rabat, Morocco. He was a research and teaching assistant at the university of Rabat. His research interests include Context Aware Systems, semantic web and AI.

Unai Álvarez


Unai Álvarez worked as a Postdoctoral researcher at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3), with a project for applying the knowledge of networks and complex systems in the study of socio-ecological phenomena. He obtained his degree in Physics in 2011, and a Masters degree in Theoretical Physics in 2012. After the formation period, he started doing research in Quantum Information, the field where he got the PhD in 2016.

Share This