Please introduce yourself first and tell us about your background, areas of expertise, and your position in your institution.

I’m a geographer specializing in climatology by training and hold a Ph. D. in science. During my research, I focused on the carbon cycle of eroding landscapes under human disturbances, trying to assess the amount of carbon exchanged between the soil and the atmosphere of watersheds impacted by human activity at centennial timescales. After a short period out of academia, working in governmental bodies on environment authorization and leading a cartography team, I came back to research and now occupy a post-doctoral position at the University of Liège in the Biodiversté et Paysage department of Gembloux Agro-Biotech.

What is your role in Rotate as an organization and as an individual?

As a member of a department focusing on ecology and biodiversity, I integrated ROTATE as the biodiversity and nature restoration task leader in WP3 and WP6. I aim to deliver tools for the mining industry that improve the management and restoration of ecosystems more efficiently, integrating approaches such as ecosystem services, nature-based solutions, and carbon capture into their current strategies.

Why do you think that projects like Rotate are so important?

There is no question that our societies are reliant on mineral extraction and will continue to do so. But their impact on the environment is also evident, from drastic landscape alteration to socio-economic challenges and biodiversity loss.

Nevertheless, by creating a mosaic of small-scaled habitats, the mining industry offers many opportunities for ecosystem restoration and biodiversity management, which are vital regarding the wider trends of ecosystem degradation. Projects such as ROTATE underline those opportunities and give the tools to quarry managers to make a difference and improve their biodiversity and ecosystem restoration. Communicating this point to the public and allowing nature observation may also help social acceptance.

In your opinion which should be the most important areas for the future of mining?

In a wider trend of global ecosystem degradation, the mining sector must seize the opportunity of being an active part of ecosystem management and restoration, as – owing to its footprint on the landscape – it has a key role to play in balancing ecosystem services and socio-economical aspect during and after exploitations.

Let us know you a little bit better. Would you tell us something you like to do when you are out of the office?

When out of the office, I grab my camera and hiking gear to go explore and photograph our beautiful planet. I mostly focus on Belgium but also travel for photography. I spend a lot of time curating images and working on photo-related projects such as exhibitions, workshops, and conferences. All with the single purpose of conveying my fascination with Earth.