Project Team


Rok Černe

Rok Černe

Project Manager

I am a forester by profession and have been working as a project manager on wildlife at the Slovenian Forest Service for more than ten years. I am currently a LIFE Lynx project coordinator. Additionally, I have been coordinating the LIFE DINALP BEAR project for the past three and a half years and will continue implementing LIFE DINALP BEAR until its completion.  In my free time, I love spending time with my family. I enjoy travelling, hiking, kite surfing, and snowboarding. 

Andrea Gazzola

Andrea Gazzola

Conservation Biologist

I am an ecologist and have been working on wildlife conservation projects for over fifteen years. My research focuses on wolves, and I have gained knowledge on their behaviour and ecology by studying them in various ecosystems, from the Apennines to the Alps and the Carpathians. Working with different institutions (universities, NGOs, and Natural Parks’ Administrations) has developed my comprehensive knowledge on wolf research, conservation, and management. Since 2013, I have been a permanent staff member at ACDB. LIFE Lynx provides an excellent opportunity to improve my knowledge on one of the most elusive and charismatic species in Europe. In my free time, I enjoy drawing comics, reading books, and running in the mountains.

Mariana Gheorghiu

Mariana Gheorghiu

Administrative Officer

For the last twelve years, I have worked as project manager and financial manager of three LIFE Nature projects. As a member of the ACDB, I have contributed to conservation activities in both the field and office. As an administrative and financial manager responsible for the ACDB projects, I learned that conservation projects need a lot of resources and teamwork to be successful.

Tomislav Gomerčić, Ph.D.

I am a professor at Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb, and my teaching activities are focused on zoology and ecology. I have been involved in large carnivore and marine mammal research for over fifteen years. In my professional work, I connect my passion for nature science and computer technologies. I am a father of three children and passionate about paragliding, sailing and enjoying life.

Maja Jelenčič, Ph.D.

I’m a biologist, and I have been working with the Animal Ecology Research Group, BF, UL since 2010, where my main responsibility is ensuring our genetic laboratory runs smoothly. I’m glad that I have an opportunity to work on such projects as LIFE Lynx, knowing that our work has an impact on nature conservation. Most of my free time is now dedicated to family life – we love to go out, discover new places and just enjoy our time together.

Irena Kavčič, Ph.D.

When I finished my microbiology degree, I wanted to spend more time outside the lab, working on conservation issues. During my PhD studies, I was involved in various large carnivore projects. I enjoy learning about the complexity of large carnivore conservation and working towards better coexistence between people and wildlife. Within the LIFE Lynx project, I coordinate lynx-based tourism activities that benefit both local communities and lynx conservation. I love being outdoors, away from technology, and reading a good book just before I go to sleep.

Miha Krofel, Ph.D.

Miha Krofel, Ph.D.

Researcher and Assistant Professor

I am a wildlife researcher and mainly work on large carnivore ecology, management and conservation in Europe and Africa. I have dedicated most of my research to Eurasian lynx, brown bear, grey wolf, leopard, cheetah, snow leopard and jackals. To a lesser degree, I have also studied raptors, ravens, and lizards. My doctorate dissertation focused on interspecific interactions between lynx and other animals, with which lynx coexist in Dinaric forest ecosystem. In my free time, I enjoy travelling around the world and photographing wildlife.

Rudolf Kropil, Ph.D.

I am the President of the Slovak Rectors’ Conference, the Rector of the Technical University in Zvolen, and the Head of the Department of Applied Zoology and Wildlife Management. My work specializes on solving problems of sustainable development, applied zoology (ornithology and mammalogy) and forest ecology in relation to other economic, forestry and environmental disciplines, and I am recently involved in the improvement of the ungulate management.

Jakub Kubala, Ph.D.

Jakub Kubala, Ph.D.

Researcher

I am a zoologist and researcher at the Department of Applied Zoology and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen. My work is focused on research, conservation and management of the Eurasian lynx and other carnivores in the Western Carpathians and Europe. I am actively collaborating with several national and international institutions, such as the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic, the National Zoo Bojnice, the State Nature Conservation of the Slovak Republic, KORA, LCIE, WWF etc.

Špela Lorger

Špela Lorger

Nature Conservation Advisor

I am a geographer, employed at the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation. My areas of work are: protected areas, strategic environmental assessments, nature conservation guidelines, expert bases for protected areas and activities for nature conservation projects. On the project LIFE Lynx, I am currently working with tables, numbers and finances as a project administrator for associated beneficiary. Outside of office hours, I enjoy climbing and cycling, and breathing in fresh mountain air; my mind and soul are thrilled while exploring the nature.

Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, M.Sc.

Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, M.Sc.

Project Manager and Researcher

My main professional interest and motivation is to contribute to finding effective solutions to conservation problems. My affection for animals was first directed towards getting a degree in veterinary medicine and completing a thesis in wolf ecology. As I got more involved in practical conservation in the field, I’ve learned that working with people is the main challenge in nature conservation. Therefore, I focused my graduate studies on human dimensions of wildlife management, especially public participation in decision-making and studies of public attitudes towards large carnivore species. In my 20 years of professional experience, I have worked on different nature conservation and research projects, mainly in Slovenia and Croatia. I am a member of IUCN/SSC specialist group “Large carnivore initiative for Europe”. I am currently based at the Biology Department of Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana in the position of project manager and researcher.
When not at work, I am a full-time wife and a mother, and part-time dog walker, sailor, seamstress, and volunteer at Down Syndrome Association of Slovenia.

Urša Marinko

Urša Marinko

Researcher

I am a sociologist with a passion for nature conservation. During my PhD studies, I have had an opportunity to work in large carnivore conservation. This led me to become part of the team of experts working on complex topics like lynx reinforcement and conservation. Within our project, I am responsible for working with local communities and schools through a participatory approach. Moreover, I am coordinating general communication activities, such as development of project publications, notice boards, press releases and other one-way channels of communication. In my free time, I enjoy travelling with my family, exploring nature and meeting different people.

Mateja Nose Marolt, M.Sc.

Mateja Nose Marolt, M.Sc.

Senior Nature Conservation Advisor

I am a biologist, employed at the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation as a Communication Officer. My area of work is communication with different stakeholders, media and other target audience through presentations, publications and events. My focus on LIFE LYNX project is raising awareness and promoting the project. I like to spend my free time with my family in nature – on the bike, in kayak or just on my feet.  

Teresa Oliveira

Teresa Oliveira

Wildlife Technician

I am a biologist, interested in many aspects of carnivore ecology and conservation. I focused my studies in this field, having worked mainly with feeding habits of Iberian mesocarnivores (BSc) and spatial ecology of European wildcats (MSc). During the first half of 2017, I joined the WOLFLIFE project at ACDB in Romania as a volunteer, and, currently, I am working in the LIFE Lynx project as a wildlife technician, within the same institution. Outside work hours, I mostly enjoy playing the piano, as well as spending time with my family and friends.

Aleš Pičulin

Aleš Pičulin

Forester

I am a forester by profession. I obtained my bachelor’s degree at the University of Ljubljana. I am currently working on my master’s degree where I am exploring the role of European badger (Meles meles) as an ecosystem engineer. I have always felt connected to the forest and the animals that live there—this is a key reason why I decided to study forestry. I am also a hunter, which is our family tradition. When I am in nature I like to observe and take photographs of different animals, tree species and various compositions. Because my hobby is painting, I try to transfer these images and unique situations to paper and canvas. My artwork is mostly of wildlife and nature. In addition to art, I enjoy playing accordion and doing many sports, including ice hockey, basketball, football and hiking.

Mihai Pop

Mihai Pop

Wildlife Specialist

Interested in wildlife, I like spending my time supporting biodiversity conservation initiatives. I have worked on forest management, protected areas, habitat, and wildlife conservation for the last fifteen years, but my primary interest is on brown bears and other large carnivores. I have worked for public institutions, private companies, research centers and conservation NGOs in Romania. The LIFE Lynx project put a new challenge in of front me that I could not refuse.

Ivana Selanec

Ivana Selanec

Conservation Biologist

My involvement in nature protection started with studies in biology at Zagreb University, where I finished my master’s in ecology and nature protection in 2012. My early studies focused on mammal ecology through participation in small mammal inventory and jackal distribution research. I have worked at Association Biom for the last five years where I am focused on invasive mammal species in Croatia, endemic rodent species Dinaric Snow Vole, carnivore ecology and conservation. I am involved in the educational activities of our Association and management of projects focused on nature protection; I practice Open Standards for the practice of conservation as a CCnet coach. I live in the town Sinj in the Dalmatian Hinterland of Croatia, where I enjoy the beautiful environment with my partner Ivan and son Marko.

Teodora Sin

Teodora Sin

Conservation Biologist

I am an ecologist and have been working on large carnivore conservation projects for the past seven years. My studies have focused mainly on wolf ecology and conservation, and in 2018 I will complete my Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of Bucharest on the same topic. My educational background also includes an M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and a B.A. in Geography. I cannot stay still for too long, and I like to get to know things in great detail, so my free time is spent enjoying outdoor activities- climbing, trail running, cycling- or exploring the surroundings of the places where I live.

Magda Sindičić, Ph.D.

Magda Sindičić, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

I am an assistant professor at Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb where I teach wildlife management and wildlife disease. I have been focused on lynx research since the beginning of my scientific career, and I am thrilled to contribute to conservation of this magnificent species.  My other professional interests are biology and pathology of wildlife, especially carnivores, wildlife parasitology and conservation genetics. I am a Mediterranean, mother and volunteer at humanitarian organizations. I am happiest when hiking and sailing with friends and family.

Peter Smolko, Ph.D.

Peter Smolko, Ph.D.

Researcher

I am a researcher at the Department of Applied Zoology and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen. My research focuses on foraging and nutritional ecology of wild ungulates, plant-herbivore-predator interactions and landscape modifications on wildlife populations. I am also involved in the improving practical management of wild ungulates and conservation of the large carnivores.

Cosmin Stîngă

Cosmin Stîngă

President of ACDB

I serve as president of the Association for the Conservation of Biological Diversity and have been responsible for the implementation of species conservation projects during the pre-accession and post-accession of Romania into the EU. As such, I am familiar with the specific requirements of various funding dedicated to biodiversity conservation. I worked on in-situ conservation projects that involved the capturing, tranquilizing, radio-collaring, and monitoring of brown bear, lynx, and wolf. My current activity is partially dedicated to the functioning of the ACDB Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Nina Šivec Novak

Nina Šivec Novak

Economist

I am an economist by profession. In the Life Lynx project, I am responsible for administration and financial aspects of the project.  I am looking forward to this opportunity to contribute to something good for nature – the beauty of nature fascinates me. I like sports and reading.  I am a very sociable and curious person by heart.

Michael Willett  M.Sc.

Michael Willett M.Sc.

Wildlife Technician

I am a wildlife conservation scientist. My research is primarily focused on felids. I am passionate about reintroduction and translocation science, with a research interest in invasive, endemic, and reintroduced species, and their ecological interactions. In my spare time, I like to play the mandolin and read.

Seth Wilson, Ph.D.

Seth Wilson, Ph.D.

Conservation Biologist

As a conservation biologist, I marvel at the connections between nature, culture, and community. As such, I have focused my undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral education on integrating social science and ecology with an emphasis on the conservation of large carnivores. I am currently a Research Associate at the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative and an Affiliate Faculty member at the University of Montana. I also serve on the IUCN – Bear Specialist Group’s Human-Bear Conflict Expert Team.

During 2015-2016 I had the great fortune to work as a technical advisor to the Slovenian Forest Service under the LIFE DINALP Bear Project. I am thrilled to be back in Slovenia for another year—this time for the LIFE Lynx Project.

I enjoy spending my free time with my family exploring the world—especially in nature. We love being in the mountains, on rivers, and in the forest. My hope is to leave my children and future generations with a beautiful and healthy planet. 

Srečko Žerjav

Srečko Žerjav

Director of HAS

I am a hunter and nature admirer, currently in my third term as director of the Hunters Association of Slovenia (HAS). I am active in The European Federation of Associations for Hunting & Conservation (FACE) and The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC). I have been involved as an outside partner in some actions and activities of LIFE projects SLOWOLF and LIFE DINALP BEAR. In my free time, I like to enjoy nature as a hiker, fly fisherman and hunter. We all have to help protect nature!