Previous scholarship winners

ATS Winners 2015 at EUROPARC Conference 2015 © Jakub Kaspar

2015 – winners: Roberto Piccirilli, Agnes Balazsi, Eduardo Batista

The 2015 winners are currently developing their projects, keep tuned, soon more information will be published.

2014 – winners: Joss Ratcliffe, Milene Matos, Natalya Yakusheva

Joss Ratcliffe is a young researcher based at the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso, Scotland. He is very passionate about science and conservation and has a particular interest in blanket bog habitat. His project at the Environmental Research Institute is concerned with the rate of carbon accumulation and the effects of commercial forest planting on carbon stocks in Scotland´s largest terrestrial Natura2000 sites: the Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands. With the long residence time of bog carbon, measured in millennia rather than centuries, healthy un-drained peatlands truly are one of the most effective ways protected sites can reduce the impact of climate change. Joss will visit a range of wetland sites managed by Metsähallitus Natural Heritage including Koli National Park and sites in Lapland and Ostrobothnia that most resemble open treeless peatlands in Scotland. He plans to visit sites representative of different mire types and restoration techniques as well as observe less intensive forestry practises such as the use of natural regeneration and what affect this has on ecosystem function and biodiversity.

Milene Matos is from Portugal and has been working on biodiversity conservation and invasive plant species control, but she lacks further experience, namely on how to correctly communicate these aspects to the general public, in order to engage it and raise public awareness. She wishes to learn from Parque Regional del Sureste (Spain) team´s experience and replicate the best practices in Portugal. Combining the gathered knowledge and shared experiences with her current activities, she will be able to actively contribute to the conservation of biodiversity of central Portugal, which is one of the richest in Europe. She intends to use the experience to help building a conservation framework tackling invasive species, specifically creating working documents to share with technical staff of the Protected Areas where she collaborates, and organizing training-in-action events.

Natalya Yakusheva currently holds a position of a PhD candidate at Södertörn University, Sweden. Her research is focused on the governance processes of nature conservation policy in the Carpathian countries, namely Poland and Slovakia. In particular she scrutinizes how various policy frameworks are translated and implemented on the ground, what are the implications, potential issues and benefits of Protected Areas for local communities. She would like to continue working on the projects that link research, policy and practice in the field of nature conservation, especially in the mountainous areas. Therefore,  she aims to explore links between political objectives (EU biodiversity strategy) and day-to-day implementation, i.e. management activities of transboundary Protected Areas in the Alps (Prealpi Giulie Natural Park, Italy and Triglav National Park, Slovenia). For this, she will examine the management plans, their implementation, including park’s human and resource capacities, day-to-day activities, key source of financing, as well as encountered obstacles and issues, monitoring and reporting systems and transboundary cooperation. In the final project report the collected materials will be analyzed against existing biodiversity policy framework in order to identify links and gaps.

2013 – winners: Maris Noor, Sabine Nouvet and Catherine Wynn

The 2013 Alfred Toepfer Scholarships winners are three ambitious conservationists who will research in different fields of Nature protection.

Maris Noor from Estonia would like to learn from other countries what is the best way to communicate the necessities of Protected Areas to landowners and other stakeholders connected to the Protected Areas. For gaining new experiences she will travel to national parks in Austria and Georgia.

Sabine Nouvet from UK plans to study the management of natural resources in national parks of the French Alps. She wants to focus on successful examples of agri-environment schemes which have been developed in cooperation with farmers and their shepherds.

Catherine Wynn, also from UK focuses on the effectiveness of management of Protected Areas and methods to measure success. She will get in contact with agencies and stakeholders which have participated in the management plan of Šar Mountains National Park.

The award ceremony took place during the EUROPARC conference 2013 in Debrecen (HU).

2012 – winners: David Bogoy, Tilen Genov, Willem Laermans

In 2012 Alfred Toepfer Scholarship winners were selected from more than 43 applications for the scholarship. The EUROPARC council had a difficult task to chose three proposals: this year´s winners are from Hungary (Mr. Bogoy), Slovenia (Mr. Genov), and Belgium (Mr. Laermans). Their research projects deal with habitat restoration, Marine Protected Areas management, and restoring wilderness, respectively. The award ceremony took place during the EUROPARC conference 2012 in Genk (BE) .

2011 – winners:  Tünde Ludnai, Ross Watson and Robbert Casier

In 2011 the scholarships were awarded to 3 candidates; Tünde Ludnai from Hungary who worked along with the Baltic Environmental Forum in Lithuania to support the development of the ranger concept in Lithuania. Ross Watson from Scotland in his project aimed to develop European partnerships and information sharing in the field of grazing management across three different woodland habitats. Please find his report on the right side menu.Robbert Casier from Belgium in his project tried to increase communication and exchange of knowledge between MPAs and World Heritage marine sites in the Mediterranean Sea.The report and a list of accompanying films of 2011 Alfred Toepfer scholar Robert Casier on Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean Sea is available.

2010 – winners:  Ekatarine Kakabadze, Alina Ionita and Matthew McGettiga

In 2010 the number of applicants for the scholarships rose dramatically. The EUROPARC Council chose between 17 brilliant applications. The three winners who were selected in June 2010 come from all over Europe: Ekatarine Kakabadze comes from Georgia, Alina Ionita from Romania, and Matthew McGettigan from the United Kingdom. They are undertaking studies in the fields of transboundary cooperation, rural development and climate change. These trips took place in 2011 to various EUROPARC member Protected Areas.

2009- winners: Saira Sheldrake, Naomi Barker and Urszula Biereznoj

In 2009 the scholarships were awarded to Saira Sheldrake (UK), who developed a tool to predict disturbance distances of the recreational sport of Kite-surfing on wintering and wading birds in Protected Areas with coastlines. Naomi Barker (UK) visited the national parks in Germany and report back to us about the management of areas without human impact, so called “non-interventional-management-zones” and conflict management between species protection and landowners. Urszula Biereznoj (PL) visited Protected Areas and environmental institutions in United Kingdom, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, to exchange knowledge, experiences and best practices of biodiversity conservation and Natura2000 management.

2008 – winners: Rachel Danemann, David Rodriguez and Razvan Deju

In 2008 the scholarships were awarded to Rachel Danemann (UK), David Rodriguez (ES) and Razvan Deju (RO). Rachel looked at fire management in Protected Areas as well as examine marine Protected Areas in Greece, while David visited the less well known country of Moldova and reported back to us on their Protected Area management system. Razvan Deju (RO) studied Bison management in Poland with the aim of reintroducing them in Romania.

2007 –  winners: Kveta Cernohlávková, Andrzej Ginalski and Stephan Krasser

In 2007 the scholarships were awarded to:

  • Kveta Cernohlávková (CZ): Junior Ranger Projects in Europe
  • Andrzej Ginalski (PL): Management in national parks and nature conservation: Report of study visits in the British National Parks
  • Stephan Krasser (A): Photo project “59” 

If you would like more information about the scholarship please contact us.