Amplifying women's voices: researchers who have inspired us

Amplifying women's voices: researchers who have inspired us

By Amalia Calderón-Argelich, Anna Schlingmann
on 2020-03-20
  • Knowledge transfer

We are facing an unprecedented time of uncertainty with the current global crisis of Covid-19, and many of us are confined in our homes, following with concern and through our networks how the pandemic spreads. This extraordinary time will undoubtedly allow us to re-think the links between this crisis and the broader socio-economic and environmental impacts and inequalities that already exist and that might further increase. As researchers working in socio-ecological systems, we ask ourselves what lessons we may learn from this crisis and how we can contribute towards a sustainable, inclusive and equitable change.

Taking care of each other these days as well as other forms of solidarity that are emerging in our research and broader communities is reminding us what ecofeminists have defended: we are deeply interdependent within human beings and eco-dependent within our environment. It is therefore essential to  build alliances of support and care, to further build our research community and eliminate inequalities. Therefore, we have decided to write a blogpost about women in science, joining the initiatives and mobilizations for the International Women’s Day, and in so doing foster a more feminist academia.

Women’s voices have been historically underrepresented. And while overall the presence of women in academia is increasing, inequality remains in terms of women’s publication outputs, citations, collaboration and leadership. A recent report shows how women researchers author fewer publications than men in every country, suggesting also a gender bias in citation practice, since the average citation impact of first authors is higher in men than in women. Further, men are more highly represented among authors with a long publication history while women are highly represented among authors with a short publication history. This brings new evidence to the already known concepts that some of us may have experienced such as academic glass-ceiling, manels and manferences (male-dominated panels and conferences), gender pay gap or low representation of female authors and references. And this can be even worse when considering the gender (un)balance along with other factors of discrimination such as age, race, ability, class, sexuality, and geography.

In a common reflection on how to foster women’s contributions in our research areas, we have asked ‘Lasegians’ to share female-led publications that have been relevant to their development as researchers. In this way, we would like to show and amplify the voice of other researchers whose work has been inspiring, influential and/or clarifying to our research areas. We hope that the resulting references and publications that we have collectively created can help to visualize the work of these outstanding researchers and promote the inclusion of their work when developing forthcoming projects, publications, courses and syllabus.


Indigenous and local knowledge and environmental change


Stefania Barca

Senior researcher at the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (CES/UC).

Lisa Brady

Professor of History at Boise State University.

Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend

Global Coordinator of the ICCA Consortium. She has been Vice Chair of the IUCN CEESP and WCPA Commissions for twelve and eight years, respectively, and a member of advisory and governing bodies for protected and conserved areas in several countries. In 2008, she was a main co-founder of the ICCA Consortium, for which she served as Secretary of Council/ Global Coordinator and Key Strategy Advisor until 2019.

Charlotte Hess

Associate Dean for Research, Collections and Scholarly Communication at Syracuse University Library where she is an advocate and spokesperson for the knowledge commons, open access and the mindful collection, organization, distribution and preservation of the cultural and scholarly record.

Luisa Maffi

Co-founder and Director of Terralingua, an international NGO devoted to sustaining the biocultural diversity of life - the world’s biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity - through research, education, policy-relevant work, and on-the-ground action. She is a pioneer and leading thinker in the field of biocultural diversity.

  • Maffi, L., ed. 2001. On Biocultural Diversity: Linking Language, Knowledge, and the Environment, Smithsonian Institution Press.

Giorgia Magni

Ph.D. researcher in Gender and Education at the University of Geneva. Former research fellow at the International Bureau of Education of the UNESCO (IBE-UNESCO).

  • Magni, G. 2017. Indigenous knowledge and implications for the sustainable development agenda. European Journal of Education 52, 4, 437-447.

Karen Elizabeth McNamara

Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Queensland. Karen is a human geographer that is interested in how people are impacted by environmental stressors and how they can respond in ways that are effective, equitable and sustainable.

Virginia Nazarea

Professor/Director at Ethnobiology and Biodiversity Lab, University of Georgia.

Saffron O'Neill

Associate Professor in Geography, Exeter University. Saffron's research focuses on risk perception, risk communication and public engagement with climate change; and the implications of these areas for public policy. Saffron uses a diverse range of methods to undertake research on public perceptions of climate change impacts, such as photo elicitation. It has shown other avenues for understanding how people view climate change that complements more traditional research methods.

Stephanie Roe

Ph.D. researcher at the University of Virginia. She is interested in biosphere-atmosphere dynamics, and shifting the current forest-food-fuel land use paradigm to a more sustainable system.

Tamara Ticktin

Professor of Botany, Botany Department, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Ph.D. at the McGill University.

  • Ticktin, Dacks, T.R., Quazi, S., Tora, M., McGuigan, A., Hastings, Z., Naikatini, A. 2018. Significant linkages between measures of biodiversity and community resilience in Pacific Island agroforests. Conservation Biology 32 (5), 1085-1095.

Nancy Turner

Emeritus Professor in Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada.


Environmental governance and biodiversity conservation


Sherry Arnstein

U.S. Department of Housing, Education, and Welfare (HUD) working as a special assistant to the assistant secretary, she developed the insights that led to the development of her seminal paper in the field of participatory decision making.

Emily Boyd

Professor in Development Studies, Director, LUCSUS.

Katrina Brown

Professor of Development Studies, University of Exeter.

Colleen Corrigan

Senior Protected Areas Officer, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Cambridge, United Kingdom. Dr. at School of Earth and Environmental Sciences-University of Queensland.

  • Corrigan, C. et al. 2018. Quantifying the contribution to biodiversity conservation of protected areas governed by indigenous peoples and local communities. Biological Conservation 227, 403-412.

Catherine Corson

Associate Professor, Mount Holyoke College.

Anne Larson

Senior Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research.

Rebecca Lave

Professor in Geography, University of Indiana.

Diana Liverman

Regents Professor of Geography and Development, and formerly co-Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, USA. She is an expert on the human dimensions of global environmental change and the impacts of climate on society.

Sango Mahanty

Program Director and ARC Future Fellow, Resources Environment & Development Group, ANU.

Carolyn Merchant

Emeritus Professor, Environmental Studies, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley.

Elinor Ostrom

Distinguished Professor at Indiana University and the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and co-director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, as well as research professor and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University in Tempe.  In 2009 she was awarded the Nobel prize in Economic Sciences. She challenged the conventional wisdom by demonstrating how local property can be successfully managed by local commons without any regulation by central authorities or privatization.

Susan Paulson

Professor, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida.

  • Paulson, S. 2017. Power and Difference in Conservation Policy. Changing Masculitines and Andean Watersheds. The Brown Journal of World Affairs 10 (2), 207-224.

Caroline Schill

Postdoctoral Researcher, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Caroline does really innovative research on environmental collective action.

  • Schill, C., Wijermans, N., Schlüter, M., & Lindahl, T. 2016. cooperation is not enough—exploring social-ecological micro-foundations for sustainable common-pool resource use. PloS one 11 (8).

Susanne Stoll-Kleemann

University Professor and Chair of Sustainability Science and Applied Geography, University of Greifswald. Susanne does research on conditions for a real transformation to sustainability and individual and collective behaviour change.

Maria Tengö

Researcher of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, co-leader of SRC research stream on Biosphere Stewardship.


Urban and rural ecosystem services


Sunita Chaudhary

Researcher from ICIMOD and the Macquarie University working in Ecosystem Services and socio-ecological systems. She has contributed to a critical analysis of the Ecosystem Services framework through an Environmental Justice lens. She has done many case studies in Nepal, India and Bhutan.

  • Chaudhary, S., McGregor, A., Houston, D., & Chettri, N. 2018. Environmental justice and ecosystem services: A disaggregated analysis of community access to forest benefits in Nepal. Ecosystem Services 29, 99–115.

Gretchen C. Daily

Professor of Environmental Science, Stanford University. ES pioneer. Core thinker and advocat of the Natural Capital Project that helped ES research to mainstream.

  • Daily, G.C., Söderqvist, T., Aniyar, S., Arrow, K., Dasgupta, P., Ehrlich, P.R., Folke, C., Jansson, A., Jansson, B.O., Kautsky, N. and Levin, S. 2000. The value of nature and the nature of value. science, 289 (5478), 395-396.

Sandra Díaz

Professor of Community and Ecosystems Ecology, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. Lead author and critical thinker behind the IPBES framework, replacing ES by NCP.

  • Díaz, S., Pascual, U., Stenseke, M., Martín-López, B., Watson, R.T., Molnár, Z., Hill, R., Chan, K.M., Baste, I.A., Brauman, K.A. and Polasky, S. 2018. Assessing nature's contributions to people. Science 359 (6373), 270-272.

Nancy Grimm

Professor of Ecology; Distinguished Sustainability Scientist.

  • Grimm, N.B., Faeth, S.H., Golubiewski, N.E., Redman, C.L., Wu, J., Bai, X., Briggs, J.M., 2008. Global change and the ecology of cities. Science 319, 756–60.

Dagmar Haase

Professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin, she works on land use change modelling, urban ecosystem services and green spaces.

  • Haase, D., Kabisch, S., Haase, A., Andersson, E., Banzhaf, E., Baró, F., … Wolff, M. 2017. Greening cities – To be socially inclusive? About the alleged paradox of society and ecology in cities. Habitat International 64, 41–48.

Ioana Andra Horcea-Milcu

Ecology graduate with a master degree and a PhD in environmental sciences/management with valuable experience gathered volunteering/training/working in NGO’s, public institutions, international organisations, research institutes.

Berta Martín-López

With a PhD in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and many years of undertaking applied research on ecosystem services, nature valuation and social-ecological systems, she is now focusing on understanding the role of values, knowledge and institutions in supporting transition pathways towards sustainability.

  • Martín-López B, Felipe-Lucia MR, Bennett EM, et al. 2019. A novel telecoupling framework to assess social relations across spatial scales for ecosystem services research. J Environ Manage 241, 251–263.

Elisa Oteros-Rozas

She has focused on the socio-cultural evaluation of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes, as well as power relations and associated conflicts; on the study of social-ecological resilience; on the analysis of social networks of mutual support and local / traditional ecological knowledge exchange, especially around pastoralism, agroecology and new peasantries; on the analysis of adaptive co-management and community-based systems, especially around the commons; and on participatory future scenario planning oriented to decision making. She ranges across fields such as political agroecology, ecological economics, political ecology and participatory approaches oriented to action, trying to incorporate a gender perspective in her work.

  • Oteros-Rozas E, Martín-López B, Fagerholm N et al. 2017. Using social media photos to explore the relation between cultural ecosystem services and landscape features across five European sites. Ecol Indic 94, 74–86.

Hannah Pitt

Research Fellow, Cardiff University. Studies potential for bluespaces to enhance individual and community wellbeing. The way Hannah considers our relationships with more-than-humans and looks at things through their perspectives makes one reassess the way we look at the world.

Marion Potschin

Deputy Director for the Centre for Environmental Management and Senior Research Fellow in Sustainability Science and Landscape Development at the University of Nottingham.

  • Potschin-Young, M., Haines-Young, R., Görg, C., Heink, U., Jax, K., Schleyer, C. 2018. Understanding the role of conceptual frameworks: Reading the ecosystem service cascade. Ecosyst. Serv. 29, 428–440.


Other related research areas


Emily S. Cassidy

Former position at the World Resource Institute and as research analyst at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). She investigates the impact of agriculture on land, water, and air.  Her projects have focused on ways to change the food system to yield healthier, more sustainable food. She developed a novel metric, quantifying the number of people fed per acre of cropland. Her research has been featured on NBC News, Scientific American and National Geographic, among others.

  • Cassidy, E.S., West, P.C., Gerber, J.S., Foley, J.A. 2013. Redefining agricultural yields: from tonnes to people nourished per hectare. Environmental Research Letters 8 (3), 1-8.

Jennifer Clapp

Professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. Has published extensively on the global food economy, financialization of food and transnational corporations in food trade.

Ruth DeFries

Ruth DeFries is a professor of ecology and sustainable development at Columbia University in New York. Her research quantifies how these land use changes affect climate, biodiversity and other ecosystem services, as well as human development. DeFries was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, one of the country’s highest scientific honors, received a MacArthur “genius” award, and is the recipient of many other honors for her scientific research.

  • DeFries, R., Fanzo, J., Remans, R., Palm, C., Wood, S., Anderman, T.L. 2015. Global nutrition. Metrics for land-scarce agriculture. Science 349 (6245), 238-240.

Jane Jacobs

North-american urbanist, journalist and activist who challenged the understanding of urban planning, towards a vision more centered in the city-dwellers and their everyday needs. Great influencer of the forthcoming feminist urbanism.

Tania Murray Li

Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto. She has worked on many issues relating to critical political ecology of rural development and land-use.

Mindi Schneider

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University. Has been studying the transformation of agro-food systems in China, particularly the emergence of industrial pork production.

Saatviga Sudhahar

Currently not academically affiliated. Used to work as a research associate in machine learning at the University of Bristol, where she completed her PhD in 2015. Has developed methods for automated narrative network analysis through text mining approaches.

  • Sudhahar, S., De Fazio, G., Franzosi, R., Cristianini, N. 2015. Network Analysis of Narrative Content in Large Corpora. Natural Language Engineering 21 (1), 81–112.


Photo modified from Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.