ESEE Elections 2017

Board Member Candidates

This year, the terms of office of seven ESEE Board Members are ending after 3 years.

The candidates for these offices in ESEE 2017 Elections are:

Brent Bleys

Department of General Economics, Ghent University, Belgium

Short Bio:

I am currently Assistant Professor in Environmental and Ecological Economics at the Department of General Economics of Ghent University, Belgium and an affiliated member of the Center for Sustainable Development at the same university. My research focuses on alternative indicators of economic welfare, the optimal physical scale of the economy and the wider Beyond GDP debate, including the science-policy interface. I also work on ecological macroeconomics, pro-environmental behavior and its relation to subjective well-being and environmental psychology – topics that are central in ecological economics. In my teaching I include ideas from ecological economics in my courses of macroeconomics, environmental economics and policy and sustainable development as, in my regard, these are essential for future economists. I am chairing both the working group on integrating sustainability concerns in the Business Administration program at the Faculty of Economics (Ghent University) and the Commission of Safety and Sustainability at the same faculty. I am also an active member of “Transitie UGent” a think-and-do think on sustainability transitions at the university. Finally, I am a scientific counsellor at the Federal Council on Sustainable Development of Belgium.

Motivation to serve as an ESEE board member:

After being a member of the society for over 10 years, attending regional and ISEE conferences since 2005, and publishing in and carrying out referee work for the journal, I would like to pursue a more active role in the society. I refrained from doing so in the past since I was never sure about the length of my academic career, yet now that I am about to get tenure at Ghent University, I want to pursue a more active role in the ESEE and work on the direction that the society is taking both in Europe and as a regional society of ISEE. As an ESEE board member, I would like to promote all frontier issues in ecological economics (e.g. ecological macroeconomics, pro-environmental behavior and subjective well-being) that are needed to bring structural change to our societies. I would also like to strengthen the impact of ecological economics research through an open debate with policy makers and civil society and to explore in what ways ecological economics as a discipline can be better integrated in mainstream economic teaching in European universities.

Federico Demaria

ICTA, Environmental Science and Technology Institute, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Short Bio:

I am a researcher in ecological economics and political ecology at the Environmental Science and Technology Institute, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. I work for the ERC research project EnvJustice aimed to study and contribute to the global environmental justice movement. My research focuses on environmental justice, post-development, degrowth, and their relationships. I am the co-editor of “Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era” (Routledge, 2014), a book translated into ten languages. He is a founding member of Research & Degrowth. I hold a Ph.D in Ecological Economics and a Master of Environmental Studies from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Motivation to serve as an ESEE board member:

I have been a member of ISEE, ESEE and INSEE for a decade. I believe ecological economics finds itself at a turning point. Either it radicalizes, or it will be subsumed into environmental economics. ESEE has demonstrated to be at the fore front of this intellectual struggle. In order to contribute to a radical socio-ecological transformation, as a Board Member, I would like to 1) humbly learn how an academic society functions, and foster its flourishing; 2) promote the research areas of environmental justice, post-development, feminisms and degrowth; and 3) strengthen the relationship with like-minded organizations, both activist and academic, within Europe, but also in Latin America, China and India.

Pınar Ertör-Akyazı

IPC-Mercator, Sabancı University, Istanbul Policy Center, Turkey

Short Bio:

I am a post-doctoral Mercator-IPC fellow at Sabancı University, Istanbul Policy Center and a part-time faculty at Boğaziçi University at the Institute of Environmental Sciences. I hold a Master’s and a PhD degree in Economics from Boğaziçi University. My research focuses on environmental and climate policy, behavioral economics, environmental conflicts as well as fisheries. Currently, I study human cooperation and environmental policy instruments from a behavioral perspective. I was part of the EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade) and the ENTITLE (EU-funded Initial Training Network) projects and of the UNEP GEO-5 process as a research fellow. I teach micro and macroeconomics, and ecological economics at Boğaziçi University.

Motivation to serve as ESEE board member

Being a member of the ESEE has shaped my academic as well as personal life in a very positive way. The ESEE Conference that we organized in Istanbul in 2011 was a turning point in that respect. Now, I think it is my turn to take responsibility and be more active in the Society. I would like to expand the reach of the ESEE to a greater number of academics as well as activists, as I believe there are still so many who would relate their activities and academic work with the ESEE if only they were better informed about the content and excellent work done within ESEE. Therefore, if elected, I would especially be interested in supporting the use and expansion of social media and other communicatory tools on behalf of the Society.

Timothy J Foxon

Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK

Short Bio:

I am currently Professor of Sustainability Transitions at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex, UK. My research explores the technological and social factors relating to the innovation of new energy technologies, the co-evolution of technologies and institutions for a transition to a sustainable low carbon economy, and relations and interdependencies between energy use and economic growth. I am a member of the UK Energy Research Centre, the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, and the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand. My research is interdisciplinary, drawing on a range of ecological economics, evolutionary economics and innovation theory approaches.

Motivation to serve as ESEE board member:

I have been an active member of the ESEE since 2001, a Board member since 2011, and chair of the organising committee for the ESEE 2015 Conference in Leeds. I would like to continue contributing to the role of ESEE in promoting the transdisciplinary approach of ecological economics to creating a more economically stable, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable world, applied to real world social, ecological and political challenges.

Nina Janasik-Honkela

Environmental Policy Research Group, University of Helsinki, Finland

Short Bio:

In recent years, I have worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Environmental Policy Research Group (EPRG) at the Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland. My focus has mainly been the innovative regulation of chemicals, more specifically the governance of of hormonally active chemicals or so-called endocrine disruptors (EDCs) from the point of view of risk. However, recently I have also worked on the topic of silvicultural regime shifts, more specifically continuous cover forestry or CCF, as an alternative to clear-cutting. In relation to sustainable forestry, I have been interested mainly in behavioral governance, in the form of an inquiry into the effects of “nudging” by means of emotionally loaded language, on mainly forest owners and managers. In parallel with my research in the field of environmental policy, I have engaged in questions pertaining to digital health innovations, focusing especially on technological innovations that involve affects and emotions. This is a legacy from my PhD, which I earned in the fields of innovation studies and science and technology studies (STS) at the Aalto University, in Helsinki, Finland—as is also my interest in the affective or “thinking fast” register more generally.

In addition to my work on environmental and technological innovations, I have been active in the Finnish association for environmental social science. Whereas my teaching activities earlier reflected my interest in risk governance, it has gradually shifted more towards themes situated at the interface between the field of environmental communication—in all registers—and sustainability.

Motivation to serve as an ESEE board member:

My main motivation for seeking to work in the ESEE Board is that I would like to see my long-term commitment to environmental concerns (especially chemical regulation and forestry policy) concretized not only in scientific but also in practical and organizational work. Having been active in the field since 2010, I have served as a board member of the Finnish Society for Environmental Social Science (since 2012). Internationally, I have served as the ESEE country coordinator for Finland (since 2013). In the upcoming years the international aspect will increase, since I will be serving as the coordinator for the ESEE 2019 conference to be held in Turku, Finland. I very much enjoy processes of organizing and am known to keep my schedules and deadlines as agreed.

Jasper Kenter

Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and University of Edinburgh, UK

Short Bio:

I am currently appointed as Principal Investigator in Ecological Economics at the Scottish Association for Marine Science and Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh. I have published >30 peer reviewed publications with >1150 citations and have played leading roles in the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, Valuing Nature and Marine Ecosystems Research Programmes, and EU and Norwegian Research council funded projects on marine energy and coastal management. My main research interests are in ‘democratising nature’, shared, social and cultural values of nature, and deliberative monetary and non-monetary valuation methodologies. I recently authored chapters on these topics for the Routledge Handbooks on Ecological Economics and Ecosystem Services.

I have been an ESEE board member for almost six years, three as student representative and three thereafter as a regular board member. As a student representative I was actively involved in developing the ESEE summer school programme, developing guidelines for the ESEE best student paper prize, and more broadly extending the role of students within ESEE. Over the past 1 1/2 years I have chaired the publications and publicity committee, where I have overseen the website and newsletter and edited and published the 20th anniversary ESEE bulletin. As co-organiser of the 2015 ESEE Leeds conference I initiated an environmental plan that involved reducing environmental impacts in terms of food, waste and transport.

Motivation to serve as an ESEE board member:

If elected, I would intend to continue as publicity/publications chair, with two main objectives: 1) overhaul and redesign of the logo, website, newsletter and other publicity materials to more modern standards, with better integration of social media and aligned to a more effective communication strategy; 2) review of our association with Wiley in publishing EPG. Currently we do not sufficiently benefit from this yet we provide free labour and pay fees to a publisher with an, in my eyes, exploitative business model (±30% profit margin!).

Bernd Klauer

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Department of Economics, UFZ, Germany

Short Bio:

After studying mathematics, physics, and economics at the Universities of Heidelberg and Kentucky I did a PhD in Economics on “Sustainability and Valuation of Nature” supervised by Malte Faber, one of the founders of Ecological Economics. Since then I have been working as an ecological economist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ in Leipzig, at first as a PostDoc and now as the deputy head of the economics department. Additionally, I am teaching as an honorary professor in the International Joint Master Programme “Sustainable Development” at Leipzig University. In my mostly inter- and transdisciplinary research, I focus on economic and alternative evaluation methods, governance problems and fundamental issues of sustainability with applications in water resources management, land-use politics and nature protection. I have led various interdisciplinary research projects and advised the German parliament as well as environmental ministries on state, national and European levels.

Motivation to serve as an ESEE board member

I have socialized as an Ecological Economist attending in my early years the first ESEE conference 1996 in Versailles and later being part of the organising teams for the ESEE 2007 Conference as well as the fourth International Degrowth Conference 2014 in Leipzig. I am convinced that the heterodox, problem-oriented approaches of EE are inevitable to tackle the severe sustainability problems we encounter today. ESEE provides an extremely useful platform for urgent debates.

György Pataki

Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

Short Bio:

I studied an MSc in Economics and a PhD in Organisational Science and I am m currently an associate professor at the Department of Decision Sciences, Corvinus University of Budapest (CUB), Hungary. Together with my research colleagues, we have founded the Environmental Social Science Research Group (ESSRG), a research and development small company, committed to co-creation with diverse actors through community-based and participatory action research ( In my current research, I am learning about transformative social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and solidarity economy initiatives. I love being an empirical researcher, listen to others, learn from experience from people of diverse walk of lifes, and conduct social science field work related to nature conservation and biodiversity issues, following a deliberative and participatory research approach. I enjoy teaching and learning in a one-year course on qualitative research methodology at the Doctoral School of Business and Management at CUB. I have a privilege to facilitate a project-based master elective for business students on social entrepreneurship and social economy at Corvinus Business School, CUB. I devoted four years to engage with global biodiversity policy making as a member of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) of the UN-related science-policy interface, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sevrices (IPBES), co-leading the expert group on values and valuation methodologies.

Motivation to serve as an ESEE board member:

As a researcher, I am trying to face the complexity and democratic challenge of conducting research for and with local communities and marginalised social groups on transformational sustainability issues. As a teacher, I engage together with my students with service learning. I believe my radical critical stance as a environmental social scientist has a place in the ESEE community. For more than a decade, I have been participating at ESEE conferences and always enjoyed the atmosphere of open debates and constructive criticism. Acting as a chair of the Local Organising Committee for ESEE 2017 has brought me rich experience that I am ready to share in the ESEE community by being a member of the Conference Committee of the ESEE Board. As a member of the Education Committee of the ESEE Board, I will further support educational initiatives that cross disciplinary boundaries, contribute to developing skills for working at the science-policy-society interface, and discuss the responsibility of science and scientist in enacting democracy, social justice, and sustainability. I believe the ESEE Board has an opportunity to act in favour of institutionalising open science, free access to knowledge generated through research publicly funded, and provide an inclusive space for critical dialogue and reflection on the role of science in society in general. I will do my best to contribute to ESEE being in the forefront of these debates and institutional changes towards democratising knowledge generation and sharing.

Elke Pirgmaier

Economics Division & Sustainability Research Institute, The University of Leeds, UK

Short Bio:

I am a PhD researcher at the University of Leeds in my final year. My research aims to build more bridges between ecological economics and heterodox economics. I explore how insights from political economy about social-ecological dynamics of capitalism can inform stronger theoretical and methodological foundations of ecological economics, with a view to building more effective alternatives.

My first academic conference was the 1st degrowth conference in Paris in 2008. Ever since, I worked to spread and develop post-growth and de-growth ideas, in research, teaching and public discourse. For the first 5 years of my career I worked at the Sustainable Research Institute in Vienna (SERI). This is where I developed my core interest in ‘macroeconomics and the environment’. In 2014 I moved to Leeds to learn about heterodox economics and political economy. I am enthusiastic about teaching ecological economics and critical thinking. I have been teaching our subject for 7 years in different universities and summer schools, mainly in Austria. Part of that was to design a Masters course in ecological economics at the University of Applied Sciences Krems (AT).

Motivation to serve as an ESEE board member:

My motivation to serve in the ESEE board is to strengthen community building – both in terms of content and strategy. I believe our community could and should play a much stronger role in public and academic discourse. And I think we could do more than using the journal and newsletter as tools to communicate and the conferences to meet bi-annually. The board is crucial in managing the society but more so as a platform to actively engage in the further development and strengthening of our discipline. The latter is where my energy lies. I am strongly committed to help initiate debates and more concerted efforts on research priorities and vision, expanding teaching capacities and strengthening strategic alliances, by exploring existing spaces and creating new ones.

Gaël Plumecocq

INRA, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, France

Short Bio:

I hold a PhD in Economics from the Paris West University. Currently, I am Fellow Researcher at the French Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), at the “Agroecology, Innovation, and Territory” Unit (AGIR). I am also associate researcher at the Laboratory of Studies and Researches on Economics, Policies, and Social Systems (LEREPS), University of Toulouse. I teach “ecological economics” at the Institute of Political Sciences of Toulouse, and at the Purpan School of Agriculture. My research focuses on the role of social values and on issues of knowledge in sustainable transition, especially in the agricultural sector. I also study economics heterodoxies from sociology of science and lexicometric analysis perspectives, with a particular emphasis on the community of “ecological economics”. I am also a board member of the French Association for Political Economics (AFEP) which aims at defending pluralism in economic thinking and teaching, and in the standards of academic recruitment and promotion.

Motivation to serve as an ESEE board member:

I first attended an ESEE conference during my PhD, in 2009. I immediately recognized myself as a member of the ecological economics community and progressively started working in ecological economics (serving as both an author and referee in Environmental Values and Ecological Economics). I have also served as an ESEE country contact (for France) since 2014, and have contributed to debates on the structuration of the community (e.g. in contributing to ESEE newsletters, or organizing reflexive special sessions in different ESEE conferences). As I view it, ecological economics should remain a heterodox, interdisciplinary, and pluralist field of research, which entails acknowledging ecological economics as a kind of economics that is fundamentally political, moral and open. I believe that a more opened science can be a way to achieve this kind of ecological economics.