The Team

We have a diverse team, representing a multitude of cultures and languages, which works together collectively to develop capacity and collaborative projects for scaling up ecosystem restoration. Our team’s strengths lie in our diverse backgrounds and experiences – from rewilding and biodiversity conservation to regenerative agriculture and ecotourism, from science and spatial technologies to nature-based entrepreneurship, and from communication to community organising. We are also naturalists and lifelong explorers, outdoor adventure enthousiasts, wildlife lovers and nomads.

Board of directors

Purnima Devi Barman

Director of Species Restoration & Community Climate Education, UN Champion of the Earth

Purnima Devi Barman is a wildlife biologist and the founder of the Hargila Army, an all-female conservation initiative protecting the greater adjutant stork, in Assam, India. In 2022, she was awarded the Champions of the Earth award in the Entrepreneurial vision category, UN’s highest environmental honour.

Euridice Leyequien Abarca

Training & Research Director

Eurídice Leyequién is International Training and Education Director at the Rewilding Academy. She is a Professor-Lector Management of Forested Landscapes, ecologist and an advocate for climate resilient rural communities and landscape restoration. Specialised in science-policy-practice interface by developing climate smart ecosystem management and regenerative agriculture.

Arend de Haas

Executive Director Ecosystem Restoration & Capacity Development

Restoration and conservation ecologist with 20+ years of experience with ecosystem restoration and conservation, carbon project development, ecotourism and sustainable community development. Co-founder of the African Conservation Foundation and a specialist in GIS, remote sensing and project impact measurement and monitoring.

Advisory Council

Sulaiman Tameer

Wildlife Veterinarian and Rescue/Rehab Specialist

Sulaiman Tameer is an award-winning wildlife veterinarian and advocate known for his tireless efforts in advancing animal rights and conservation in Kurdistan, Iraq. Sulaiman’s wildlife rescue operations encompass a wide range of activities, from rescuing and treating injured or orphaned animals to rehabilitating them and releasing them back into their natural habitats.

Louis Nkembi

Community-based Conservation Specialist

Louis Nkembi is an award-winning conservationist and environmental champion with a profound commitment to preserving Africa’s rich biodiversity. With extensive experience in the field of community-based conservation, Louis has demonstrated exceptional leadership and expertise in addressing environmental challenges.

Marc Wilbers

Naturalist, Wolf and Bison Expert

Marc Wilbers is a passionate naturalist with extensive expertise in topics concerning wolf behaviour and bison reintroduction. His lifelong fascination with nature has endowed him with a deep understanding of flora and fauna, and how they interact with each other and their physical environment within a specific area or habitat.

Erik de Boer

Paleoecologist

Erik is a paleoecologist affiliated with the Universiteit van Granada. He is using long-term data of species responses to environmental change to study species survival mechanisms and predict future changes in biodiversity. He specifically focuses on the impact of human arrival on the landscape and the consequences of extinction in island ecosystems.