Keynote speakers

Prof. Anna-Liisa Laine obtained her PhD degree at the University of Helsinki before moving as Postdoc to the University of California, USA and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia. She started her research group in 2010 at the University of Helsinki with an ERC Starting Grant, where she wast appointed professorship in 2015. Before moving to the University of Zurich in 2019, she received an ERC Consolidator Grant. Prof. Laines research focuses on eco-evolutionary feedback loops driving interactions between species. With complementary molecular, field survey and mathematical modelling approaches, her group tries to understand the processes by which natural communities are structured and maintained. Furthermore, her group investigates the interaction between hosts and pathogens at the community level to understand the impact of biodiversity on disease epidemics. In collaboration with the University of Helsinki, where she holds a visiting Professor position, long-term ecological data is collected to understand how species communities respond to (climate) changes. In addition, her research focuses on mechanisms stabilizing natural ecosystems to exploit them for sustainable and climate smart food production systems.

Chris Evans is a peatland biogeochemist at UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor. His research encompasses land-use, climate, atmospheric pollution, and the C, N and S cycles, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water quality. His work on on carbon cycling in peatlands ranges from field measurements and experiments to modelling and national-scale emissions reporting. He currently leads projects with a value exceeding £6m on the quantification and mitigation of GHG emissions from lowland agricultural peatlands, and on the future management of these landscape for GHG removal. He also leads a new UK research council project on deploying new instrumentation to measure GHG emissions from aquatic systems, and co-leads the UKCEH component of the £6m LOCATE cross research centre programme on aquatic carbon cycling. He was a Lead Author of Flooded Lands chapter of the 2019 IPCC Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land-Use Guidelines refinement, and the 2013 IPCC Wetland Supplement. He is a member of the UK Government’s Lowland Agricultural Peat Task Force, and the scientific co-lead of the Independent Peatland Expert Working Group (IPEWG) of Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) in Indonesia. He was King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 20th Visiting Professor in Environmental Science in Sweden in 2015, and is a visiting professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and an honorary professor at Bangor University. In 2020 he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Ecosystem Science.

Dr. Werner Kutsch is Director General of the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) since March 2014. He is biologist, plant ecologist and ecosystem scientist by education and has worked on ecosystem carbon cycling and carbon-climate feedbacks for 25 years in Europe and Africa. The focus of his work has been for a long time in the impact of land use change on ecosystem properties and in integrating complex landscapes. He has worked at the Ecosystem Research Centre of University of Kiel, Germany, at CSIR in Pretoria, South Africa, at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany and at Thünen, the Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries in Braunschweig, Germany. Werner Kutsch is experienced in data acquisition, post-processing, data analysis and modelling of ecosystem carbon budgets.

ICOS is an ESFRI Landmark Research Infrastructure and a legal entity (ERIC) since November 2015. As DG, Werner Kutsch is the legal representative and overall coordinator of the Research Infrastructure and has managed the final internal integration of ICOS. This work comprised internal organisation of the operations of the distributed observational networks and central facilities, optimizing the internal data flow between the different observational programs of ICOS, developing the data platform of ICOS (‘Carbon Portal’) which also serves as an interface to COPERNICUS and GEOSS, and deepening the cooperation with other RIs. ICOS is now fully operational and provides in situ data on atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and on fluxes of ocean and land surfaces.

Dr Kutsch is now leading the further development ICOS which includes services based on ICOS data for scientists and for societies. ICOS is foreseen as an integral part of the European greenhouse gas monitoring and verification support (MVS) system. Beyond that, ICOS aims to be part of global data integration initiatives that support the usage of in-situ observations for improving climate action.