Project Members | Short bios.

Athanasios Ragkos (m)
Agricultural Economist MSc., Ph.D.
ELGO - Dimitra
Project Coordinator

Dr. Athanasios Ragkos is an Agricultural Economist – Researcher at the Agricultural Economics Research Institute of the Greek Agricultural Organization – DIMITRA. He has participated in more than 35 research projects (five of which as Coordinator) and has published more than 95 papers in peer-reviewed journals and Conference Proceedings. His research fields include the economics of agricultural and livestock production, environmental economics, the multifunctional character of agriculture and extensive farming systems, project appraisal and sustainable rural development. He is experienced in designing interdisciplinary approaches by maintaining close collaboration with scientists of relevant fields. He works closely with the agribusiness, Cooperatives and Producer Groups.

Antonio Lopez-FrancoS (m)
Agricultural Engineer
CIHEAM Zaragoza
DEA Rural Development

Antonio is Cooperative Research Administrator at CIHEAM Institute of Zaragoza since 2004; he has managed more than 20 EU projects on different topics related with agriculture and natural resource management, and he animates and coordinates the Institute´s research networks, particularly the FAO-CIHEAM Networks on Sheep and Goat and on Mediterranean Pastures and Forages. He is editor of Options Méditerranéénnes, the review of the CIHEAM. He has experience as development worker in Peru and in farming businesses in Morocco and Spain, with field experience in sheep, cattle and mixed cropping farming. In Pastinnova, Antonio will lead the WP6 on Dissemination, communication and capacity building by training.

Sokratis Sokratous (M)
Agro-economist, MSc
Project Participant

Mr Sokratis Sokratous (M) is an agricultural economist (BSC, MSc) with deep knowledge in farming economics and decision making. He is experienced in the field of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and decision-making procedure at the Council bodies (Working Party level, Council of Ministers), EC committees and expert groups.

Jean-Paul DUBEUF (m)
WP 5 Task Leader on Public Policies

Jean-Paul DUBEUF is a scientist in the INRAE-ACT (ex- INRA –SAD) Department since 1995 and he is fully involved in the ecological transition process. He has organized and animated several seminars and networks (IDF, FAO/CIHEAM subnetwork on S & G productions systems, EAAP, IFAD,…) and projects on small ruminants, dairy and pastoralism in the Mediterranean area. He was President of the International Goat Association (IGA) from 2008 to 2012 and he is associate editor of Small Ruminant Research, the journal of IGA. He has experience in extension for the dairy sector in Central France, in dissemination of information and in research on public policies, project building, development and prospective in many places (Corsica, Morocco, Brazil, India, Nepal, Lebanon…). In Pastinnova, Jean-Paul will lead the WP5 on “Policy and strategies to develop businesses and pastoral organizations”

Nazan Koluman (f)
Cukurova Universitesi
Principal Investigator

Nazan is professor since 2008 in Animal Science Department, Agricultural Faculty of Cukurova University; she is the chair of animal breeding section since 2018; she has managed more than 80 national and international projects on different topics related to animal husbandry, climate-animal farming interaction, gender issues, she is coordinator of Halloumi PDO registration in Cyprus. She served as board member of the International Goat Association for three terms from 2007 to 2021. She is associate editor of Small Ruminant Research Journal. She has experience as international consultant, project building and development for UN/FAO from 2009 to 2014 in the field of sheep, goat and mixed cropping farming. She was reviewer of the HORIZON-2020 SUSAN project in 2018. Nazan will be Principal Investigator in PASTINNOVA project.

Antonello Franca (M)
WP1 Leader

Dr. Antonello Franca (M) is a researcher with scientific interests concerning Characterization and conservation of natural pastures; Sustainable Forage Systems for the Mediterranean Environment;

Environmental impacts of animal production systems; Multiple roles of pastoralism for the sustainable use of rural territories. Dr. Franca is currently involved into the ENI CBC LIVINGAGRO Project, Horizon2020 FIRE-RES Project, Horizon2020 Grass4AgroEcology, Bilateral Italy-Norway GRAZECARB and EIT FOOD Carbon Net zero. He is Country Leader in the framework of the ERC PASTRES Project.

Professor & Researcher
The Lebanese University (LU)
PI - LU Team Leader

Lamis Chalak is the Chair of Plant Production Department and Professor of Agrobiodiversity at the Faculty of Agronomy, the Lebanese University (LU). She has managed several FAO, CEDRE and CNRS-L funded projects relevant to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture including olive, fruit trees and forages. She has experience in developing country reports related to biodiversity for food and agriculture and in reviewing/editing scientific articles to international peer reviewed journals. She has also prepared the national strategy for the conservation and management of plant genetic resources in Lebanon. She led the national committee on plant genetic resources for many years and helped in developing policies and decision making. In PASTINNOVA, Lamis will be leading the LU team to work on packages dealing with the innovative business models, living laboratory and dissemination, in partnership with WADA association.

Marta G. Rivera Ferre (f)
CSIC (Spanish National Research Council)- INGENIO (CSIC-UPV)
PI - ES Team Leader
Research Professor at INGENIO (CSIC-UPV). BSc and PhD in Veterinary Sciences; MSc in Animal Nutrition; PhD in Sociology. I have a multidisciplinary profile in the analysis of the society and environment interactions within agri-food systems. Director of the Chair Agroecology and Food Systems at the University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia during 2014-2021. I have a particular interest in the potential of local traditional agri-food knowledge in adaptation to climate change, food security and food sovereignty, as well as in the analysis of feminists and commons theories as to be adopted in agri-food research. I have participated as expert in several UN-lead assessments: the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD, 2005-2008); the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) (AR5, 2010-2014; SRCCL, 2017-2019; AR6, 2019-2022), and the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, nexus assessment); expert of the Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) report on Sustainable Food Systems for the EU and of the UNWomen preparations for the CSW66 “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”. Co-chair of the Nexus report of the MEDECC (2022-2024).In PASTINNOVA our team coordinates WP2 and task 1.3.
mohamed tarhouni (m)
Associate Professor
Arid Regions Institue (Medenine, Tunisia)
PI - ES Team Leader

Born in 1978, Dr. Mohamed Tarhouni holds a DEA in General Ecology and a PhD in Biological Sciences. He is currently an associate professor at the Institut des Régions Arides (IRA, Medenine, Tunisia). He is the author of several national and international scientific articles and is a member of the reading committees of many renowned journals. The results of his research applicable in the development field are valued within the framework of conventions established between IRA and several national development organizations on the one hand and in the development and coordination of several national and international projects on the other hand. The opening on the socio-economic environment has been made by the realization of studies of development projects and expertise with several national and international consulting firms.

Sergio Dario Magnani (m)
PhD, Ethnology & Social Anthropology
Researcher | WP5 - Public Policies

Anthropologist, my work focuses on dynamics of social change of rural and pastoral societies in Africa and the Mediterranean with regard to public action and policy in contexts of major environmental and economic transformation. Following studies in rural and development anthropology, I spent several years in the Sahelian drylands mainly in Senegal and Mali (2006 – 2011) by doing research at the French agricultural research and cooperation organization (Cirad) and by working for NGOs as an international volunteer and consultant. My work focused on endogenous institutions, peasant and pastoralist livelihoods and strategies in structural variable environments, frictions with conceptual frameworks of vulnerability and resilience and the effects of development interventions on society-environment relations. My PHD thesis (EHESS, 2012 – 2016), deconstructs dominant public action models (social business, production intensification) at work in pastoral and dairy development Senegal, by enlightening the underlying power dimensions and political choices as well as the reappropriations of the pastoralists within the framework of their socio-technical systems, relationships to livestock and environment. Between 2017 and 2022, I worked as Researcher in Pastoral development at the Institute of Research and Application of development Methods (IRAM) in Montpellier as well as free-lance researcher for the FAO. Main focus has been on interactions between public policy and the social and political crisis in West Africa through the prism of a political ecology of pastoralism.

Abbas Khaled (m)
Research Director - Professor
INRAA Team Leader

Khaled Abbas was born July 26, 1960 in Setif (Algeria). He began agronomic studies at INA EL Harrach (Algiers) where he graduated in 1986 an engineering degree in animal production status. He becomes a researcher at INRA Algeria the same year and performs a post-graduation at INA Paris-Grignon between 1989 and 1994 (DEA and
Doctorate). At INRAA, he was promoted to several scientific functions and grades. In 2010, he was Director of Research, following the decision of the National Commission for Researchers Rating. He is also an associate professor in many Algerian universities. His research activities have resulted in academic memoirs of great value and in many national and international publications. His work spans livestock in general but often spill over into other agronomic topics. He worked in France on the development of community meat quality sector (1992-1995), then in Algeria, on livestock farming integration with agriculture by developing fodder’s use and pastoral improvement. Currently, he focuses specifically on aspects relating to the sustainability of agricultural systems and sectors in constraining areas. In 2017 Abbas was appointed as INRAA director, position he left voluntary in 2018. Khaled Abbas worked also on other various activities international as forest sustainable management, climatic adaptation and sustainable development. He has also worked on labour in Algeria as climatic change vulnerable sector. In agriculture he also focused on integration of professional organizations for agricultural and rural sustainable development. He masters well training and capacity building methods and monitoring and evaluation.

Pasquale Arca (m)
Research Fellow

Dr. Pasquale Arca (M) is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the CNR. He obtained his PhD in Agricultural Sciences at the Department of Agriculture and the Desertification Research Centre (NRD) of the University of Sassari, with the topic “cropping systems for biomass production” and activities focused on measurement of soil C fluxes with respiration chambers and estimation of soil C residues of giant reed. After a brief experience as a research fellow at the Department of Agriculture and the Desertification Research Centre on different bioenergy crop systems, he worked at the Institute of BioEconomy of the CNR in Sassari on the assessment of the environmental footprint of sheep dairy production systems under Mediterranean conditions (LIFE Sheep to Ship project). In particular, he deepened his knowledge of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis tool and the soil C sequestration estimation method as a support to LCA. In addition, he has conducted field trials and experimental studies on improved pastures in Mediterranean silvoarable and silvopastoral systems. He participates in projects such as C-NEUTRAL FARMING and GRAZE CARB, which study the environmental footprint of silvopastoral systems, and in agroforestry projects such as LIVINGAGRO. At the same time, he works as a consultant for silvopastoral farmers and provides support to the family farm that raises dairy sheep in a silvopastoral system.

Maria Karatassiou (F)
Associate Professor
Aristotle University
Principal Investigator

Maria Karatassiou (female) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment, at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and the director of the Laboratory of Rangeland Ecology. She graduated from the Department of Forestry at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and concluded her Ph.D studies in Plant Ecophysiology. She worked as post-doctorate research associate in the Department of Ecology and Plant Evolution at the University of California, Davis. Her main research interests include rangeland ecology and ecophysiology, plant adaptation under abiotic and biotic stress, grazing ecology, biodiversity, agroforestry, land use/land cover, land restoration and rehabilitation, water relations and the influence of grazing and climatic change in landscape, Range Landscape Conservation, Ecosystem services and rangeland vulnerability. She has participated in many research projects in the field of rangeland ecology, ecophysiology and management, the impact of grazing and climatic change in rangeland biodiversity, receiving support by Greek and EU funding organizations. She has served a principal investigator in several project and as supervisor in numerous bachelor’s, graduate and doctoral dissertations.

Jasenka Kapuralin (F)
Head of the Centre for Education, European and Institutional Cooperation
AZRRI-Agency for Rural Development of Istria Pazin Ltd.
Principal Investigator

She has an M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Milan and a Master in Sustainable Development of Agricultural and Rural Areas of the Adriatic-Ionian Basin from the University of Bologna, Italy. She has more than 15 years of professional experience in AZRRI working on local, national and transnational projects for the development of the rural areas of Istria. She also works as an Adjunct Professor at the Open Public University in Pula, HR.

Feliu López-i-Gelats (m)
Assistant Professor

Environmental social scientist (PhD Environmental Science, Autonomous University of Barcelona) trained in ecological economics and political ecology (MSc Autonomous University of Barcelona) and agroecology and rural development (MSc International University of Andalusia). Assistant professor at University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) and Co-director of the Agroecology and Food Systems Chair for Social Transformation at UVic-UCC. Research line is agroecology and a critical view to the agrifood system, with the key hypothesis that small production and small consumption go with more sustainable and fairer agri-food systems. Particular attention devoted to examining the vulnerability and adaptation of smallholders to global environmental change, particularly pastoralists and beekeepers; examining the crisis of identity of agriculture and rural areas as a whole; examining the effectiveness of agroecological strategies, mainly community-based development strategies and employment of local traditional knowledge, to empower rural dwellers and small-scale producers; and finally examining the phenomenon of food waste. More than 40 published papers in peer-reviewed journals. PI and co-PI in several research and consultancy projects. At present also coordinating lead author of one chapter of the MedECC report on the climate-food-water-energy-ecosystems nexus.

Ante Ivanković (m)
PhD Professor
University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture (UZ)
Principal Investigator

Prof. Ante Ivanković (M) Since 1994 he has been an employee of the Department of Animal Science and Technology at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb. He has been a university professor since 2011. His scientific interests include dairy and meat production, ethics of domestic animal use and welfare, and especially conservation of genetic resources of farm animals. He has led three national scientific projects and several projects with local communities and has been involved in the implementation of several cross-border international projects. He is a member of the international scientific network. He actively participates in the work of national and foreign professional associations (EAAP, ERFP, IDF, DAGENE, HMU, …). He is a member of the editorial board of the journals Dairy (hr. Mljekarstvo), Animal Husbandry and Agriculture (Guest Editor). Since 2004 he has been the National Coordinator for Animal Genetic Resources at FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation). In 2000 he was awarded the “Annual State Prize for Science”. In the PASTINNOVA project, Ante will be the principal investigator.

Paride d' Ottavio (M)
PhD, Researcher
UNIVPM-Marche Polytechnic University
WP3 Leader

Dr Paride D’Ottavio PhD (M) is a researcher at the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science of Marche Polytechnic University (Italy). His main research includes analysis of ‘Pastoral systems’ and ‘Grassland ecology and management’. He is experienced in the analysis of Ecosystem services from
pastoral systems. He has participated in more than 20 international and national projects and in PASTINNOVA project he coordinates Work Package 3 on ‘Sustainability of pastoral systems under different Innovations and Business Models and Value Chain of pastoral Products scenarios’.

WP3 Deputy

Dr. Youssef Chebli currently works at the National Institute of Agricultural Research Regional (INRA, Morocco), Center of Agricultural Research of Tangier. He is a researcher in the development and management of pastoral resources. He focuses his research on extensive farming systems, feeding behavior and grazing activities of animals, and cartography of rangelands but also on grazing management and decision support tools. For this purpose, he applied precision and decision-making tools using sensors to monitor grazing animals and investigate the plant-animal interface. Nowadays, his research leads him to investigate the management of grazing goats in silvopastoral systems and on biodiverse pasturelands in Morocco.

Vitomir Bric (M)
Agricultural Engineer, MSc
Principal Investigator

Born in 1959 in Ljubljana. 1983 graduated on the subject of a dynamic energy model of a biogas plant processed with computer technology. Master's degree 1993 in conceptual solutions of the information system for cattle breeding in Slovenia. In 1997, I studied epidemiology environmental health the University of Iowa, USA. In 2005 I worked on the National Animal Identification Program Phase II project for the German company GFA Terra systems. In 2015, after 30 years of working in livestock genetic and leading the Zootechnical department for Primorska region 25 years., I became a freelancer and helped my children with ruminants’ pasture at Bric Agricultural Institute, Soča. I worked on projects: VITAE, ADT, ZOONE, BELLIMPRESA, LANATURA, FARmEAT. LIFE, PASTINNOVA

María Veiga Duarte (F)
QueRed manager

Born in Madrid and I always liked animals so after finishing my veterinary degree I moved to Galicia to work as a technician in cow farms. I worked in animal health and then, in rural veterinary. Later, I was a technician and commercial at a company (or distributor) of medicines for animals (cows). I worked for 8 years in two pharmaceutical laboratories as a technician in animal welfare (fly control, parasites control, etc)). 4 years ago, my partner and I, we made a cheese factory. We make soft cheese with raw milk from Galician cow.

Georgia Papoutsi (F)
Food marketing and Consumer behavior
Associate researcher

Dr. Georgia Papoutsi is a behavioral economist at the Agricultural Economics Research Institute of the Greek Agricultural Organization – DIMITRA. Her research interests focus on areas of marketing and consumer behavior, with emphasis on food choice behavior and buying intention towards differentiated product quality (e.g. sustainable cultivation practices, labelling, new food technologies and health claims). She has participated in several EU as well as national funded research projects analyzing the choices people actually make under specific circumstances using quantitative and experimental methods, such as discrete choice experiments, contingent valuation and auctions. Her empirical work answers questions relevant to agricultural economists, policymakers, producers, and food companies.

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