Catherine Fayet

ESR 14

Catherine Fayet

Managing trade-offs in agricultural landscape transitions: protecting cultural heritage versus rewilding


MSc Applied and Affective Psychology (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

MSc Environment and Resource Management (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)

BSc Applied and Affective Psychology (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Host University: IUCN Brussels, Belgium

Primary Supervisor: Chantal van Ham, Peter Verburg

Country of Origin: Switzerland

About Me

A successful transition to a low-carbon future requires nature conservation, ecosystem restoration, rewilding, and implementation of nature-based solutions at landscape scale. These strategies can be implemented in areas characterized by agriculture land abandonment. However, while benefits are expected, trade-offs have to be considered. In my research, I will notably investigate the implications of rewilding pathways in terms of agro-biodiversity and cultural values, in the context of agricultural abandonment.

To this aim, I will create an inventory of the costs of land abandonment for agro-biodiversity and cultural heritage. I will also explore the drivers of alternative abandonment strategies and propose an agent-based model analysis to assess human-environment interactions leading to abandonment. Supported by an analysis of policies, this research aims at guiding land-use transitions that minimize negative trade-offs.

I will be working at IUCN, in Brussels, and will also have training at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg (ecology and rewilding), at VU Amsterdam (land system analysis) and, at the European Landowners’ Organisation (decision making and planning).

Now, to tell a bit more about me...  I have always had a deep interest in human-environment interactions, hence my not so straightforward background mixing psychology and environmental sciences! I studied psychology at the University of Geneva, and worked as a research assistant in environmental psychology while completing a second master, in environment and resource management at VU Amsterdam.

I grew up in the countryside, as an outdoor enthusiast (whatever the weather), I practice horse riding, running, hiking, and I like taking pictures of landscapes (of course) and early morning skies!


Languages: English, French, Spanish