Science and Economics

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The Science and Economic Knowledge Team facilitates and catalyses integration of science into IUCN’s programme and promotes enhanced knowledge management to support better conservation practice.


Working with IUCN’s Members, Commissions, Secretariat and partners around the world, we strive to ensure the best possible scientific basis for IUCN policy and action.

We work from Gland, Switzerland and Washington DC, USA, but are pleased to hear from you wherever you are based!

Head, Science and Knowledge ManagementTom Brooks

Chief Scientist

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Tom is an ecologist, geographer, and ornithologist by education, with a B.A. (Hons) in Geography from the University of Cambridge (1993) and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee (1998). He previously held biodiversity science positions in NatureServe, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy, as well as visiting appointments at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in the University of the Philippines Los Baños and in the Department of Geography of the University of Tasmania. His field experience is primarily from tropical forest hotspots: in Kenya, Paraguay, Indonesia and the Philippines. He served on the Executive Committee of the BP Conservation Leadership Programme (2002–2010), and co-chaired the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas/Species Survival Commission Joint Taskforce on ‘Biodiversity and Protected Areas’ 2009–2013. He has authored 210 scientific and popular articles. 


Dr Juha SIIKAMAKI - Chief Economist Photo: Juha SIIKAMAKI

Juha Siikamaki
Chief Economist

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Juha is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and University of Helsinki with the unique combined skills focusing on environmental and natural resource economics but also encompassing forestry, agronomy, and ecology. Throughout his career, Juha has specialized in the economics of ecosystems and nature, including economic valuation of ecosystem services, benefit-cost evaluations of conservation programmes, and spatial targeting of conservation investments. Juha’s career spans two decades of policy-relevant work. Since 2004, Juha has worked at Resources for the Future (RFF), a non-partisan research organization based in Washington DC, most recently as Associate Research Director and Thomas J. Klutznick Senior Fellow. Prior to joining RFF, he was a Senior Economist at Arcadis company. He also has experience from University of California at Davis and Natural Resources Institute Finland. His work is internationally broad, including United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Finland, and Sweden, as well as various regional and global assessments. Juha has a broad publishing record with more than 60 publications, including academic journal articles in general economics, general interest science, environmental and resource economics, econometrics, and ecology, focusing on exploring different aspects of conservation and ecosystem services. 


Daisy LariosDaisy Larios

Librarian and Publications Manager

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Daisy joined IUCN in June 2014 as the librarian for IUCN headquarters. Prior to coming to Gland, Switzerland, Daisy worked in Seoul, South Korea, first arriving as a 2011 Luce Scholar for the National Digital Library of Korea and then staying on to work in publishing. Daisy holds a B.A. in History from Occidental College in Los Angeles, the city she calls home, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she worked as a Mellon Library Fellow for Swarthmore College and then as a library assistant for Drexel University.


Nicholas MacfarlaneNicholas Macfarlane

Programme Officer

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Nicholas comes to IUCN from the US National Academy of Sciences, where he was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow working on assessment of restoration monitoring efforts subsequent to the Deep Water Horizon oil spill and the cumulative impacts of stressors on marine mammals. He has a PhD in Biology and Oceanography from MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, an MSc in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a BA in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton. Originally from Canada, Nicholas has field experience from Florida, Spain, Honduras, Indonesia, and Ecuador, and is fluent in all three of IUCN’s official languages. Nicholas’ primary responsibility is to lead implementation of the Global Environment Facility -supported project on “The Global Environmental Commons – Solutions for a Crowded Planet”, which is contracting white papers and organising a science-policy dialogue and a high-level conference to review and make recommendations regarding the effectiveness of conservation actions. Nicholas is kindly hosted by the IUCN DC office.


S. van der PloegSarina van der Ploeg

Publications Officer

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Sarina joined IUCN as a Publications Officer in March 2017. She is responsible for providing guidance to the Union on all aspects of publishing, ensuring the high quality of our publications, and enhancing the effective dissemination of IUCN’s conservation knowledge. Prior to joining IUCN, she worked at United Nations Environment  Programme and at the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva, Switzerland. Sarina holds a Master's degree in Literature from the University of Amsterdam and has worked over 10 years as an editor and publisher at various publishing houses, where she was involved in all aspects of the publishing process. 


Nathalie Olsen Photo: Nathalie Olsen

Nathalie OLSEN
Senior Economist

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Nathalie Olsen is a natural resource economist. She is joining the IUCN Economics Programme and will be working closely with the Chief Economist. She began her career at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Investment Centre preparing investment projects for international financing in Asia. After some years, she joined the Centre for Social and Economic Research into the Global Environment (CSERGE) at University College London where she worked on the economics of water resources management and completed her second MSc. Her research included valuation of environmental goods and services (including contingent valuation) and bio-economic modelling of fish stocks. She has also worked at the UNEP Economics and Trade Branch (valuation, biodiversity and trade), the World Bank (agriculture and trade policy), FAO’s Fishery Department and WorldFish. Her current interests include the economics of REDD, environmental valuation, biodiversity economics. 


Philippe PUYDARRIEUX Photo: Philippe PUYDARRIEUX

Philippe Puydarrieux
Lead Natural Resource Economist

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