Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Tackling the Complex Relationship Between Forests and Society

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Interview with IUFRO Division 9 Coordinator Daniela Kleinschmit

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit is Coordinator of IUFRO Division 9 “Forest Policy and Economics”. She is heading the unit on forest policy research at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Photo provided by Daniela Kleinschmit

Q: Dr. Kleinschmit, how did you get involved in IUFRO and in how far has your work and career in IUFRO been beneficial for your scientific endeavors?

A.: I got involved in IUFRO about 12 years ago thanks to the supervisor of my PhD thesis, Max Krott. My first IUFRO conference was the World Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2000. It was fascinating to meet peers from all over the world and exchange ideas, experiences and knowledge. Personal contacts are particularly helpful for developing transnational research projects and writing or organizing publications such as special issues of journals. In addition, a network like IUFRO helps to raise awareness for new triggering questions. Read more…

IUFRO’s Strength Lies at the Grass Roots

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Professor Mike Wingfield, IUFRO Vice-President for Divsions

Interview with Michael Wingfield, IUFRO Vice-President for Divisions

Q.: Professor Wingfield, as Director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute FABI (see IUFRO Featured Members Section: http://www.iufro.org/featured-member-of-the-month/article/2011/09/22/forestry-and-agricultural-biotechnology-institute-fabi/) based at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, you are at the forefront of forest research. What are the major challenges underpinning successful forest research today?

I have the privilege to lead a very exciting research institute that has a strong focus on various aspects of forestry genetics, biotechnology and tree health.  What I think is important to recognize is that forestry is an incredibly broad discipline and the forefront of research in forestry stretches across the biological and natural sciences, engineering and the social sciences.  In this respect, it is difficult to clearly define forest research, let alone understand the forefronts of research in this field. Read more…

Interview with Dr. Su See Lee, IUFRO Vice-President for Task Forces, Special Programmes, Projects and IUFRO-led Initiatives

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IUFRO Vice-President Su See Lee

Q: Dr. Lee, you are a senior scientist with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) specialized in forest pathology. Why did you choose a career in forest science in the first place? 

A: I have always been interested in biology and decided to specialize in botany for my first degree at the University of Malaya. That led me to my first job as a tutor at the Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) with the opportunity to also pursue my Masters degree at that university. UPM subsequently appointed me as a lecturer in the faculty to teach and conduct research mainly in forest pathology.

A grant from the International Foundation for Science (IFS) started me off on my first research project on dipterocarp mycorrhizas which sparked off my interest to pursue my Ph.D. at the University of Aberdeen. From then on, I was totally hooked on unraveling the many unknowns in tropical forest biology, in particular, the intricate and complicated relationships between fungi and trees. In 1990 when the chance came to take up a full-time research position at FRIM, I decided to switch from academia to full-time research and have since been enjoying conducting research into diseases of tropical forest trees, dipterocarp ectomycorrhizas, macrofungal diversity and also ethnomycology. Read more…

IUFRO Board Appoints Michael Kleine as New Deputy Executive Director

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IUFRO Deputy Executive Director Michael Kleine

At its 50th meeting on 23 February 2011 in Vienna, Austria, the IUFRO Board unanimously approved of Dr. Michael Kleine’s nomination as new IUFRO Deputy Executive Director. In the following interview Dr. Kleine will outline, among other things, the future orientation and coordination of programs, projects and initiatives.

Dr. Kleine, could you, first of all, give a brief account of your professional career?

I graduated in forestry from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria, and obtained a doctoral degree and habilitation from the same university. Over the past 25 years, my work has focused on forest management issues under conditions ranging from central Europe through seasonal Asia into perhumid South East Asia. My work included residential assignments in Pakistan and Malaysia for more than 12 years and short-term projects in many other countries in Asia. Read more…

Interview with the New IUFRO Executive Director Alexander Buck

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IUFRO Executive Director Alexander Buck

IUFRO Executive Director Alexander Buck

On 1 December 2010, Alexander Buck assumed the position of Executive Director of IUFRO. IUFRO President, Professor Niels Elers Koch, Director General of the Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, states in this context, “We short-listed five strong candidates from different countries for the position as IUFRO’s new Executive Director. The Selection Committee and the IUFRO Board unanimously agreed that Alexander Buck was the best person for this position.” The following interview will show what Alexander Buck envisages for IUFRO.

Q: The International Union of Forest Research Organizations understands itself as “the” global network for forest science cooperation. What does it take in your opinion to make this network even more active and stronger in the future?

B: IUFRO brings together research organizations, universities and individual scientists as well as decision makers and other stakeholders with an interest in forests and trees. This unique membership pool ensures excellent networking opportunities across borders and disciplines. However, to make sure that scientists can really benefit from these opportunities, it is crucial for IUFRO to understand and adequately respond to their needs and interests as well as to ensure the participation of colleagues from truly all parts of the world. Communication is of key importance in this context and therefore I am strongly committed to communicate closely with all our members and officeholders to help them achieve their research missions more efficiently. Read more…

A Forest Researcher without Borders: Interview with IUFRO President Niels Elers Koch

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IUFRO President Niels Elers Koch

At the IUFRO World Congress 2010, Professor Niels Elers Koch, Director General of Forest & Landscape Denmark, a national centre at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, was elected IUFRO President for the period until the next IUFRO World Congress in 2014. He follows Professor Don Koo Lee, Korea, in this position, recognizing his contributions to the development of IUFRO in the past five years.

Q: Professor Koch, at the beginning of your first speech as IUFRO President at the closing of the XXIII IUFRO World Congress in Seoul, you underlined the importance of IUFRO for your personal career as a forest scientist. What can IUFRO do for a forest scientist today?

K: When I was 25 years old, I participated in my first IUFRO World Congress. It was held in Oslo, Norway, in 1976. That changed the rest of my life – to the better. IUFRO provided me with a global network of the best researchers in the area I studied. I also met with colleagues who became some of my best and everlasting friends. And I got a much better understanding and appreciation of other cultures through IUFRO. I am sure that IUFRO can do the same for forest scientists today. As “the global network for forest-related research” it offers excellent opportunities to exchange knowledge and experience, meet new colleagues and friends from all over the world and, thus, become a true “forest researcher without borders”. Read more…

IUFRO Podcast – Interview with Michael Kleine (IUFRO-SPDC Coordinator)

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IUFRO Podcast – Interview with IUFRO-WFSE project coordinator Gerardo Mery

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In this IUFRO podcast episode, Tarun Bathija interviews Gerardo Mery who is the project coordinator of one of IUFRO’s Special Project – World Forests, Society and Environment. During the interview, Gerardo provides you with an in-depth introduction and explanation to IUFRO-WFSE’s history, the books that have been published and in which manner he believes the project contributes to today’s world.

We hope that you enjoy listening to this new episode!

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IUFRO Podcast – An interview with GFIS coordinator Eero Mikkola

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This podcast is an introduction to the Global Forest Information Service (GFIS) by Eero Mikkola (project coordinator). He explains to us how GFIS works, what the future plans for development are and what is important for you to know!

Enjoy your listening!

IUFRO - The International Union of Forest Research Organizations