The Team

Core Team

Victoria Reyes-García

(Ph.D. in Anthropology, 2001, University of Florida) is ICREA Research Professor at the Institut of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), and Principal Investigator of the LICCI project. Her research addresses the benefits generated by local ecological knowledge and the effects of the integration to the market economy on this type of knowledge. Reyes-García lived among the Tsimane’, an indigenous population in the Bolivian Amazon, from 1999 until 2004. Between 2010-15, she coordinated a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to study the adaptive nature of culture using a cross-cultural approach. The LICCI project is under an ERC Consolidator Grant and will assess the potential contribution of indigenous and local knowledge systems to climate change impacts research.

Petra Benyei

(M.Sc. in Rural Development, 2015, Ghent University) is a Predoctoral Researcher at ICTA-UAB, researching on the use of citizen science tools to document, share, and protect traditional agroecological knowledge. She has worked in projects related to the evaluation of the South African land reform (PSGARD, Pretoria) and projects related to climate change mitigation strategies in rural Spain (Paris Diderot University). She has also participated actively in the design, implementation, dissemination, and analysis of CONECT-e, a Wiki-based platform focused on documenting traditional ecological knowledge in Spain. In the LICCI project, she will be investigating the use of a citizen science platform and its potential as a tool to make climate research more participatory.

André Braga Junqueira

(Ph.D. in Production Ecology and Resource Conservation, 2015, Wageningen University) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the LICCI team at ICTA-UAB. André has experience with interdisciplinary research in ethnoecology, traditional resource management systems, ecology of agroecosystems, and historical ecology. During his Ph.D., he focused on the use of anthropogenic soils by riverine populations in Brazilian Amazon, aiming to understand how these soils are perceived and incorporated into local livelihoods. His current research at LICCI focuses on understanding the complementarities between TEK and scientific knowledge on climate change, through analysing patterns and drivers of the correspondence between these bodies of knowledge across multiple scales.

David García del Amo

(M.Sc. in Natural Protected Areas, 2010, Autonomous University of Madrid and M.Sc. in Sustainability Sciences for Global Change Management, 2012, International University of Andalucia) is a Predoctoral Research Fellow of the LICCI team at ICTA-UAB. His main research interest lies on analysing the capacity of local ecological knowledge in order to build ecological and social resilience on a community level. He has conducted his research with rural communities in Sierra Nevada, Spain. He analysed local indicators of climate change impacts perceived by local communities in climatic, physical, biological, and socioeconomic systems, which provided more evidence that climate change impacts are producing uneven effects at local scales.

Xiaoyue Li

(Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology, 2017, Oregon State University) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the LICCI team at ICTA-UAB. Her general research interest is on understanding human dimensions in natural resources. During her Ph.D., she examined Yi peoples’ (Nuosu) traditional ecological knowledge related to wild edible plants (WEPs), analysed social-ecological vulnerability and resilience in the face of agricultural transition from subsistence farming to cash cropping, and explored the impacts caused by internal migration and cash remittances. Her current research at LICCI will assess Akha peoples’ traditional ecological knowledge related to wild foods and examine the adaptation strategies to climate change through the lens of traditional ecological knowledge about wild foods in Southwest China.

Laura Calvet-Mir

(PhD in Environmental Sciences, 2011, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) is the research coordinator for the LICCI project at ICTA-UAB. Her research focuses on the study of agroecosystems through the lens of ethnoecology, agroecolgy and political ecology. She has deeply analyzed conservation of agrobiodiversity and traditional ecological knowledge in industrialized settings. In her studies it is highlighted that a complete analysis of socio-ecological systems requires interdisciplinarity between different types of knowledge. Within the LICCI project she is in charge of coordinating, organizing, and monitoring the research team.

Encarna Poncela Fernández

(Degree in History and Diploma of Higher Specialized Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology, 1998, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) is the project manager for the LICCI team at ICTA-UAB. She has worked as the responsible for the management of the institutional agreements of the UAB and as a documentalist in the European Documentation Center of the UAB and also as a documentalist in an international law firm (Mullerat). In the LICCI project she is in charge of coordinating, organizing  and monitoring the administrative and economic processes.

Vincent Porcher

(M.Sc. in Tropical Botany and Ethnoecology, 2017, University of Montpellier & AgroParisTech and M.Eng. in Agronomy in Southern Countries, 2017, Agrocampus-Ouest & University of Curitiba) is a Predoctoral Research Fellow of the LICCI team at ICTA-UAB. During his master’s degree, he worked on the ecology and regeneration of Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) in Peru (Bioversity International, CGIAR). He is actively involved in the accessibility of science, and has published a field guide for local populations in terms of identifying Brazil nut seedlings. He is particularly concerned about the resilience of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to crises. He will focus his Ph.D. on the ethnoecological knowledge of children in Madagascar in the context of global change. His work aims to understand how children’s knowledge and know-how can contribute to the livelihood strategies of their own society in the face of climate change.

Anna Porcuna Ferrer

(M.Sc. in Organic Agricultural Systems and Agroecology, 2018, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna / BOKU) is a Predoctoral Research Fellow of the LICCI team at ICTA-UAB. Her passion for agrobiodiversity and cultures brought her to focus on the interrelations between social and ecological systems and to understand the links between humans and nature from an interdisciplinary perspective. In her master thesis, building upon social-ecological resilience theory, she studied the changes brought by Community Seed Banks in indigenous communities of the Western highlands of Guatemala. In her Ph.D., she takes a diachronic approach to compare present and past landrace diversity and management in south-eastern Senegal to explore the potentials of local ecological knowledge in understanding and adapting to the effects of climate change.

Anna Schlingmann

(M.Sc. in Environmental Science, 2016, University of Potsdam) is a Predoctoral Research Fellow of the LICCI team at ICTA-UAB. During her master´s studies, she has deepened her knowledge on agricultural production as a driver for future land use and climate changes. She carried out her master thesis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), where she applied a global biophysical and agroeconomical model to analyze the impacts of global dietary changes on greenhouse gas emissions. For the LICCI project, she will focus on the knowledge exchange between social and natural sciences. Her field of interest comprises the comparison of indigenous and local knowledge with results from global climate change impact modeling and the analysis of drivers and barriers for adaptation in indigenous and local communities.

Ramin Soleymani

(M.Sc. in Computer Science, 2010, University of Hannover) is the software engineer in the LICCI team at ICTA-UAB. He has worked in research on developing planning strategies for wireless sensor networks at the University Duisburg-Essen and worked as a Creative Technologist at the Berlin-based Service Design Agency IXDS. He also worked as a freelance software developer, educator, and artistic researcher and has been a community organizer for a digital art community in Berlin and in Barcelona. He was also an initiator and co-organizer of Science Hack Day Berlin, a community-run Hackathon for Citizen Science and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Science. Within the LICCI project he is in charge of developing the citizen science platform.

Vanesse Labeyrie

(Ph.D. in Population Biology, 2013, Montpellier SupAgro) is a researcher at the GREEN research unit in CIRAD, Montpellier, working at the interface between agroecology and ethnoecology. Currently, she is a visiting researcher at ICTA-UAB, funded by the French National Research Agency.* In the LICCI project, she is in charge of a thematic group analysing the relations between crop diversity management and climate change. Her research aims to understand how rural populations in the tropics manage plant diversity in agricultural landscapes and how to deal with the spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability of their environment. She is particularly interested in understanding how biological resources and agroecological knowledge circulate through social networks and how the properties of these networks influence agroecosystems’ resilience in the face of global changes. Her current projects are based in diversified agroecosystems in Madagascar and Senegal.

* This outbound mobility grant (ID 1502-606) was funded through ANR (the French National Research Agency) under the “Investissements d’avenir” programme with the reference ANR-10-LABX-001-01 labex Agro and coordinated by Agropolis Fondation under the frame of I-SITE MUSE (ANR-16-IDEX- 0006)

External Advisor

Michael Schönhuth

(Dr. phil in Cultural Anthropology, 1989, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg i.Br.) is the Ethics Adviser of LICCI. He is a specialist in the field of anthropologically oriented network analysis. Empirically his research focuses on Africa, India, Russia and the Caucasus. His scholarly interests are migration regimes, development anthropology, and the ethical and socio-cultural dimensions of anthropology. He also has strong methodological foundations in the field of network analysis and participatory learning and research approaches.

Research collaborators

Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares Onrubia 

(Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, 2015, Autonomous University of Barcelona) is an ethnoecologist based at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, the University of Helsinki, Finland. Most of his research focuses on the study of indigenous and local knowledge systems and the application of biocultural approaches to conservation and climate change adaptation. He has participated in international research projects in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Madagascar and has conducted more than 25 months of ethnographic fieldwork, mostly with Indigenous communities. He has co-authored over 35 scientific articles and is a Fellow of the IPBES Global Assessment.

Christoph Schunko

(Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 2016, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna) is Assistant Professor at the Department for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna. In his research, he focuses on ecological and socio-cultural sustainability of wild plant gathering. He adopts multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives from ethnobotany and organic farming and gained ample experience through working in several projects in European and non-European countries, rural and urban areas and on commercial and non-commercial gathering. In his collaboration with LICCI, he works on local climate-related indicators for wild plant gathering and the impact of a changing climate on gathering practices.

Sonia Graham

(Ph.D. in Sociology, 2012, Charles Sturt University, Australia) is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA). Her research investigates environmental collective action, justice and values. She is passionate about social research methods and teaches a variety of quantitative and qualitative social research methods to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her current project at ICTA is investigating international examples of collective adaptation to sea-level rise. In her collaboration with LICCI, she works on understanding the “bright spots” that show why and how local and indigenous communities adapt to climate change.


Francesca Lesi

(M.Sc. in Urban and Environmental Management – track in Environmental Policy at the Wageningen University & Research). She has a transdisciplinary background and is particularly interested in understanding climate change impacts on Indigenous People. Within the LICCI project, her research focuses on the link between wild edible plants (WEPs) and climate change and how Indigenous People demonstrate it. 

Marzia Panaccione

(M.Sc. Climate Studies -Water Systems and Global Change – Wageningen University & Research). Her main interest is to analyse how the water cycle lies at the cornerstone of every environmental process as well as of human interaction with nature and societal organization. Within the LICCI project she will be focusing on the local perception of water-related impacts of climate change and on the overarching presence of water in all processes.


Abazeri Mariam
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Iran
Athayde Simone
Ph.D. Student/Research Scientist
Field site: Brazilian Amazon
and US
Avila Julia
Ph.D. Candidate
Field site: Brazil
Ayanlade Ayansina 
Field site: Nigeria
Babai Dániel
Field site: Gyimes region,
Baker Janelle
Assistant Professor
Field site: Canada
Bulamah Rodrigo
Field site: Haiti
Campos-Silva Joao V.
Field site: Brazilian Amazon region
Carmona Rosario
Ph.D. Student
Fields site: Lonquimay, Chile
Chakauya Rumbidzayi
Ph.D. Candidate
Field site: Zimbabwe
Chengula Fasco I.
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Mafia
Island, Tanzania
Conde Esther
Field site: Bolivia
Cuni-Sanchez Aida
Field site: Eastern Democratic
Republic of the Congo
Dudina Evgeniya
Indipendent Researcher
Field site: Russia
Gallois Sandrine
Field site: Cameroon
Gartler Susanna
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Northern Canada
and Arctic
Gerkey Drew
Assistant Professor
Field site: Siberia
Glauser Marcos
Board Member
Field site: Paraguay
Hirsch Eric
Assistant Professor
Field site: Colca Valley,
Arequipa Region, Peru
Izquierdo Andrea
Field site: Puna, Argentina
Jiao Yang
Visiting Assistant Professor
Field site: Mariana Islands
Jungsberg Leneisja
Research Fellow/Ph.D. Student
Field site: Greenland
Lanker Marisa
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Guatemala
Leonard Kelsey
Field site: Great Lakes,
North America

Lopez-Maldonado Yolanda
Field site: Yucatan, Mexico
Mariel Juliette
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Madagascar
Mattalia Giulia
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Bukovina, Romania
Miara Mohamed Djamel
Field site: Algeria
Miñarro Sara
Field site: Solomon Islands
Nyadzi Emmanuel
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Ghana
Nyamahono James Donald 
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Dwesa-Cwebe, South Africa
Okumu Willis
Field site: Kenya
Salimi Maedeh
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Iran
Sanchez Kimberly
Ph.D. Candidate
Field site: Mongolia
Seidler Reinmar 
Research Assistant Professor
Field site: India
Sharakhmatova Victoria
Associate Professor/Researcher
Field site: Siberia
Sharma Alpy
Ph.D. Student
Field site: Himachal
Pradesh, India
Shrestha Uttam Babu
Research Fellow/Director
Field site: Nepal
Singh Priyatma
Field site: Ba Province,
Snorek Julia
Field site: Niger
Ulambayar Tungalag
Country Director
Field site: Mongolia

Previous members

Corinne Drouin, project manager, 2018-2019

Claudia Geffner Fuenmayor, social & cultural anthropology intern, 2019

Ana Lleida Añón, social & cultural antrhopology intern, 2019

Elisabet Marcos Furones, social & cultural anthropology intern, 2019

Denise Margaret S. Matias, post-doctoral research fellow, 2018-2019