MARGISTAR’s Science Communication is Levelling Up: Meet our SciComm Sub-Group!

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We’re thrilled to announce MARGISTAR’s latest addition to the project: our brand new Science Communication Team. With diverse backgrounds ranging from seasoned scientists to digital marketing and emerging tech aficionados, we’re dedicated to making complex research accessible to all. Through blogs, social media, and an array of upcoming events, we aim to inform and inspire action for marginalised mountain regions. Read on for a short intro to our Science Communication Sub-Group members!

What’s MARGISTAR’s SciComm Sub-Group all about? 

A science communicator plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between complex scientific activities and the general public. In this sense, our primary responsibility lies in translating the ongoing work at MARGISTAR into accessible language for diverse audiences. We do this through our regular blogs, our social media channels and other multimedia content, and any general activities that engage with the public, policymakers, and mountain stakeholders. We also collaborate with specialists from the field – for example in our monthly Country Focuses – to ensure that every country represented within our consortium is highlighted fairly and extensively. Ultimately, our goal is to foster interest, curiosity, and understanding of science while promoting informed decision-making and knowledge-sharing within the field.

Welcome, Bülent, Giorgio, Irene, Slobodan, and Somaye 

We’re thrilled to introduce this diverse crowd of researchers as members of our SciComm Sub-Group. Read on for insights into their work and interests, and be sure to reach out if you see potential for collaboration.

Bülent Turgut is a Professor at the Soil and Ecology Department of Karadeniz Technical University, Türkiye. Throughout his career, he has concentrated on soil science and specialised in soil degradation and spatial variability analysis using geostatistics. Recently, however, his focus has shifted to better understanding the carbon capture capacity of forests using cutting-edge technologies like GIS, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence (AI). This work aims to predict ecosystem functioning by integrating spatial data, satellite images, and machine learning. His prediction modelling studies began with the prediction of soil quality index values and continued with research looking to predict the average temperature, average humidity, and total precipitation amount using topographic features. For his latest project, Bülent aims to estimate the overall carbon capture capacity of Türkiye’s forests.

Giorgio Vacchiano, Professor of Forest Management and Planning at the University of Milan

Giorgio Vacchiano is a Professor of Forest Management and Planning at the University of Milan. He studies simulation models in support of sustainable forest management, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and natural disturbances in European temperate forests. He has carried out research at the University of Turin and at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. He is active in science communication, has published numerous scientific publications and a book (The resilience of the forest; Mondadori, 2019), and in 2018 was included in Nature’s 11 best emerging scientists in the world who “are leaving their mark in science.” He is a member of the Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology (SISEF), at which he coordinates the working group on communication, and of the scientific committees of WWF Italy and Federparchi

Irene Christoforidi, Postdoc Researcher at the Hellenic Mediterranean University

Irene Christoforidi is a Postdoc Researcher and Head of the Plant Production Department of the Experimental Farm, Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU) in Crete, Greece. She is an Agronomist and focuses on Mediterranean native plants and sustainable crop production, abiotic plant stress, regenerative agriculture, ecosystem services and restoration, erosion, and land cover changes. In addition to her membership in multiple European projects and collaborations, Irene also coordinates workshops and Ecosystem Restoration Living Labs for adults and children.

Slobodan Zlatković, Specialist at the Ministry of Environmental Protection

Slobodan Zlatković is a specialist of 23 years in hydrobiology and the management and monitoring of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. His work includes conducting surveys of macroinvertebrates in small freshwater catchments, streams, and ponds, examining their diversity and population structure, and determining water bodies based on macrofauna.

Slobodan is actively engaged in environmental impact assessment studies at the Technical Commission of the Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection, as well as projects concerning the technical reception of water and energy infrastructure. His work spans biodiversity assessments in various regions, including the Danube River, Bjelasica Mountain, the Begej River, Dolovo village, Mramorak village, the Bovan lake, the Sokobanjska Moravica River, and the Gradašnica River. Slobodan is also the owner of the ecological consulting agency Akvatorija.

Somaye Latifi, Researcher at the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research, Austria

Somaye Latifi is a rural development researcher at the Austrian Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB). With a doctoral degree in rural and agricultural development, she brings extensive experience to the field. During her time in Iran, she conducted research and implemented projects aimed at promoting sustainable development and improving livelihoods in rural areas. Her work encompassed topics like agricultural innovation, community empowerment, and natural resource management. Now based in Austria, Somaye continues to explore innovative solutions to rural challenges. Her interdisciplinary approach and cross-cultural insights coupled with a deep understanding of the social, economic, and environmental dynamics shaping rural landscapes enable her to contribute to the advancement of theory and practice in the field of rural development research.

The MARGISTAR SciComm group is led by Antonia Egli, who, together with Prof Theo Lynn and Prof Colm O’Gorman, makes up MARGISTAR’s Irish team from Dublin City University.

If you would like to offer your support to the MARGISTAR Science Communications Sub-Group, please get in touch with Antonia at [email protected].

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About MARGISTAR & How To Join

The MARGISTAR forum reflects collaboratively on natural, environmental, social, and economic inter-relationships and interactions in mountainous areas, and identifies a range of environmental, social, economic, and political challenges. It enables innovation by co-designing pathways for the transformation of marginalised mountainous areas towards their green, digital and healthy futures.

To join MARGISTAR, read the instructions here and get in touch!

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