ESEE Elections 2020 Board Members

Nominees for ESEE Board Members 2021-2023

  • Nils Droste
  • Pinar Ertör-Akyazı
  • Timothy J Foxon
  • Stefanie Gerold
  • Emanuele Leonardi
  • Rita Lopez
  • Julia Steinberger
  • Elke Pirgmaier

You can vote for up to 6 nominees.

Nils Droste

I am an assistant professor in environmental politics at Lund University. I work at the interface between social sciences and environmental science in the strategic research area on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Changing Climate (BECC). I am an ESEE member since 2014, when I started my PhD on Ecological Fiscal Transfers with Irene Ring in Leipzig. Over the course of the PhD I have had the chance to work scholars such as Peter May, Josh Farley, and Rui Santos. I thus got to know the work of other regional ecological economics societies a bit, too.


I am standing as a candidate for the ESEE Board because I want to push the integrative aspect of methodological development. In my view, we, as a society, stand for methodological pluralism. I highly value that personally. Possibly, we could become a bit better on how to integrate these diverse epistemologies. I want to be part of the board work on integrative socio-ecological assessments that build on various knowledge types. I would aim to co-organize corresponding events, too.

Pinar Ertör-Akyazı

Pınar Ertör-Akyazı is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Boğazici University, Istanbul. She was a post-doctoral Mercator-IPC fellow at Sabancı University, Istanbul Policy Center. She holds a Master’s and a PhD degree in Economics from Boğaziçi University. Her research focuses on environmental and climate policy, behavioral economics, fisheries and conservation. She was part of the EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade) and ENTITLE (European Network of Political Ecology) projects as well as a research fellow for the UNEP GEO-5 report. She teaches ecological economics and environmental economics at Boğaziçi University.

Motivation to serve as ESEE board member

Ecological Economics, both as a discipline and as a Society, has been very inspiring and influential for my academic as well as personal life since the 2011 ESEE Conference we organized in Istanbul. For the last three years, I have been serving as the Treasurer of the ESEE and have been a member of the Fundraising and Membership Committee in the Board. In case I am re-elected as a Board member, I would like to continue this service and further try to support the use and expansion of social media and other communicatory tools on behalf of the Society.

Timothy J Foxon

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 Digital Society theme leader for the UK Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS), and co-investigator on projects on socio-technical energy transitions and modelling transition risk. My research is interdisciplinary, drawing on a range of ecological economics, evolutionary economics and innovation theory approaches.


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 am currently Chair of the Conferences Committee, and so helping to organise the forthcoming ISEE 2021 and ESEE 2022 conferences. 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.

Stefanie Gerold

My research focuses on shorter working hours, sustainable work, and time wealth. I am particularly interested in environmental implications of modern-day work, and how to organise (paid and unpaid) work differently, to enable a social-ecological transformation. After a Master in Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy, I completed my PhD at the Institute for Ecological Economics, WU Vienna. I am currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at TU Berlin, Institute of Vocational Education and Work Studies, Division of Economic Education and Sustainable Consumption.

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I would like to join the ESEE board to strengthen our academic society and the Ecological Economics research conducted by its members. Ecological Economics plays a key role in studying and providing alternatives to the ecologically unsustainable and socially unjust modes of production and consumption that mainstream economics has failed to capture. It is especially important to me to seek alliance with other research fields, including Socioeconomics and Political Economy. I have attended ESEE conferences since the beginning of my academic career, which has significantly shaped my research agenda. I would like to support the work of the ESEE board, especially by representing the voice of young academics, and by strengthening the issue of work and employment, which has so far been under-researched in Ecological Economics.

Emanuele Leonardi

I am a research fellow at the University of Parma. My research aims at building bridges between social sciences and ecological economics, both empirically – with a focus on the relationship between environmentalist culture and union politics – and theoretically – with particular regard to the notion of labour/work in degrowth literature.

I completed my PhD in Theory & Criticism (University of Western Ontario) in 2012, with a dissertation titled Biopolitics of Climate Change. The key element of the dissertation is a political critique of neoliberal carbon trading that rests – to a significant extent – upon ecological economics literature. In 2013 I started working in Europe and, shortly after, I encountered for the first time the ESEE community: it was in 2015, in Leeds, where I attended the conference as well as the summer school. Since then, my interest in socio-ecological critiques of political economy has continuously grown: they are now the key concern of my academic activity. I mostly developed my expertise in this area at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, where I worked from 2014 up until early 2020.

At the University of Parma I teach several sociology-related classes: in each of them ecological economics features prominently as a fundamental element for understanding our present times.


My motivation to serve in the ESEE board is to keep fostering our community’s cohesion, in continuity with the important work which has been done these past years. In particular, I want to focus on two issues: internal academic discussion and external presence in public discourse. As for the first: I think ESEE should be even more receptive to the emerging social mobilizations that ratify at every political level a new, unprecedented centrality of the ecological crisis. Our debates should reflect more thoroughly this new situation. As for the second: I believe ESEE should make even more efforts to become a basic reference for policy makers and concerned citizens alike. I am strongly committed to contribute to elaborate an adequate vision for the role our society will play in the process of building an ecological future.

Rita Lopez

Rita Lopes holds a PhD in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies from NOVA University of Lisbon (2017). Before her Ph.D., she completed her master’s degree in Environmental Engineering.

In her doctoral project she developed a Participatory Framework (PArticulatES) for the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services.

She is a researcher and integrated member at CENSE: Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research at NOVA University of Lisbon in the Ecological Economics and Environmental Management research area. She has been focusing her research on socio-ecological systems, ecosystem services valuation, circular economy and low carbon economies, where she has been developing and applying different collaborative tools and approaches, with focus on participatory modelling. She has an extensive experience on the design and conduction of collaborative processes engaging different stakeholder groups from public authorities, business, civil society and research in the co-production of knowledge and sharing of experiences. She is the Portuguese country contact for European Society of Ecological Economics since 2015.


In the work I have been developing, my main motivation has been to understand how stakeholders engagement in environmental and sustainability participatory processes could support better informed decisions and how these collaborative approaches may contribute to the definition of pathways towards a regenerative planet, where people and nature are healthy integrated.

Being the Portuguese country contact for European Society of Ecological Economics, gave me a deeper understanding of ESEE and had intensified my will to be a more active member. As a board member I would like to contribute to promote debates, share of ideas and collaboration within the society members; working on different collaborative initiatives to foster societal outreach and contribute to increase memberships and participation in ESEE activities.

Prof. Julia Steinberger researches and teaches in the interdisciplinary areas of Ecological Economics and Industrial Ecology. Her research examines the connections between resource use (energy and materials, greenhouse gas emissions) and societal performance (economic activity and human wellbeing). She is interested in quantifying the current and historical linkages between resource use and socioeconomic parameters, and identifying alternative development pathways to guide the necessary transition to a low carbon society. She is the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Leadership Award for her research project ‘Living Well Within Limits’ investigating how universal human well-being might be achieved within planetary boundaries. She is Lead Author for the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report with Working Group 3.

Julia Steinberger

Before coming to the University of Lausanne in 2020, Prof. Steinberger was at the University of Leeds. Until 2011, Prof. Steinberger was a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna (SEC), where she investigated sustainable cities and the links between material use and economic performance. She has held postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Lausanne and Zurich, and obtained her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has published over 40 internationally peer-reviewed articles since 2009 in journals including Nature Climate Change, Nature Sustainability, WIRES-Climate Change, Environmental Science & Technology, PLOS ONE and Environmental Research Letters.


I am motivated to join the ESEE board because we are at a uniquely critical juncture for our topic (and also, non coincidentally, for the potential of human societies to flourish while facing planetary-scale threats). Ecological Economics holds the promise of bringing together social sciences to understand and act effectively to counter the crises of climate and biodiversity loss, because it for decades has built up expertise and deep knowledge of the level and mechanisms by which societies, through their economies, create this damage. My goal is to raise the profile of EE by making an entry point for social sciences more broadly to engage with our existential environmental challenges, and thus constitute a large coalition of research beyond mainstream economics. Rather than focusing our efforts on reforming or supplanting neoclassical approaches, I would rather we advance with the other “realistic” sciences who desire to have positive impacts on our current trajectories. I believe this strategy will bring more impact and influence to EE, especially in the age of intertwined social and economic policy development, such as the multiplicity of Green New Deals.

Elke Pirgmaier

In my research, I aspire to understand and explain how capitalist tendencies and mainstream economics fuel the destruction of the natural world and injustices. To do so, I integrate insights from Ecological Economics and Marxian Political Economy, with a view to better understand possibilities for systemic, structural and institutional change. I love to teach critical thinking, break down complex ideas in accessible ways, and explore subjects from different perspectives.

I became an ecological economist at SERI (Sustainable Europe Research Institute) in Vienna, where I was part of inter- and transdisciplinary projects in the ‘macroeconomics and environment’ nexus (2008-2013). I then moved to the University of Leeds to gain strong theoretical and methodological foundations in heterodox economics, and Marxian Political Economy in particular (2014-2020). Currently, I am a post doc at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, where I research and encourage post-capitalist alternatives, academic activism, and spiritual dimensions of change.


Systemic change does not happen by itself; often, it is the result of much hands-on practical work and organising. Whilst our members are very active to promote just sustainability transitions in their realms, I believe that ESEE, as a community of dedicated scholars, could do more to organise itself to have a much stronger voice in public and academic discourse. What can ESEE say to political parties? Or Rethinking Economics students? How can we support social movements?

I joined the ESEE board in 2018 with the ambition to strengthen community building in terms of content and strategy. At the Turku conference in 2019, the Board decided to become more politically engaged, supported by a mandate of our members in the Ordinary General Meeting. It took some time to get started and grow together, but we are a great team now and begin to launch thematic initiatives to implement this vision (ESEE stays grounded, ESEE podcast etc.). One of the next steps is to involve our members more actively in such initiatives (that is, you!), to harness ESEE’s collective expertise and enthusiasm. I am currently the Secretary of ESEE. I enjoy working with Erik and the whole team and would be honoured to serve for another term. I am committed to expand strategic initiatives and take care of administrative tasks to keep our society up and running. I am particularly keen to foster collaborations with students and other heterodox networks. I recently joined the AHE management committee to do so, and I am a member of IIPPE and Reteaching Economics