We are very happy to introduce our PhD fellow Gabi!
Gabi Sonderegger (ESR 09), supervised by Andreas Heinimann, will be working on the research project Characterisation and visualisation of telecouplings in Large Scale Land Acquisitions in Southeast Asia, based at University of Bern.
Gabi has a multi-disciplinary background in Geography, Sustainable Development and International Development studies. After completing her MSc degree in Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, she has worked for different research institutes (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, University of Antwerp) and technical advisors of government agencies (Netherlands Commission for Environmental Impact Assessment, German Corporation for International Cooperation).
Gabi is passionate about understanding the complex interactions between human societies and their natural environment across the world. This has led her to conduct research and advisory work in many different countries (e.g. Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ghana, Georgia and Indonesia). On several occasions, she worked in areas affected by large-scale land acquisition processes, such as pulp and paper plantations, hydropower development or mineral extraction. She has then experienced at first hand the immense environmental and socio-economics implications that such developments can have and took note of the very complex dynamics that drive and enfold around them. She is now very eager to devote the coming years of this PhD to learn to better understand the full implications of such transnational land deals, particularly their (often neglected) spill-over effects in neighbouring and distant land systems.
Gabi is particularly excited about the interdisciplinary setting of the COUPLED programme and the possibilities to work in partnership with academic, public and private institutions. Her previous work experiences have taught her that effective visualization tools can play an important role in improving and facilitating communication, mutual learning and joint visioning in such multi-stakeholder collaborations. With her research, she aims thus not only contribute to a better understanding of spill-over dynamics of large-scale land acquisitions, but also to identify and develop visualization techniques that can help to effectively communicate the resulting knowledge to key decision-makers.